Snoh Aalegra: Soulful, Sultry Sensations

When many of us think back to our first experiences with love or relationships, we picture the child-like crushes we had. Some of us, like myself, might have been dramatic enough to even write about those crushes in our diaries. As we get older love and relationships begin to change, these pure and innocent infatuations turn into passionate intense connections. Relationships can lead to toxic situations with people who made you believe in love only to show their true ulterior motives. No one may understand this better than Iranian-Swedish artist Snoh Aalegra

Aalegra is a 31-year-old R&B singer with a musical style that embodies themes of love and heartbreak. As a young girl she had an interest in music, attempting to write her first song at the age of only nine. Recognized for her potential, she was signed to an artist development program for Sony Music Sweden at the early age of 13. While growing up in Sweden, she learned a lot and was able to get her first taste for the music industry. In 2016, she moved to Los Angeles, California to begin her now successful career. Today, she is currently signed to ARTium Recordings, an American record label started by hip-hop and R&B music producer, No I.D.

She has been in the music business for quite some time, because music is her passion. “I’ve always been in my own world, even as a young girl. But I fell in love with music because it made me feel something that I can’t explain. When I sing and make music, that’s when I’m myself. That’s when you get me. That’s part of the reason why I feel so free when I’m on stage singing,” Aalegra told Billboard Music

There are three words to adequately describe her sound: soulful, sultry sensations. Her music has this laid back, mid-tempo vibe that makes me want to lie down in a bean bag chair and think about all my exes. Again, lets not forget that I am very dramatic. But either way, you understand what I mean. 

The artist has seen a lot of musical success recently, by gaining traction and attention from many major artists. Her debut album, titled “Feels,” included features from heavy hitters Vic Mensa, Logic, and Vince Staples. And, Drake went so far to even sample one of her songs, titled “Time.” He used the track for his song “Do Not Disturb,” from his 2017 album, “More Life.” 

Some of her largest musical influences are the late James Brown, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and Prince. She was actually mentored by Prince himself for two years and holds him in great acclaim. “He’s one of my biggest heroes in life, and is an icon to a lot of people, so just hearing from him that he believed in me was incredible. I met him before when I only had a couple of songs online, and I’ll never forget that. I feel like I have a big responsibility to really go for it,” Aalegra told Billboard Music. In an interview with TIDAL, a subscription-based music streaming service, Snoh said Prince gave her some wise words to live by.

“To not change myself for anybody. To know that I’m good enough the way I am and to try to stay indie as long as I can. I’m still independent. He hated labels. He thought they were the devil.” 

Prince was known for his distrust of music labels and the lack of control they gave young artists over their own work and image. He himself even went through several name changes over the course of his career to free himself, “from the chains that bind me to Warner Bros.” He’s gone as far to even compare these relationships between artists and their label to slavery. Prince spent a lot of time mentoring young artists to ensure their future would be brighter and without things like this dragging them down. 

Prince inspired Aalegra to work hard and to share her voice with the world. She told TIDAL, “You only live once. Hopefully I can be a good role model and use my voice for something that’s more important than just me as an artist. That’s the goal, to be able to inspire. I try my best.” That being said, it does not surprise me that she wants to create a lasting legacy with her music. “What I hope and wish for is that my music will live on way after I’m no longer here. I want it to have that effect where it can be timeless. It needs to stand the test of time so my future grandchildren’s children and their children can be proud.”

-Isabella Luna