Alina Baraz Loves to Love

Alina Baraz talks exclusively to V about bringing the universality of love and music with her new EPs

Alina Baraz is a subscriber of the phrase “love makes the world go round.”

From the very first words she croons on songs like “Electric” featuring Khalid, or her debut album It Was Divine, or her most recent offering, “Alone With You,” you can hear it, you can feel it, you can almost taste it (if you swing that way).

“We literally would not be here if it weren’t for love,” she says in an exclusive interview with V Magazine. “We are love, we’re made up of love. It keeps the world alive, in my opinion.” It influenced her songwriting and her life and made for the basis of her career. And it’s love that keeps her fans coming back for more.

Ever since she made her debut as a 21-year-old in 2015 with her EP Urban Flora, Baraz has felt the power of love course through her music and inspire her to keep going. And she hasn’t stopped since.

Photo cred – Baz (Jason Lee)

With two new quarantine EPs on the way, she’s ready to have it manifest in bigger ways. “I loved the whole process [of making] these two specifically, I just was able to let go,” she says. 

“It’s so easy to harbor onto these ideas we have of ourselves and these boundaries that we just subconsciously stay in. And it’s such a beautiful thing when you just let go of expectation, of the pressure.”

Growing up in Cleveland as the first generation born of Russian parents, Baraz felt the pressure of the outside world to conform. “I got into grade school and didn’t know English, and then I realized my life was a little different,” she says. “Someone showed me the Spice Girls and I was shocked.”

But having supportive parents, who raised her on the piano and other classical sounds, helped birth the desire to sing in her. “I always knew I wanted to, I just didn’t know when. And I hadn’t told anyone about it. I was just wasting time until I got the courage to actually do it,” she says.

Eventually, she moved out to Los Angeles when she was 19-years-old with her mother and finally found courage to fully dive headfirst into the industry.

Cut to 2021, at the age of 27, she’s gearing up for her EPs and a supporting tour, the “Alone With You Tour,” to start later this month. “I’m excited to go into this process of touring. It’s always been, for me, a very beautiful thing.”

“It’s also a very grueling, time consuming, and energy draining thing,” she adds. “But I am so grateful for it. There’s nothing I love more than meeting people and hearing all their stories.”

Photo cred – Baz (Jason Lee)

These stories play a part of the creative process for Baraz, who uses her music to connect with audiences in ways that set her apart from her contemporaries. Little touches, like visual cues and sensations, as well as the lack of pronouns, help create a more holistic and universal experience.

“I love the idea of thinking of someone listening to this in their room and feeling like I’m talking directly to them. It just makes it that much more special.”

Of course, if you really want to know what her music is like, you’d have to “just put your headphones on and listen to the song.” Baraz believes in the magic of her music taking everyone to different places, being a unique experience for each listener.

“I think it’s forever this evolving, forming thing, it doesn’t have to be any definition.” And it impacts her stylistic choices as well, ranging from oversized blazers to silhouette-enhancing silk, it’s what the mood and the moment decide. What you see is really what you get.

While Baraz has fallen head-over-heels with the process of making EPs, she’s hoping that it finally is time for her second album to start materializing and taking shape now that we’ve fully processed her debut LP, 2020’s It Was Divine.

“After I return from tour, hopefully I get to start a few ideas while I’m there, but I get to work on my next album, which is extremely exciting,” she says. 

Photo cred – Baz (Jason Lee)

But she’s taking each day and each moment as it comes and learning, through it all, to remain steadfast in her approach. 

“My goal forever remains to go uncompromised and unapologetically about it. I want to remain whoever I am in that moment of today. That’s who I want to be. And I don’t want to compromise that.”

And as long as love keeps fueling the world, it’ll keep fueling Alina Baraz and her will as well.

Her new EP, Sunbeam, is out now!

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