With a wailing rock n’ soul style that supersedes every modern-day musical genre, Alice Smith is a hard act to follow. The Washington D.C. singer’s debut, For Lovers, Dreamers & Me, received rave reviews when it was first released independently in September 2006. Soon after, Alice became a media darling, showing up in the pages of The New York Times, Vibe Magazine and Rolling Stone’s “10 Artists to Watch.” While touring the country extensively with Citizen Cope, in October 2006, Alice signed a major label deal with Epic Records who will be re-releasing a remixed and remastered version of For Lovers, Dreamers & Me on October 30.
Although Alice puts on one of the most exceptional live performances today, growing up she had no aspirations of being an entertainer. “I didn’t always sing but I always wrote,” says the 30 year-old songstress. While she was technically raised in Washington D.C. with her parents, Alice spent any time that she wasn’t in school on her grandmother’s farm in Augusta, Georgia. “I think I got a lot of my freedom from Georgia,” she says. “I have a really big, close family and they kinda just leave you alone and let you do what you do.”
In 1995, Alice moved to New York City to attend Fordham University. Before graduating with a joint bachelors degree in English and History, Alice started singing back-up in local rock bands. After experimenting with different genres of music, she started looking for something that was distinctly her own and decided in 2005 to venture off and become a solo artist. One of the musicians she collaborated with was Alex Elena, a drummer who would go on to produce the majority of Smith’s debut. Elena pooled together different songwriters and with Smith, they wrote and recorded For Lovers, Dreamers & Me in three months.
Alice wrote four songs on her album including one of the disc’s superbly melodic stand-out tracks “Dream,” that she says took her just 15 minutes to compose. With a lifetime of lyrics in her head, Alice also penned the sassy soul-based cut, “Gary’s Song,” ‘Love Endeavor” and “Do I”, where she stretches her voice over its four octave range to sing about the incredible strength of young love. “I’m very honest and emotional in my delivery,” says Alice. “I try not to hold anything. I like things very clear and simple and straight forward.”
On stage, there is nothing guarded about Miss Smith. With a mean set of pipes and enough emotion to give a packed house chills, Alice is an electrifying performer. “Singing is such a physical thing,” she says. “The stage gives me energy to perform ‘cause it’s really fun. You can just get up and scream if you want to. What are they gonna do, tell you no screaming?”
With vocal chords that have already resonated with the country’s most respected critics, Alice Smith is well on her way to becoming a household name. With the re-release of her stunning debut album, For Lovers, Dreamers & Me, Alice will continue to stretch the boundaries of popular music.
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