Alek Blak is a rising star in the music industry, capturing audiences with his unique blend of sounds. With a smooth and soulful voice, Alek’s music reflects his life experiences and emotions, delivering powerful messages of love, hope, and self-empowerment. With a growing fanbase and an ever-increasing stream of hit songs, Blak is poised to be one of the top musicians of his generation.
In this interview, we get to know Alek a bit better, his love for music and all that makes him so special – he’s one artist to watch.
Can you tell us about the inspiration behind your EP and the creative process of making it?
[ALEK BLAK]: I started working on the EP in January 2022, about 3 months after my stepfather passed away from a rare cancer. I think processing his passing and its suddenness, and looking back on all the anguish and uncertainty we collectively experienced as a global community gave me an almost insatiable yearning to live life fully and fearlessly – something I don’t necessarily think I’ve mastered. That’s really what the EP is about, it’s about at least trying to live boldly and step out of doubt. It’s about recognising your light and leaning into it every day.
How would you describe the sound and style of your EP?
[ALEK BLAK]: The music on the EP is soothing and almost has a calming effect. I would describe the genre of the music as indie pop, with entrancing instrumentals and earnest vocals.
Can you share any personal or meaningful stories behind any of the songs on the EP?
[ALEK BLAK]: Interestingly, I wrote The Other Side (which is the second track on the EP) about 2 hours before I was going into the studio to record it. The music had originally been marked for a different song that I’d recorded about 3 or 4 times over the years, and when I got up that morning I knew I wanted to say something different and I didn’t want to postpone the session so I wrote a new song that day. Fast forward to now and I think The Other Side is the anchor of the EP – which I almost called The Other Side – but Moment is really the song that ties the whole project together.
How has your music evolved since your last single release?
[ALEK BLAK]: As an independent artist, I think access to resources is always a key struggle. A big part of the evolution of my music has been access to better resources through the investments I’ve been able to pour into it, and this is the case with the Moment EP. Audiences will immediately hear how the quality of the music and the storytelling has evolved. I’ve also grown up a lot more since my last single release in 2019 not only as a person but as a singer as well.
How did you choose the title of your EP and what does it mean to you?
[ALEK BLAK]: At the beginning of last year, I was getting into the final year of my honours degree, which I had wanted to do for a long time. In that time I dubbed 2022 as my year of completion, the year I would be working towards finishing the things that I had promised myself I would do in previous years. It was the Moment that I would focus and dive right in. The title of the EP and the corresponding title track are in reference to that desire and that goal to not leave things unfinished, but to open myself up to the beginning of a new story for my life.
How did you go about selecting and collaborating with any featured artists or producers on the EP?
[ALEK BLAK]: The songs were produced by a European producer based in Germany who fully understood the sound that I was going for. I also worked with a very good friend of mine who’s also a fantastic singer, Roxanne Francis, on the arrangement and recording of the backing vocals. I wanted to bring a sense of soothing and softness to the songs, and while the words are anchored by my voice, you’ll hear her angelic vocals following right behind mine on every track. I also worked with a young sound engineer by the name of Itu Maponyane who worked under the guidance of well-known producer Robin Kohl. We spent a lot of time together making sure the mixing of the music was in line with the vision I had for it, and I couldn’t be happier with the result.
Are there any specific themes or messages you hope listeners take away from your EP?
[ALEK BLAK]: To everyone that listens to the EP, I hope the music can offer them replenishment and inspire boldness in their lives. I hope that in moments of doubt and confusion, the music can become an adopted mantra that helps people stand up again to face another day. I hope it can inspire people to dust off the dreams they had set aside and to pursue them, to live a life that feels fulfilling and full.
Can you tell us about any upcoming shows or tours in support of the EP?
[ALEK BLAK]: We are hosting a launch/listening event on 29 January 2023 for my supporters to experience the music with me. I am also doing a show at the Joburg Theatre in a few months, but the dates are yet to be confirmed. After that, I hope to tour the EP around Southern Africa, including the different provinces here at home and some of our neighbouring countries. Ultimately, I would like to also do an EU/US tour of the music in the next two years.
Are there any plans for a full-length album in the future?
[ALEK BLAK]: Yes, definitely! Perhaps in the next two to three years. I think I will do about two more EPs before I come out with a full-length album.
What are your future aspirations as an artist and how do you see this EP fitting into that vision?
[ALEK BLAK]: I am looking forward to growing as a musician, and exploring different languages and sounds. I also want to do a lot more collaborations with South African artists. I’ve always wanted to collaborate with artists such as Sun El Musician, Ami Faku, Samthing Soweto, Amanda Black, Kelvin Momo, Kabza de Small etc. More than anything, I’m looking forward to making more music and connecting with all kinds of people through it.
If you haven’t already, make sure you listen to Moments – you’ll love it!