Alunageorge For Emporio Armani Sounds

Alunageorge For Emporio Armani Sounds



Text: William Defebaugh

As the gap between music and fashion continues to narrow, brands have become increasingly more involved in the incubation and promotion of emerging artists. Luxury label Emporio Armani, for one, has serialized its dedication to music with the Emporio Armani Sounds project, for which the brand hosts private parties around the globe with intimate performances by its favorite artists. Previous events have included Brandon Flowers, Charli XCX, Kindness, and more. Last night, the brand threw its most recent fete in Madrid with one of V’s own favorite acts: British electronic duo AlunaGeorge.

When I speak with Aluna Francis, who handles the vocals and songwriting—her counterpart on production and instrumentals, George Reid, is absent—it’s the night before the event with Emporio Armani, and she has just arrived in Madrid following a busy few weeks at Coachella. “It was pretty intense,” she says of the two-weekend experience. “People have been calling my appearances ‘Alunachella’ because I performed eight times over the two weekends!” The eight performances included AlunaGeorge’s own show, as well as guest appearances during the sets of their various collaborators that were present in the desert: Jack U, Disclosure, and Baauer. This is in addition to Popcaan and Zhu, who are featured on two of the band’s recently released singles: “I’m In Control” and “My Blood” respectively.

This diverse group of artists with which the duo has collaborated speaks to how pervasive the pair have become within the music industry. While they were adamant about not collaborating with anyone on their first record, 2013’s Body Music, their sophomore album will be a different story. “It’s got a lot of collaborations on it. Because we didn’t want anyone else on our first album, we felt like we could branch out for this one. We thought it was going to be really important for us the first time around because we were unusual as a band and we thought the strongest thing to do was not dilute it. In the long run that worked in our favor, but it was really scary at the time.”

It makes sense that Francis has flown to Madrid to become the next face of the Sounds series; the singer’s distinct style and aesthetic have been a large part of her success, starting with her early videos. This is especially true for “You know You Like It,” which had just about everyone in the music industry fawning after Francis—and eventually went on to hit number 15 on Billboard's Hot 100 last year, thanks to a remix by DJ Snake.

“I think above all else it’s the encouragement that the fashion world can give to musicians,” says Francis. “That’s something that we have had from the very early stages, which got us to where we are now. Sometimes in music you have to sell lots and lots of records before anyone will think your music is good, but people in fashion are just as into the music and decide whether or not it inspires them creatively, or perhaps makes them think that the music would go well with their clothes. It brings an outside artistic perspective, which I always appreciate. So when somebody in the fashion world, like Emorio Armani, is interested in working with us it feels like it’s coming from a purely creative place, and that’s really exciting.”

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the brand’s aesthetics align quite well with Francis’ own personal style. “I just went through their showroom today and they really do the graphics so well. I’m wearing some leather trousers and a leather jacket and a cropped top. They just get the fit perfect and they’ve got some really beautiful fabrics and colors at the moment like eggshell blue and pastel pinks.”

As for the next few months, things are only going to get more and more busy for AlunaGeorge. In addition to putting the finishing touches on the album and doing a few U.S. shows, the duo will be playing thirty festivals this summer—including New York’s brand new Panorama festival this July. The new album doesn't have a release date just yet (Francis says they are hoping for fall), but one thing seems to be certain: 2016 is already AlunaGeorge's year.



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