For as long as she can remember, Alina Baraz‘s biggest influences have been Amy Winehouse, Lauryn Hill, and Erykah Badu. Give it a few years, but it won’t be long before other artists start listing her name as an inspiration as well. Back in April, the Russian singer-songwriter dropped her debut album The Color of You? on Mom+Pop. Since the standout project came out, Baraz has been hailed as the next big thing in R&B. As all the hype continues to build, she has been keeping busy with studio sessions in-between all the sold-out shows on her North American headlining tour.
Today, we’re premiering the music video for Baraz’s new single “Feels Right.” The smokey ballad is all about the art of letting go which she elaborated on in an email to Highsnobiety. “I’ve always wanted this to be a stand alone piece to put out first,” she said. “The song is inspired by a feeling more than the actual person.”
After you watch the entire visual unfold above, scroll down and read our exclusive interview with Baraz to learn more about her.
What is the story behind the single “Feels Right”?
It’s really cool because it ended up being a demo. So I kind of knew the day I made it, that – that was it. I hate recreating songs and I just knew this one would end up as the demo. Which is ultimately a testament to the song because the song is about letting go, letting the emotion in, and letting the feeling overtake you. Going with the moment.
How did you come up with the concept for the music video?
I just wanted an ATV from the start. Just playing with different textures, each room is a different installation in itself. Everything needed to feel rooted from the moment.
In your own words, what does it feel like when something (or someone) feels right for you? How do you know? Are there any signs?
It feels right. That’s the sign. You don’t have to overthink it. It just feels good. You let your emotion overtake it.
How have you evolved as an artist since the Urban Flora days?
I think it’s inevitable. I made Urban Flora in my room, by myself. And then I was kinda forced to be put in a studio and I wasn’t comfortable. So the discomfort ultimately led to growth; the change was inevitable when I collaborated with other artists, other environments.
How would you describe the vibe or aesthetic of your sound?
I think as soon as I try to describe it, it’s going to be misunderstood. I just want you to listen to the music and for it to to fit into your mood. I’m not trying to pull you into my world, I’m trying to go into yours.
What initially attracted you to R&B music?
I just liked it. I was naturally driven to the beat, the smooth vocals.
What messages do you try to communicate through your songs?
I lead with intuition and try not to overthink what it is until it’s out. It’s meant to heal, it’s meant to make you feel whatever you need to feel
Can you recall your earliest memory of music?
My first memory was on the piano. Both my parents were classically trained so I was constantly pulled in that direction.
Your family is Russian and you grew up in Ohio. How do you think your background and upbringing shaped you as an artist?
It made me appreciate every since moment of the journey. I grew up in a rough environment. It was hard getting out of Cleveland because no one really leaves. I needed things to happen exactly how they did.
What do you want listeners to take away from your music?
Whatever they need it to be, whatever they need to get out of it.
For more of our premieres, check out the video to Woodie Smalls’ “Never Trust Again.”