Snoh Aalegra is deep. It’s almost like she was wired to process the intensity, but instead of self-destructing from an emotional overload she’s programmed to fully feel it within the depths of her mind and speak her truth. The result is a powerful body of work that’s catapulted her into full-on R&B stardom within a three-year streak.
Last year, Highsnobiety had the pleasure of speaking with Aalegra about the humble origins of her music career and digging up the jewels of her past. Fast-forward to this summer when she set the bar high for cuffing season by dropping her sophomore album, -Ugh, those feels again, which prevented many of us from spiraling into summertime sadness mode. This week, Aalegra is wrapping up her North American headlining tour to promote the cozy project.
As we reach the final stretch of 2019, it felt imperative to follow-up with Aalegra and find out what’s been going on in her personal life since this whole journey began. Not only did she give us an exclusive rundown on all her daily rituals, but she also talked us through the importance of trusting gut feelings, protecting your energy, and not believing everything that all the astrology app algorithms claim to be true. Find out what’s on her vision board for 2020 in our interview below.
How are you feeling today?
I’m feeling great.
What makes you feel good these days? What sparks your joy?
I really, really love my job. It doesn’t really feel like a job, but I feel happy when I get to work and do what I love. I really feel like I get to do that on a certain level that I’ve been working hard for so I feel like everything’s going in the right direction. It really gives me joy and I’m inspired every day when I wake up. I’m super motivated and I have really good people around me that are uplifting me every day so I’m grateful for the close people around me at this moment.
So something that previously came up when we last spoke was “gut feelings.” Your work embodies a spectrum of emotions so I was wondering, when is the last time you felt like your body was communicating something important to you?
Oh, good question. I mean I have really strong intuition. I’m trying to remember a scenario… I’ve had like depth feelings about most people around me. I’ve had an intuition that they weren’t feeling so good and then I asked them, “Are you okay?” And then they confirm that I was right. They’re like, “Wow, that’s crazy. How did you know I wasn’t feeling well last night?” So I had some of those things within the past couple of months, which again, just confirmed with me, “Oh shit, my intuition is very strong.”
Are you familiar with the term empath? I wasn’t until my therapist diagnosed me as one, but people that identify with it have a tendency to feel very deeply. On top of that, empaths are sensitive to other people’s emotions.
That’s what I am, thanks for the diagnosis.
Have you made any major lifestyle changes over the past year?
Yeah, I did a big change actually. During Don’t Explain and FEELS, I was in a three year long relationship, a very, very toxic one. I ended that one and a half years ago, right when I started writing this album. So speaking of energy, my energy was on a different level. I’ve put a lot of time on working on myself, analyzing myself, and asking myself why I allowed myself to be in these kind of relationships over and over again. I’m a relationship type of person and that relationship and the one before, they’re very toxic. I had to analyze myself and ask why I allowed myself to take so much shit and why I’ve been such a people pleaser.
I really put the time in for real and I became my own best friend while I was writing this album. I felt like my frequency was going up and I was starting having so much fun in the studio, laughing every session. Even if I was recording let’s say a song like “Charleville” that’s kind of sad to me in bringing up the past, I was having so much fun and I was just laughing. I was just in a different place, not taking everything so seriously. The studio was full of experimenting and I think having fun was the key.
The energy of joy you put out into your work, people can feel that. You can’t fake the frequency of truth, it is what it is. You know, you can’t fake that. So I think when you feel something for real, people feel that. Obviously, people also feel pain. People can relate to pain which is very powerful as well, but I think ultimately joy is the most powerful one where everybody connects more. It’s the most universal feeling, positivity, and the feeling of missing somebody through music. This album has been a little bit more positive so I think that’s the big biggest difference, cutting that toxic energy out.
I would always think I had it under control, I would be in a huge argument or something, and then I’ll walk into a meeting and think “I’ve got it.” But you can’t really fake your energy. I think if I was still feeling really heavy it would hold me back in my career. A lot of things could have gone differently if I just had let it go, and this is not just relationships, this could be friendships as well. I advise everybody to cut that off. If you notice you’re in a pattern of something toxic, just fucking let it go. You’re going to be okay, I promise.
Do you have any daily rituals?
I try to work out as often as I can. I haven’t been good on this trip. When I’m home in LA, I wake up, I pray, I work out, and I drink water. I try to really be good with doing the hot water with lemon. I just bought a juicer so I’m trying to religiously start my mornings with celery juice, just like pure celery juice. That’s a new ritual I’ve taken into my daily life.
What is your skincare routine?
I have very, very sensitive skin so I can’t really use anything that feels too much or has the acidic stuff in it. I use a brand called Epionce, I use their face wash and makeup remover. I’m trying this Dr. Barbara Sturm wash which is a powder you mix with water. You’re not supposed to use it every day. I heard great things about that brand so I have that one. Every time I wear makeup I use La Mer oil drops, I put them on before I put my lotion on. My daily lotion is also from Epionce, and then I put on sunscreen and my makeup. So that’s my skincare routine. When I go to bed I just wash with that Epionce and I put on Epionce cream again, no oil drops or anything. That’s basically what I do. Try to drink a lot of water, sleep is really important, and cut out all toxic friendships and relationships.
Do you believe in energy cleansing? What do you do when the vibes around you are toxic?
If I’m super drained me and my close girlfriends, basically my family, we would go away somewhere like outside of LA to relax for a couple of days. When I feel like things are being super toxic I always turn to my close ones and I talk about it. I think it’s really important to speak out about your emotions and not hold it in because when you hold it in to build up stress. I think that’s super important, to let it out, and then try to work out and meditate. Working out helps me when I’m stressed out. I deal with a lot of anxiety and I have panic attacks at night, I hallucinate a lot, so working out more often has helped me a lot.
What are your thoughts on astrology, tarot cards, and aura readings?
I just deleted [Co-Star and The Pattern]. I was getting notifications all the time, I was over it. When it got too commercial and everyone had it, I was over it. I’m very much into numerology, that’s the one I believe in the strongest because I think the whole universe is built on math so it all makes sense. I’ve been reading into it, it really does make kind of sense. I’ve become a little bit obsessed with it. I keep seeing certain numbers here and there and I know you know my life path number according to the numerology. So yeah I’m definitely into that. I truly believe in the characteristics of the signs, but not daily horoscopes so when The Pattern keeps sending daily notifications, I’m like “No, over it. Turn it off.” But their sum up about me was so accurate it was scary.
What are you trying to manifest in 2020?
I’m more excited than ever. I think about the future. I’m in a really good place. I’m trying to just keep going with this emotion and just expand it. I just want to elevate myself to the highest that I can. This whole year I’ve been, as I said, working on myself a lot. I felt like I was in a fog before and I’m putting on clear vision, that 2020 vision. So I just feel I see everything more clearly and I’m just going to keep being focused for the next coming year.
I learned so much from those toxic situations I was in so I know the warning signs this time. I’m not going to allow myself to put myself in that position ever again so I feel like I’m protecting myself now. I feel protected for the coming year.
- Photographer: Daniel Regan
- Fashion Editor: Corey Stokes
- Hair: Scott King (@theonlyagency)
- Make-Up: Maria Vargas-Guzman
- Styling Assistant: Andrew McFarland
- 1st AC: Jordie Turner
- 2nd AC: Larry Burns
- Gaffer: Nicolas Amato
- Production: Klaudia Podsiadlo
- PA: Justin Trevino