Alina Baraz is one of music’s hidden gems. The Ohio singer-songwriter first gained buzz through her collabs with Galimatias (“Fantasy”). Since then, she's proven to be her own entity, with a unique, eclectic sound. Matching high-quality vocals with top-notch production, Baraz can’t be narrowed into just one genre.
Just last year, Baraz embarked on her own headlining tour, followed by an opening spot on Coldplay’s sold-out tour shortly after. In addition, recruiting R&B superstar Khalid for “Electric” quickly brought her name from underground to mainstream light. While fans continue to enjoy her Urban Flora EP, she recently unleashed another titled The Color of You.
L.A. Weekly caught up with Alina Baraz just prior to round two of her Coachella debut. She arrived in a golf cart dressed in an all-white ensemble, with gold accessories and a gold fan to match.
L.A. Weekly: For those not in the know, who is Alina Baraz?
Alina Baraz: I think I’m multifaceted. I can’t sit here and give you a line of who I am. I want people to come to their own conclusion.
Your sound is unique. Where do you see yourself fitting in the music realm?
That’s kind of in the same category. As soon as I try to define where — like a box — it just doesn’t work out. I just want to exist within myself and everyone else in just like the same sphere.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
It’s definitely my environment, like the people around me. Colors is a huge one — The Color of You.
What’s your favorite color?
Right now, it’s red.
Your Coachella debut was last weekend! How were you feeling going into the festival?
Good. I’ve waited a really long time to come to Coachella — to be onstage. So it’s a big moment and I’m excited for weekend two. We changed it up a little.
What are your feelings going into weekend two?
I feel prepped. I know what it is now. I love everything. I love the stage. The time. The design — so much went into the design of it. The dancers. I’m excited.
You’re from Ohio. How does that play into your life and career?
If anything, it drives me because I didn’t really like the place that I was in there. It pushed me to be who I am now. I think my environment definitely shaped me. When I moved to Los Angeles, that was a big moment, too. I just had this idea of what L.A. would be and it was not at all what I thought.
Really? What did you think it was going to be?
I don’t know what I imagined it to be. I just thought palm trees, which it is. A lot of nature. But you know … I don’t really have a crazy amount of friends in L.A. I’m just in love with the nature of it. That’s what I expected it to be. That’s what it was.
As an artist, do you feel like it’s catapulted your career?
Yes. I feel like I could be anywhere in the world and make it work. But I think as far as management, they’re all here. And all the best writers are here. Producers. Yeah, it is kind of important.
You recently dropped a project, The Color of You. What do you want fans to get from your story?
I think it’s a really special moment in time. All my projects — like Urban Flora was very reflective. And this one was very like … how I felt that day. That’s what I wrote about. I’ve never approached a song that way. It was more like I really sat on these poems in my head. And so this one was just a conscious stream of thoughts. That’s the rawest piece of me that you’re ever going to get so far.
What are three essentials things you need in the studio?
Some water — Castle Rock Water, to be exact. Probably just lights. Colored lights. And my engineer.
Best encounter with a fan?
I’m blanking right now. I’m obsessed with this one fan, Reuben.
Is he at all your shows?
Yeah. I just invite him every time we’re in California. I’m just in love with him. He’s really supportive.
Most played artist on your phone?
Probably Drake, realistically.
Anything with you guys in the works?
I hope. But yeah, probably Drake.
Who’s your dream collab?