If you say Nouvelle Vague…you say Liset Alea. If you say Havana, Miami, Florida, New York, Costa Rica, Paris, London and Amsterdam…you say Liset again. She is the perfect mix between different cultures, sensuality, talent, bossa-nova, blues and warmth. Now, grab a cup of coffee and enjoy!
Q : What musical instruments do you play? Which one do you prefer and why ?
I play Guitar, Bass and Percussion. I really enjoy the bass, when I’m playing on stage, it feels like the entire band fits inside the bass, inside it’s warm frequencies. It’s a very maternal and earthy sound, and I love that it basically connects the guitar and the percussion in one instrument.
For me the groove is the most important part of the performance, it is the energy on which the emotion will ride.
Q : What genre of music can’t you stand to listen to?
I have a hard time with R&B. And not all of it of course, but in general that’s the one.
Q : How do you handle mistakes during a performance?
I don’t really think they are mistakes anymore, I think they are unexpected doors that open, and if it happens to go through one accidently, that means there is something in there to explore. For example if I forget a lyric, that means it is an opportunity to be extra present in the moment and invent something that could in the end be more powerful than the line I was supposed to sing.
Q : What was your first memory?
The ocean in front of my apartment in Havana and a yellow dress.
Q : In what ways does the place where you live (or places where you have lived), affect the music you create, or your taste in music?
I can’t exactly diagnose this because I have lived in so many places, but the fact that officially I am living in exhile from my country is a strong force. I seek to reconnect with some kind of essence of home, and Cuba has a very strong musical force, primitive and rhythmic, to a point where no talking is necessary, no thinking. This immediacy that is the driving force behind Cuban music, is what I wish to keep alive in my music and performances and in my voice. I want that sense of now which is joyful and dangerous at the same time to be there. As well as the contrast of pain and pleasure. The fact that I lived in the United States made me become quite lost as I lived through a time in the music industry when big changes were happening, the beginning of artificial manufactured pop, the beautiful rage of grunge music, the narrative songwriters, all of this influenced me for sure. Paris is a big influence now, it invites me to be more delicate and less overwhelming, to choose one sound instead of 3 for a song for example. To be more discreet and therefore more focused.
Q : If you could be in a favorite place right now, where would that place be?
Right now I would like to be drinking a café with my mother and talking about life.
Q : If you had a million dollars how would you spend it?
Q : If you could meet anyone famous, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
I wish I could have shared some cigarettes with Wislawa Szymborska, a polish poet who passed away 2 years ago. She has been a big inspiration for me. A model of how I would like my spirit to develop. A road map to my better self. Curious, wise and child-like until the end. The job of any artist in my opinion.
Q : What is your favorite tradition from your childhood?
I guess it was going to the beach on weekends, my father would make coconuts fall from the palm trees and he’d open them with a machete and I would be so red from the sun and the coconut water was a blessing. Going to the beach with my family for sure.
Q : You have a single ticket for one trip in a time machine. What time and place will you go to visit?
I would love to walk around in the medieval era. Or hang out with the dinosaurs. I am very upset about missing both of those things.
Thank you for the lovely questions 🙂
Photo source: https://www.facebook.com/LisetAlea