Alus in Black Alus in Black

Meet Alus, The Singer Destined to Bring Back 90's Styled Music

AlusWho wouldn’t fall in love with a song like “Relapse?” Not only does the song open up with a catchy beat, the lyrics are one us Vixens can relate to.  Have you ever been in a relationship you knew was toxic yet you continue to relapse?  Well Alus has.  The 19-year-old singer, songwriter and musician, who hails from a suburban town in New Jersey, has a soulful voice so soft, smooth, and soothing to ones ears.  "Urban-pop," is what she calls it.  A concoction of 90's music, as she draws inspiration from artists such as Mariah Carey and the late greats -- Whitney Houston and Billie Holiday.

Alus is sure to become the next thing smokin’ as she's already gained a huge internet presence (with 6,000+ Facebook fans and over 55,000 followers on Twitter).  She was born with the passion to sing and destined to become a performer.  Her grandmother, a violinist who played with Frank Sinatra's The Rat Pack and a father who was a drummer and trumpeter.  The dedicated songstress works hard in the studio since becoming a "Artist in Development" under Water Music Publishing but hasn't dropped an album just yet... until now. At the top of the new year (yay 2014!), by the demands of her twitter followers and fans -- dubbed the Alusion's -- a new project titled Alustrious will prove what this natural born talent is made of.

We caught up with Alus at our New York City office and got to know a little more about the breakout star.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLqIxuL7hgU&w=600&h=315]

So tell us, who is Alus?

I'm a singer. I'm a songwriter.  I'm a musician.  I play piano and guitar.  I've been doing this since I was a little baby, so you know; I've been doing this for a long time.

Click next to read on.

AlusCourtesy of Water Music Publishing

How exactly did you get started?

When I was little, I was like four years old when I first started doing musical theatre.  Music's been in my blood.  My grandma was a violinist.  She went to Julliard [and] used to play with The Rat Pack.  My dad is a drummer and trumpeter […] Around 11 [years old] I started training classically at opera and my voice and then on piano and soft top guitarist.

...on auditioning for Water Music Publishing

I was auditioning everywhere all throughout High School. I would take the bus into New York City and I would bring my headshots and resume and I would say 'Hey I'm Alus come check me out, let me sing for you.'  I would sing for everybody.  I came across an audition for Water Music Publishing ... the first thing they asked me was 'How much do you weigh' and I'm like 'Why do you want to know that, that's rude!’  They said, because ‘you need to lose some weight’ and I said 'hmm... ouch' but I took it as constructive, because that’s the way it is.  I lost weight and I was in [Artist Development] for a year and I lost 35 lbs.

Ohhh, wow, okay!

Yeah, so I did some work.  I lost 35lbs and I did some work with them and I was in development and now I’m getting out and I’m showing my music to people.  We're talking to record labels and its going really good right now.

That’s funny you mention the weight loss.  I saw a picture on Facebook with you on the treadmill in stilettos.

Did you see that? [LAUGHS] We put the development part on Facebook because we want people to see that it’s not that easy.  You don't see people who walk down the street and look like Rihanna every day. There's a journey.

I did think that was pretty cool

Yes, this way, I'm like 'You can see it.'

It's like I'm living through your journey as well.

AlusHow would you describe your sound?

I call it "Urban-pop." It's very 90's influenced.  I listened to the divas growing up like Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Diana Ross, Janet Jackson, so my music is very much inspired by that because it’s got a sweet vocal over a "harder" beat like Hip-Hop.  So it's like Aaliyah meets Mariah meets Janet with the vocals.

So those ladies in particular influenced your sound?

Yes, absolutely.  And Billie Holiday is another favorite.

Oh, okay. Taking it way back.

[LAUGHTER]

Yeah!

So you said that­­ you've been singing since you were four, so is it safe to say that you were always passionate about becoming a singer or was it a hobby at first?

No. Ever since I was little I use to watch the Grammy's and all those awards shows thinking 'That's gonna be me one day. That's gonna be Alus!'  I was born with the passion […] It gets stronger over time because of the things you do and what influences you but I knew this is what I wanted to do from the start.

You mentioned that you have a project that you were working on and music is to drop at the top of 2014.

Yes, "Alustrious"                                       

Could you tell us a little more about that?

It's going to be about 6-10 songs and it’s gonna show everybody the 90’s    "urban-pop" sounding music and Relapse (out on the internet now) is gonna be one them.

A lot of songwriters draw inspiration from their actual experience, Relapse is kind of dark, have you ever had that love life where you loved so much it hurt?

Yeah, all my music is usually about boys, it should be about men, but the reason why they end up in the song is because they are stupid boys.  Relapse was about a situation that was toxic and it was bad and shouldn't have been happening but I kept relapsing in a way. I used "drug-addict" terms because [I thought] this is a potent way to describe love and I want people to take from that because a lot of people can relate.

Yes, that's definitely an effective way to describe a situation like that.

[LAUGHTER]

Photo Courtesy of Alus/Alus Facebook Fanpage

Alus in StudioCourtesy of Alus/Alus Facebook Fanpage

Is the project finished?
Yes, we are actually shooting videos now.

Now that the project is completed, what is Alus doing? Are you relaxing, are you working on the next thing?

No, always working. I don't stop working.  I'm going to start playing at shows in the Tri-state area and working on opening up for [other artists]. That's going to be a good opportunity.

So when you're recording your songs, what exactly do you do?  Is there any routine you get into to prepare for recording a song?

I like to drink tea because it loosens up your vocal chords…

I'm a tea lover, what's your favorite tea?

Oh! TAZO tea from Starbucks (particularly passion fruit).  And also, green tea.

YES! I love green tea!

[LAUGHTER]

I saw that you performed the National Anthem at Madison Square Garden (MSG), how was that experience?

It was fun! It's crazy to actually be in a stadium and think 'That's my voice in MSG, that's so cool.'  I look at it like, this is just one step. One day I gotta be doing my own music here.  So I just keep working, trying to climb the ladder.  But it was awesome.  You hear the crowd and it’s just a great experience.

Now this isn't the first time you've sung the National Anthem?

No.

Does it become less nerve wrecking?

I think so.  I use to do it in High School.  [My school] would have me do it for the basketball games, football games,  [and] wrestling matches so I was kind of use to it […]  Now, I'm actually at MSG like 'this is cool.' Maybe one day I'll do it for the Super Bowl, who knows?

Hey, put it out there!

[LAUGHTER]

Exactly! I'm not as nervous at performing as I was first getting out on stage.  Now, it’s kind of more natural and I just go with the flow.

AlusCourtesy of Alus/Alus Facebook Fanpage

What about your own anthem?  A girl empowerment song like Beyonce's “Run the World” or Keri Hilson's "Pretty Girl Rock", have you ever thought about that?

Creating my own?

Yes

Yes, I'm actually very into women empowerment and I want people to take that from some of the music.  Even though its "love" music, still, women can unite. We don't need boys!

[LAUGHTER]

So yes, I have thought about making an anthem but I don't want to force it.  I don't want to sit in the studio and say 'this is the anthem.'  I feel like it should come out when I’m in the studio and after I make the song I’m like ‘Oh, this is the song.’ When you force creativity, it’s not natural.

You go with the flow and your fans will say 'This is it! This is the anthem.'

Exactly!

You have a huge following on twitter, have you ever been to a show where you've actually met some of your followers?

Yeah! [I performed at] Neiman Marcus ... at the Fashions Night Out in the Fall and we actually had some fans come.  I really wasn't expecting it.  I was like 'this is cool!'  And they asked me for autographs and I'm just like 'Oh my God! I love you!' It’s more like family… I don't forget these things.

Aww, that's cool!

Alus in BlackCourtesy of Water Music Publishing


So it's the end of the year and you know at the end of the year everyone's rounding up their favorite artist and their favorite album could you give me your list of favorite albums?

You know who I really like?  I like Drake's album this year.  I really was feeling Drake's album. I would say that’s the most recent project that I bought and was on heavy rotation in my car.  And Justin Timberlake's [The 20/20 Experience] was an incredible album.  I'm excited for new music coming. I think 2014 is going to be a good year for new music.

 And who is your favorite artist this year? Well, the new artists.

I like Jhené Aiko. I like her music; I think she's a dope new artist.  And some rappers that just "hit you."  They do this all their life but when they really come out, like Kendrick [Lamar], its like "boom" I'm here, I'm slaying!

Would you want to collaborate with Kendrick?

Yeah! I would love to work him.  I have a list of producers in my head and a bunch of people I would like to work with.

Okay

I would love to work with Timbaland, The-Dream, [and] of course a rapper like Drake. Whatever happens, happens.  I'm down for collabs.

So what can the listeners take away from the music on Alustrious?

It's gonna be a little female empowerment.  And it's kind of what I've been going through my whole life. Like the love situation.  A little bit of heartbreak, but in a way its bittersweet, it’s not so sad […] it’s gonna be relatable.

Follow Alus on her music journey via Twitter (AlusOfficial), Facebook, and YouTube.

From the Web

More on Vibe

City Girls Get "Careless" In New Music Video

In honor of the one-year anniversary of their debut project Period, City Girls has dropped a music video for their song "Careless."

The video stars the rap duo, Yung Miami and J.T., the latter who is currently serving a two-year sentence in Tallahassee. The visual directed by Gabriel "Video God" Hart, features the two rap divas sporting their iced out Quality Control chains rapping in the streets of what appears to be Miami. Both Yung Miami and J.T. are donning the same outfits, distressed jean shorts-underwear, a cropped Miami jersey with a white turtleneck underneath and the classic Timberland boots.

City Girls are showing exactly what they're made of as they rap about "living life so careless," and "h**s [being] so mad it's evident" with an entourage of women behind them. The short clip is full of fun-filled energy as the hot rappers bounce from location to location. Whether they're in a hotel room sipping on some Hennessy, in a store copping a couple of things, they still manage to get their bars off.

The visual is a good representation of what fans can expect from the rap duo, even more so if they see them in concert. Most recently Yung Miami performed the girls' big hit, "Act Up" at Rolling Loud with the help of Lil' Yachty, their co-collaborator on the song. Next up for Yung Miami is the Hot 97 Summer Jam on June 2 at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.

Make sure to check out their music video above and stream Period in celebration of its one-year anniversary.

Continue Reading
Blac Chyna attends the BET Hip Hop Awards 2017 at The Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater on October 6, 2017 in Miami Beach, Florida
Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET

Blac Chyna Named As Suspect In Assault Against Hair Stylist

Well, this isn't the best way to celebrate your birthday.

Blac Chyna has reportedly got in trouble with the law again after a confrontation with her hair stylist. TMZ reports the Chyna and the employee who hasn't been unidentified, were at Chyna's home in San Fernando Valley, Calif. when they got into an argument over payment.

The police report alleges after the hair stylist attempted to collect her check from Chyna, the 31-year-old pulled out a knife. The hair dressed left and reportedly threw soda cans at Chyna's car. A source shared with the outlet that Chyna didn't have a weapon on her person but there were cans thrown at her car.

Because Chyna's six-year-old son King was present, there's a chance the L.A. County Dept. of Children and Family Services will get involved for a possible welfare check.

Chyna hasn't addressed the incident but will more than likely still have a nice birthday.

Continue Reading
Queen Naija attends the 2019 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 01, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Queen Naija Responds To Backlash For Going Public About Plastic Surgery

Queen Najia's decision to be blunt about her plastic surgery was met with backlash when she was accused of normalizing the procedure for young women.

The singer-songwriter who is known for her bold personality and power vocals shared the video titled, "Revealing My New Body | One Week Post Op Tummy Tuck + BBL (Brazillian Buttlift)" on YouTube Friday (May 10). In a previous video, Naija vlogged her plans to get a tummy tuck while heading to the Billboard Music Awards where she was nominated for Top R&B Female Artist.

The singer previously went under the knife after the birth of her first child in 2017, leading to a case of bad fibrosis. "I'm really really happy about the results," she said. "I basically got a tummy tuck and I got my hernia repaired around my belly navel, it would puff out because of my loose skin. I had really really bad fibrosis from the smart lipo I got two years ago."

In her recap video, the singer seemed to be visibly happy with the results and additional unplanned surgery for the Brazilian Buttlift. "I'm just really really happy. I feel more confident with my body and being a mom with two kids and having two c-sections, and all the stuff going on with myself, I'm really happy," she said Friday. "I will not be getting any more surgery. I won't turn into one of those girls who gets lip fat added and all this stuff. I'm not touching my face. As yall know I got eye fillers and I'm never doing that again."

But her joy was quickly met with criticism after The Shade Room picked up a portion of the video on their Instagram page. Naija responded in jest. "Now if I would have kept it a secret, like a lot of other women who’ve had surgery.. everyone would have saying “Liar, did you get surgery, why you hiding it?” she said.  Lol, I tell the truth & it’s still an issue. Hilarious. Imma take my new booty and hide in a ditch."

 

View this post on Instagram

 

#QueenNaija stepped into #TheShadeRoom to say she’s keeping it real about her surgery, period. 👀👀 (SWIPE)

A post shared by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom) on May 10, 2019 at 7:39pm PDT

The "Medicine" singer has been open with her journey to building her self-esteem and has shared why she decided to try surgery. "I do love myself but at the same time, you have to make your self happy," she said in 2017. "You don't have to look in the mirror and see what I see. At the end of the say, I'm the one who has to put up with my self-esteem. I tried to diet and workout but I didn't see any results in my stomach area [because of c-section]."

The topic of surgical enhancement with women of color has been a controversial topic, with many women dying for trying under the table procedures. Standards of beauty have continuously changed with social media and influencers holding relevance over the youth but the singer hasn't promoted the option to go under the knife to her fans.

Continue Reading

Top Stories