For her debut release, Berlin based-painter, Lofi Hip Hop producer and singer, Alita Limona, grants us access into her creative world, which encompasses music that’s based on her original paintings and sketches with her single, ‘Flying Fish Fedora,’ which has found a home with Swiss-based imprint, Radicalis, out now. DMCWORLD grabs a world exclusive…
Hey Alita, thanks for joining us! To start things off, could you tell us a little about how Alita Limona came about?
Hi and thanks for the invite, happy to be here! Alita Limona was my painting alias at first. In 2020 I started to balance out my music production days with sketching and painting. While painting I mainly listen to Lofi Hip Hop.. it just puts me in a good mood to create visual art, think a little abstract and get lost in the instrumentals. So the idea to produce some chilled Lofi tracks under that alias as well came quite naturally I would say.
What inspired you to start making music?
Oh wow, to answer that I have to go far back into my childhood 😀 My father is a musician and my mother loves to sing, so I guess, they were my first inspiration. In school I started off writing poems and song lyrics and performed some tracks with the local hip hop crew in my hometown. But apart from being a vocalist, I was always fascinated by beat making and loved to sit together with the producer and let him explain everything to me. I also loved film score music (even though my friends found that quite weird sometimes :D), so I started playing around with my brother in fruity loops and ended up going to a music production college after school.
What inspired your latest release?
My painting “Jealous Mermaid” and all the Lofi songs I listened to while painting.
Your music is often based on your paintings, how do you go about creating the concept for your paintings and how do you transfer that concept to your music?
Well, there is not really a concept when I start. For my first EP “Jelly Sea” I started with a white canvas, got lost in the painting process and the “Jealous mermaid” kind of grew out of this. As soon as the painting had a character and a story to tell, I started looking for sounds that could tell the story in a musical language.
How did your relationship with Radicalis come about?
I would say that was one of these “right time, right place” coincidences. I submitted my songs to them and they happened to look for Lofi newcomers at the same time. Super happy to have them supporting my way right from the beginning.
How would you describe your musical style?
Fantasy-Dreamy-Comfy! I love to create my own Spotify Playlists and when I went through my private Lofi and Painting playlists, I realized: there are a lot of these oldschool, slightly distorted Disney strings and warm floating pads. That’s what I prefer to choose for my own songs, as well. I like to use my voice, too, but compared to all those bright, clear pop vocal productions I go the opposite way. I work with Hi-Cut and distortion, basically making it sound less polished, more like a cosy bedroom.
What role does painting and producing music have in your life?
A major role. Especially producing Lofi music became like meditation to me. If I can’t be creative in any form for 1 or 2 days, I get grumpy. True story!
What does your average studio session look like?
I like to separate my studio sessions into preparation and creative sessions. In one session I collect loops, samples and sounds that light a spark or interest me and another time I sit down and put them all together, guided by my mood of the day or my paintings. One of my favorite parts in the studio is arrangement and automation. The point when you collected all the little bricks and pieces and make them sound like an organic transitional journey <3
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Oh good question!! My absolute favorite film score writer was James Horner (RIP), so if someone would give me the rights to sample his melodies in my songs, I would lock myself in the studio for 2 weeks straight and create a beautiful James Horner Lofi Album 😀
Which skills do you think are essential to focus on when you’re first starting out as a music producer?
Understanding the music you listen to. My playlists are a perfect mirror of my taste in music, so in order to create something that resonates with me, I need to know the sounds, the rhythms and the chords that I like. Also find YOUR music program (DAW) and then get good at it. I use logic and it feels like brushing my teeth. Getting my ideas out quickly is essential when I am in the creative workflow.
Any advice for people struggling to stay motivated during the Corona Virus quarantine period?
Less social media, more flight mode and spending time in your own world.
What is your favourite song at the moment?
I discovered the old Moby album, ‘Play’, and, ‘Natural Blues’, was on heavy rotation. Also, ‘Raindrops’, by GoldLink & Flo Milli runs through my spotify quite often. You can find more in my curated artist playlist on Spotify 😉
Who are your favourite artists at the moment?
My latest discovery in terms of rap flow skills is “Saba”. Totally amazing how laid-back he flows over the beat. I am also listening to “Bicep” a lot lately.
If you could change anything about the Music industry, what would it be?
More willing to experiment.
What is a simple piece of advice that has helped change the quality of your music?
Don’t hesitate to use references! Get rid of perfectionism and embrace the little mistakes on the way. Delete the sounds or tracks you don’t feel 100%. Be creative every day, it’s like a muscle!
What would be the best advice you wished you heard when you were starting out in the music industry?
Try to find a team around your music and never forget to have fun.
What are your plans moving forward?
I wanna release as much music as possible and grow a cosy follower family on Instagram and Spotify.
Alita Limona’s ‘Flying Fish Fedora’ – available everywhere – out now via Radicalis