Alo Wala working on new material
US/Denmark-based bass sensation Alo Wala is India for their seven city tour to promote their debut EP 'Cityboy'. The EP is a joint effort of Shivani Ahlowalia a.k.a Alo Wala and the Denmark-based tropical bass outfit Copia Doble Systema. The last leg of the tour will end on 29 December with a performance at Sunburn Goa. Earlier this year, Alo Wala collaborated with Nucleya on a track called ‘Little Lotto’.
Rapper Alo Wala, in an interview with Radioandmusic.com’s Jescilia Karayamparambil shares interesting stories about her on-going India tour and her future plans.
What’s the story behind the name Alo Wala?
It is extracted from my last name Ahlowaila. I always got called out by other Ahluwalia's because my last name had an O in it instead of a U. My dad, grandfather and uncle changed it from a U to an O - for reasons unbeknown to me when they immigrated to the USA. It all came together though when I was in Kolkata with Brooklyn Shanti helping him with his shoot for 'The Dewarists' a few years ago. He had this song called 'Moner Alo' that always stuck, so finally I asked him what Alo meant and he told me that Alo meant 'light' in Bengali. It was one of those "ah ha" moments - I had been searching for a name for my artiste-self and when I found the meaning of that - it was obvious that it should be Alo Wala - a name designed to mean ‘person of the light’.
How has the India tour been so far? Did anything exciting happen?
It has been the perfect dose of inspiration I need to get back to making some new music. We have had a few unexpected stops on the tour, including opening for Magnetic Fields Festival and Major Lazer, back-to-back. We played the Alsisar Mahal and The Castle of Dreams in the same weekend – tour life is like a fairytale sometimes and at others, it is pure chaos.
We played three cities on the Red Bull Tour Bus with our family Nucleya and Su Real and the students at JECRC in Jaipur blew our minds! I learned that India’s future looks bright.
My parents flew in from Chicago to see their first Alo Wala show! That was crazy fun, I had the crowd give them a shout-out and they were beaming.
As a rapper, do you believe that real life stories can become better songs?
Yes, in fact for me there is no distinction between what is happening in my life and the lyrics I write. Essentially there is no distinction between life and music, and that is where it becomes a very powerful tool. We realise that and use it wisely - to spread light.
If it was not music, which profession would you have taken up and why?
I would run a juice bar on the beach somewhere - the simple life. Because simple is good and juice is “ital”!
Which cities in India are on your wish list (to play live)?
I would love to play in Assam, and do more of these far out locations: more mountains, more desert vibes, more jungle and more ocean. I think that is where the magic is.
What from ‘Cityboy’ appeals to you most?
‘Cityboy’ is absolutely political, but the approach is not marked by anger or calling out everything that does not work in this world. It speaks to the same, but from a space of optimism and happy-bass or in other words, from a place of ‘light’.
List some artistes you would love to work with
We heard some new music from SICKFLIP and I am trying to hunt him down for a collaboration if he will have us. Also we want to continue working with Nucleya to follow up to our tune ‘Little Lotto’; and our brother Su Real who is producing now. I would also love to get Delhi Sultanate on a tune too and Pavan from the Foreign Beggars is around town; that would be the cherry on top.
What are your expectations for 2015?
Time travel, exploring new galaxies, searching for artificial intelligence and making next level bass heavy music for the world.
We are getting into some new markets this year, and I am most excited about getting to America. It is going to be fun to play for all my family there.
We are working on a new EP/ album and planning a new music video as well. It is about keeping the fire burning while not burning out.
Photo credit - Jamil GS