We had the good fortune of connecting with Alana Rich and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Alana, what’s the most important lesson your business/career has taught you?
I’ve learned countless lessons through my artistic career, however one important one in particular is that consistency and the willingness to adapt are key to creating longevity. The modern music landscape is complex, therefore it requires artists alike to wear various hats. That means I have to constantly educate myself on what’s current, brainstorm innovative ways to present my projects, plus learn new skills on the fly. From writing and producing, to studying PR, to designing and directing video and photoshoots, to constantly interacting with my followers online… Every day as an independent artist demands something different and we have to roll with the punches. I feel that this approach can set one up for success in other parts of life, too.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My journey as a singer-songwriter has been over a decade of self-discovery and finding my place as a second generation, Asian-American artist and woman. As a young girl, I’d always had an affinity for the arts as a means for self-expression. When I was about nine years old, my family and I moved to Portland, Oregon following my parents’ separation. Starting over in a new state as an introvert was difficult for me so I channeled that pre-teen angst into learning the guitar and putting my poetry into song. I began booking small gigs at coffee houses, county fairs, essentially anywhere that’d allow me to lug my guitar over and play my songs. As the first ever performing artist in my family, those initial steps into musician-hood were like diving head first into unknown waters. I remember my mother and I would spend afternoons after school looking up DIY artist “how-to’s” online and scoping out all-ages venues, cold-calling them for a performance slot, then cobbling together show flyers once I booked a gig. In retrospect, my guerrilla marketing approach seemed messy, but it worked. That was where the first important lesson was learned: Only progress can be made by doing. Often, the fear of failing or the unknown is what stops us from following our passion. Even though I didn’t have the slightest idea how to navigate the beginning of my music endeavors, I still made forward steps and improved for the next opportunity.

A few years later, I was scouted through my YouTube channel and signed with an artist management & label, where I began regularly traveling between LA and New York to work on my own records and ghostwrite for several other artists. As with any profession that requires being in the public eye and posting one’s life to social media, I started to receive criticism about how I looked, how I sang, every little thing that could be dissected. I vividly remember certain individuals telling me that I should stop making pop music because I’m an Asian woman. Over time, I began to reassess my place in the industry. I cut ties with my then management, took a few, low key years to do some soul-searching, and earned my Bachelors of Science in Communication Studies along the way. Even in that intermittent period, I continued to work on my craft and put out records independently. Looking back, I now perceive it as one of the most pivotal moments in my career. I had one of two choices: Let the naysayers control my trajectory or elevate above it all. The most important lesson I learned at that point was that you’ll only go as far as YOU believe you will. Haters will always be there, but only you have the agency to remove the mental blockages they try so hard to build.

Since then, I’ve continued to do what I’ve always done best and that’s self-reflecting and expressing myself through writing and singing. In recent years, I’ve gotten the opportunity to collaborate and share the stage with artists and producers that I look up to. I’d like to think that my latest records illustrate my experience as a person who aims to transcend societal barriers and spread the light that is much needed in this world. I hope by doing what I love, I can inspire other young Asian aspiring artists to keep pushing for their own dreams. My latest project, Euphoria, is a representation of accepting and coming to terms with the full-spectrum of emotions that I felt in the moments leading up to where I am now in my career. ‘Euphoria’ is available for streaming on all platforms and the full music video is available on YouTube.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
There are so many places I could recommend but I love Cafe Gratitude in Venice for brunch and Dama for a cute dinner ambiance. Those two have been my favorites as of lately.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to dedicate this shoutout to my mother, my family, and partner, who have offered unwavering support and love to me and my artistic endeavors throughout the years. I also want to shoutout Tony & Toni, my first guitar teachers who taught me the tools I needed to begin songwriting.

Website: http://www.alanarich.com/

Instagram: @_alanarich_

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alanarichmusic

Youtube: https://youtu.be/IOUd2bFauxc

Image Credits
Sara Milholin, Chase Baldridge, Zach Olson

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