Alma-Sofia Miettinen is professionally known as, quite simply, Alma. Her soulful voice and sharply observed lyrics hit somewhere between Sia and Amy Winehouse. When asked how she began her career in music, she said she doesn’t think she ever really started; “When I was little I understood that singing made me feel things”, she said. “It made me feel safe, it made me feel good, and it made me feel better. It’s how I’ve survived everything, cliché as that sounds”.
YOU HAD AN INTERESTING START IN MUSIC, HAVING FIRST APPEARED ON IDOLS. HOW DID THAT SHAPE YOU AS AN ARTIST?
It was a good experience and definitely taught me what I do and don’t want in my career. But also how hard I need to work to get there.
YOU HAVE COLLABORATED WITH A FEW ARTISTS SUCH AS FELIX JAHN. HOW DID THIS COME ABOUT?
I wrote the song ‘Bonfire’, Felix heard it, and then the story goes from there! It was my first feature so I was nervous but it turned out to be great.
HAVING FEATURED WITH VARIOUS ARTISTS OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS, INCLUDING THE LIKES OF SUB FOCUS, DO YOU PREFER WORKING ON YOUR OWN MATERIAL OR WORKING AS A FEATURED ARTIST?
My own thing always feels the best because I get to be 100% free and myself! But I love to do things with friends like Charli XCX, Tove Lo etc!
YOU HAVE HAD HUGE SUCCESS IN THE UK AS WELL AS AT HOME. HOW DOES IT FEEL TO HAVE MOVED OVER TO BEING RECOGNISED AS AN INTERNATIONAL ARTIST?
It feels great! I feel so honoured to get to play shows all around the world!
IN EVERY INTERVIEW PEOPLE SEEM TO DISCUSS YOUR HAIR AND ITS COLOUR. IS THIS SOMETHING THAT DEFINES YOU AS AN ARTIST? DO YOU FEEL THAT IT IS A REFLECTION OF YOU AND YOUR MUSIC?
I try to be free in my style and also in my music, so I guess maybe my hair and my style defines my music too! If I’m being honest, I don’t usually even remember that I have green hair! For me it’s so normal!
HOW DID IT FEEL HAVING A TRACK PLAYED BY ELTON JOHN?
Legendary! I love him and my mum loves him so it felt unreal! Super cool.
WHAT IS YOUR SONGWRITING PROCESS LIKE?
Just vibing! I love melodies and I love lyrics! I don’t have any one way of writing. Sometimes I make a song in an hour and sometimes it can take weeks!
HAVING EXPERIENCED MULTIPLE SIDES OF THE INDUSTRY, WHAT WOULD YOUR ADVICE TO A YOUNG SINGER/SONGWRITER BE?
Take your time! Never rush! Work hard! Know what you really want and never lose that!
WHAT’S NEXT FOR ALMA?
My debut ALBUM! I’m really inspired and writing lots at the moment. It’s great to get to make my album with some of the best people in the world, friends, writers, producers. I also can’t wait to get back out touring.
Alma is also available on Spotify
photos by Jake Turney | @jaketurneyphoto