Hello and welcome to DIY’s introducing feature, Get To Know… getting you a little bit closer to the buzziest new acts that have been catching our eye as of late, and working out what makes them tick.
Recently we’ve met Leeds New Wave quintet Eades, Spanish post-punks Belako, grunge-pop four-piece Coach Party, dream-pop trio Drug Store Romeos, and now we’re introducing you to rising LA-based singer-songwriter Alaina Castillo.
Originally hailing for Houston, the 19-year old combines her love of pop, hip-hop and R&B into her stunning songs, releasing her ‘the voicenotes’ EP back in April and a subsequent Spanish version in May.
Now sharing a beaut rendition of EP gem ‘pass you by’ for Spotify’s RADAR sessions, we sent her over some qs to get to know her a lil’ better.
Describe your music to us in the form of a Tinder bio.
Name: Alaina’s Music
Bio: love to vibe. can be happy but the mood switches up often so you never really know what ur gonna get. dark humor. covers up real situations with metaphors and imagery & also, loves to help others. 🪐 🪐 ♥︎
What’s your earliest musical memory?
The first musical memory I have is staying after at church to watch my mom sing in the choir. I’ve never really been sure if I was just thinking of a dream of me being at the church but I was there so often and remember how often my mom sang in the choir and how that led to me eventually joining.
Who were some artists that inspired you when you were just starting out (and why)?
My music taste only involved Christian music for a long time until about middle school when I started to listen to new styles of music. I remember I would always listen to Usher, watch Michael Jackson music videos, loved Whitney Houston and I also listened to a lot of the Beach Boys and Elvis. I hadn’t really branched out yet so hearing all these new vibes and styles made me start to form my own sounds and taste in music.
You’re originally from Houston and now live in LA! What do you think of the music scenes there at the moment?
After growing up in Houston and just listening to whatever was trending, I feel like the city gives off an R&B/hip-hop vibe (with other sounds too, this is just what I took away from it) and LA has some of that but with a little more pop. Ever since I moved to LA, i’ve just been able to see how big the musical influence is and it’s amazing. Austin was the hotspot for music in Texas but LA takes it to a whole new level.'
Are there any other artists breaking through at the same time that you take inspiration from?
I know there are some new RADAR artists for Spotify and I’ve seen a lot of artists on the rise and I think that inspires me because all these artists are putting in work for their dreams and it makes me happy that I’m able to do the same thing.
Who would be your dream collaborator?
I think I’d like for it to be someone that nobody was expecting so if we ever made something and it came out, it would just be so different and out of the blue. I have a lot of people that I admire and look up to but for the time being, I think I’m still just trying to make sure I find myself through music before combining my sound with someone else’s.
Musically or otherwise, what are you most looking forward to this year?
I’ve been quarantining for about 10 weeks or so, I can’t even remember, but I’ve also been in the studio everyday with RØMANS so we have a lot of new music to share before the year is over. I also can’t wait to tour and see all my fans. I really want to create something super special for the first show back so that it can be a celebratory show after being stuck inside for so long.
If people could take away one thing from your music, what would it be?
When people listen to my music, I hope they enjoy it and I hope it helps them. Music is an escape for me because it helps in one way or another and that’s what I want my music to be for other people. I just want to create something that can help through a shitty situation but also be there for the highest of highs.
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