She’s the complete package— from writing music, recording herself and directing videos, dancing, and playing guitar and piano, Alus is the definition of a true artist involved in all aspects of her career.
Her two hit singles, “Ordinary Girl” and “Talk It,” began to create a buzz in urban pop music. Alus has even teamed up with artists like Trinidad Jame$ for a cover song and Meghan Trainor and Yo Gotti on the song, “Better.” Lately, she released a new lyric video for her smashing single “Naked Pic” which can be viewed below her interview!
Alus: I come from a musical bloodline. My grandma was a professional violinist who went to Juilliard, and my dad plays drums and trumpet. I was singing since I could talk, so I feel like I was just born with a gift. After years of musical theater, opera lessons, writing, and perfecting my craft, I started releasing music that people really gravitated towards. I was working with Steve Rifkind and Russell Simmons‘ company ADD52, was sponsored by Samsung and released my single “Ordinary Girl.” Getting play on New York radio, I started to build the Alus Army, a fandom.
What is the biggest highlight of your career and why?
For me, there’s a few highlights that really stand out. There’s also a lot of work to be done to make new highlights. I collaborated with Neiman Marcus on their Fashion’s Night Out in the fall and had the privilege of performing at the show. I also went out to LA and performed in an ADD52 showcase alongside Erykah Badu, Marsha Ambrosia, and others in front of important industry attendees. I’ve opened for Big Sean on his college tour and performed at Madison Square Garden. But to me, what is really the best part is getting better at my craft by learning from the songwriters, producers and mentors I’ve had in the music industry. At this point, as well as writing the music, I’m also engineering myself and mixing my records. Writing and recording myself has been the highlight for me so far because I never thought I’d be the person to do it myself, but I’ve learned so much from others that I started to incorporate that into my artistry. That aspect has been an important experience of growth, therapy and satisfaction for me.
How has your life changed since you began your journey and what are you expecting next?
I definitely developed and evolved as an artist since I started. At the beginning, which in a way, it still is the beginning, I was testing out what I liked about my artistry, trying different things, learning from others. At this point, I’m so much more confident in myself and proud of who I’ve become, not only as an artist but as a woman. I’m more assertive when making business decisions, I know how to say no, which is so important, and I research and study pop culture regularly because I believe you can never stop learning in order to push the envelope for yourself. Since I’m writing and recording more than I ever have in my life just in the last six months, I’m working on new releases, as well as visuals with a few partnerships. I have a lot in store for this summer.
What characteristics do you believe are important to be successful?
For starters, you should know if you are successful or working towards success. You will get minimal sleep if you have the work ethic of someone that wants to win. You have to make sure you never let your belly get too full, always stay hungry and gracious for opportunities that come your way. Also, never stop learning! There’s something to learn from everyone and everything in this world, and it’s important to treat every situation like a learning experience and grow from it. Another important piece, just be a kind person because people that like you, will go the extra mile for you. No one likes doing business with an asshole. Just be genuine. There’s a lot more to being successful but those fundamentals are something I incorporate into my life.
What advice can you offer to those pursuing a career in the industry?
Grind. Never stop. Never get comfortable. If you get comfortable and slip up, someone will take your spot. And be honest. Because of social media, society can detect someone who’s fake opposed to someone who is the truth. Stay yourself, and don’t chase a reputation you aren’t because someone else is successfully known for that. You are unique in your own way.
What message are you trying to send the world through your art?