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Nestled in the Grand Villa Torretta in Milano is our cover star, Snoh Aalegra. With a quiet demeanour, Snoh is deemed a current one to watch with hits including ‘Bad Things’ and ‘I Want You Around’.
It seems that this Scandinavian-born star is on the edge of hitting international stardom. Inspired by some of the greats including Prince, Stevie Wonder, Lauryn Hill and Brandy, she has a unique RnB sound that has been dubbed cinematic soul.
Most interestingly, Iranian native Snoh was found by one of the biggest icons of the 70s, Prince. Before he died, the RnB musician was known as his muse. “Prince found me somewhere on the internet, he would never actually tell me where, but I think some music club very early on. He tried to contact me through my artist page on Facebook but I never saw the message, so he called some other people in the industry,” she tells us of their intriguing connection. “That relationship was very much life-changing and I felt like it was so amazing that somebody like him saw me.”
The relationship between Snoh and Prince was student-mentor, and they kept in touch for three years before he sadly passed away. She solemnly reminisces, “He taught me a lot and I have incredible memories with him. He was one of the funniest and most inspiring people that I had ever been around, his aura was truly magical, so that was special.”
The revolving door of the music industry has changed over time. Our cover star landed her first record deal at thirteen years old and now, at 32, she’s finally reaping the rewards for her years of commitment to becoming a singer.
She pensively discusses her journey: “It’s funny ’cause there is this picture floating around where there is this iceberg… you only see the tip of the iceberg in water and you don’t see everything that is underneath – the blood, sweat and tears, failure… you know… for me it’s a lifelong dream that I have been chasing and more than half my life I have been doing music and, yes, its finally paying off. I’m super happy about it.”
Snoh’s songs are both movie-like and narrative led, giving her a certain edge in a day and age where music has become fast, a lot like fashion. “I find it is about my path, what I have been going through and sometimes accepting that everyone has a different journey,” she explains. Although the star grew up in Sweden, both of her parents are Iranian. When she discusses her childhood, it’s clear that she’s proud of her roots. “I grew up in an Iranian family, Persian food all the time, the warmth, the culture, the grandiose,” she says. “I don’t know, there is something very royal about Middle Eastern culture. So I think I definitely have that side to me, but then there is also a side to me that’s like less is more.”
She also has a deep appreciation for modest fashion: “Women wearing hijabs in the region is so important to their culture, the way they carry themselves in such a strong way. They express so much with just their faces; Middle Eastern women carry a lot of grace.” Speaking of influences and people who the star looks up to she gestures, “I would love to work with Drake, Frank Ocean and Beyoncé. I just love her, when talking about a strong woman, she is so verbal like me, I would love to work with her.”
Despite her sights being set on the stars, she is equally focused on the people around her. “For me it’s really important to have a tight team, my team is really small, we are literally four people,” she explains. “The creative decisions we deliver are like art.” Producer No I.D. has supported Snoh’s career, she touches on him as a rarity in the industry – “He is a really rare person in the industry and he has been so consistent throughout his career, and to me that says a lot. I would love to have a career like him where I can never compromise my art and still have a longevity in music.”
We take a minute to admire the Fendi capsule collection that Snoh has flown in to shoot with our editor. The aesthetic is bright, futuristic and urban led. As the musician pops her collar, she turns to us on set, “I love the colours, the glam, the Fendi capsule collection is so beautiful.” We touch on our issue being focused around music, and the singer explains that it’s what brings everything together: “I think music is the glue between all the arts, between film, fashion and art I think music can inspire all of them and its needed for all of them. You need music during a fashion show, you need music in films. So I think music is the most universal art form of them all.”
The rhythmic soul of the very talented Snoh Aalegra is a definite must-listen, with her latest album ‘Ugh Those Feels Again’ released on iTunes on August 19, this EP is her best yet, and we can’t wait to see what her future holds.
Watch this space
Photography: Stephanie Galea, fashion direction: Carmel Harrison, media Emirates Woman