Inspiration comes from the unlikeliest sources. For Alejandra Ribera, rapper Eminem propelled her into a life of music. Watching the film 8 Mile as a teenager in Toronto and seeing the fright in his eyes before he went onstage, she realized: If he made it, I can too. And the decision was made.
Music had always been part of her life. She’d sung in the church choir with her mother, learned violin and guitar, and written songs as a teenager. But now it was all different. It was serious. In 2009 she grabbed the chance to make an album. It received good reviews in Canada, but it was nothing more than an apprenticeship, a way to sharpen her vision of what she wanted to achieve. A singular performer and a unique composer, she honed her material and ideas until she has La Boca, her true artistic debut. Writing as she travelled in Spain, Scotland, Slovakia, and France, it’s an album filled with personal truths. I was inspired by the rare and dangerous brightness which you can only see in the dark. Each song reflects the light at the end of the tunnel. And this album was also born of intuition and listening to the little voice in my head.
This time everything had to be right, to be exact, to be the sound she heard in her head. That was why she was willing to wait to record to Jean Massicotte, the producer who’d woven magic with Lhasa and Patrick Watson. Together they created a world that captures the melodies and voice, that brings her songs truly, feverishly alive. The vision of her music became real. I Want was nominated and won as ‘Song of the Year’ in 2014 by Socan, the Canadian performance rights association, and in Canada La Boca won rave reviews.
Live, there’s joy in her voice. It’s light as smoke and deep as breathing, shifting from folk to pop, and finding the kernel of truth at the heart of the music. It music to touch the soul, music that connects and ensnares. There’s drama, sorrow, pain, and joy, that light at the end of the tunnel. It’s chanson for the 21st century – apt for a woman who recently moved to Paris. Alejandra Ribera is a storyteller of her heart, and her tale begins here, with La Boca. All you have to do it is listen.