Interview: "From My Dreams" - Alane
“From My Dreams” is a definite earworm, featuring catchy music while also being a bit melancholic with the lyrics. What is the story behind this song?
Alane: Full disclosure, I did not write the majority of this song. A majorly talented friend of mine, Sam Herlihy, wrote it and sent it to me. I immediately fell in love with the song, and he very graciously gave it to me. I did the tiniest bit of co-writing on this one. But I value supporting other songwriters and love the concept of co-writing. Sam originally wrote the song as a ballad and I took a more upbeat approach because it felt right for my first release. I did get to ask Sam about his initial idea behind the song, and his intention was to write a song that encapsulates the feeling of trying to chase down rest, but it keeps eluding you. The verses and chorus are written from that place of tension, while the bridge opens up and represents the feeling of the unrest being lifted.
You have been writing music from twelve years of age, and describe yourself as a passionate storyteller, one who aspires to start conversations and spark connections through music. What approach do you take when broaching potentially sensitive topics?
Alane: Love this question. I try not to get too involved in writing about things that a close friend or I have not experienced. In my opinion, if you’ve experienced something, you have the authority to speak directly about it. So, I focus on telling my own stories and stories of those close to me that I am naturally sensitive to because I have walked through them myself or with someone I love. But on issues that I do not understand, I make a point to listen more than I speak and refrain from writing too in-depth about it.
Your website also indicates that you have encountered numerous setbacks due to injuries that rendered you unable to sing or speak. Would you mind elaborating on what these injuries were and the steps you took to overcome them?
Alane: Absolutely. When I was 16, I suffered a blunt force trauma incident that left me without my two front teeth and a handful of stitches in my face. I had just finished a fasting blood draw and fainted, but I fell forward and my face hit the floor. Without getting too detailed, over the next seven years I lost my teeth permanently, went through jaw reconstruction, had titanium posts put in my jaw, had eight soft tissue reconstruction surgeries, and went through seven different sets of front teeth. A lot of these surgeries happened in college (where I was a vocal primary music major). One of my surgeons actually told me I better pick another career when I told him what I do. But honestly overcoming it was very much a mindset and leaning into what I know I’m designed to do. Since I was a little girl, I was tailored to sharing my art with people through music and I had to trust that there was purpose in that. There were really difficult and discouraging days. But I was given every opportunity regardless of the numerous periods of healing I had to take, and that’s nothing short of a miracle.
How has living on the east coast influenced you and your music?
Alane: So, people ask me where I’m from, and I have a really hard time answering that question because I feel like I have been hopping around the United States. I am originally from Houston, TX, with most of my memories being from the small town my family moved to when I was five. Then we ended up moving to the greater D.C. area in Maryland when I started elementary school, and I've been to many places since. I would say that the way I function is more influenced by eastern culture. But I think my rural roots planted in a more city atmosphere allow me to notice and interpret things from a very impartial perspective. My writing style is definitely reflective of my background in that I am able to create without having to heavily tie my music to a place.
I see from your Insta posts that you play the guitar. Are there any other instruments you play or want to learn?
Alane: Yes! I also play keys/piano. I actually started on piano and studied it as my secondary instrument in college. I would love to pick up the electric guitar eventually. I just think female electric guitarists are the coolest people.
If you were an album, what album would you be, and why?
Alane: That’s a really hard question… but I think my instinctive answer is ‘Give Me A Minute’ by Lizzy McAlpine. I love her music, and it is entirely my vibe. But outside of that, this was the first album I had heard that I felt was similar to my style of writing. I didn’t know people listened to that kind of music and it was a game-changer for me when I realized I could release the music I love writing and other people might find it beautiful too.
Interviewed By Vanessa Siebrass