For Alex Winston, the release of her sophomore album, This Ain’t Luck (due out early 2016), isn’t a result of luck. It’s a culmination of hard work, which included overcoming a vocal hemorrhage last January. Taking on her own emotions, Winston’s result is a personal album full of infectious beats and relatable lyrics chronicling her experiences over the three years since the release of her debut album in 2012.
Cliché: Where’d you draw inspiration for your second LP, This Ain’t Luck?
Alex Winston: This Ain’t Luck is a very personal record, whereas a lot of my previous work was inspired by other people’s lives.
Who do you count as inspirations?
The record was very inspired by artists like Mary Margaret O’Hara, whose voice is one of my all-time favorites. I was also listening to a lot of Cocteau Twins and Tears for Fears.
How do you think your operatic training lends to your pop/indie sound now?
It’s weird. I stopped singing opera because I wanted to find my own voice and figure out who I was as an artist, but I think subconsciously, it’s so ingrained in me, that it’s become more of an influence than I ever thought it would be. My training has also been a big part of my vocal regime before and after shows.
What’s your favorite song to perform on stage?
“Down Low” is by far my favorite moment in the set. It’s the only proper slow ballad I sing, and it’s just cathartic. I can’t really explain.
As a self-taught guitarist and pianist, are there other instruments you’d like to learn how to play?
I play a lot of instruments, and I play most of them poorly, so I’d really love to sit down and master an instrument. I’d love to learn how to play pedal steel or maybe the harp.
What’s your songwriting process like?
I always build a track before I write melodies and lyrics. I love the production side of music and creating a mood before I jump into a concept. I need something sonically to be inspired by before I can tell if I want to write a song.
Who would you love to collaborate with in the future?
What’s next for you?
More writing and more touring. I’m working on a couple side projects as well.
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Alex Winston Interview: Photographed by Shervin Lainez