Dare to trust your gut.
Singer, songwriter, composer, & producer Latifah Alattas opens her heart and soul with Moda Spira, a project marked by an uncommon emotional honesty and melodies brimming with tenderness.
Describe Moda Spira in 3 words:
Candid, emotive, and cinematic.
Can you tell us a little bit about your playlist?
I chose artists and songs that have spoken to me over the course of my life as well as recently. I remember falling asleep to Bonnie Raitt in 3rd grade at summer camp with my portable cassette tape. The first time I heard Patty Griffin something awoke in my spirit. Imogen Heap inspired me to learn logic and start engineering. Each of these songs have accessed and articulated something in my soul with lyric and melody.
You wear many hats as producer, composer, writer, and performer. How do you balance it all?
I enjoy the entire process of music making and crafting songs. I can honestly say I am most content in the middle of making records when you see the song coming together and you are hearing it for the first time. It is a gift to witness it. It is an honor to walk a song from its infancy and creation all the way through sending it out into the universe. That is why I love wearing so many hats, I get to keep the songs company for its whole journey! So I just take it one step at a time. I don’t have to be all of those things at once, just when it’s time. So being patient with myself, taking breaks and gaining perspective when I feel lost or overwhelmed and then trusting that it will make its way.
What advice do you have for womxn in the music industry?
Don’t give up. Believe you can and google anything you don’t know! I have YouTubed so many questions about signal flow, gain structure, compression (which still feels like voodoo half the time). Also, trust your own voice and use it. Contribute and learn and grow. And feel free to email me ;) It’s important to support each other.
What’s the best way for someone to start producing?
To just do it! My friend VNE$$ wanted to make music and started garage band and apple buds and just released her first EP! So you can really start almost anywhere. And ask for help.
How does your life affect your music, and vice versa?
I don’t journal. I make records. My records articulate my experiences not just with lyric but with sonics. Music is how I process and understand the depths of my soul so that I can move through pain, remember joy, try and understand love and relationship. I am grateful that music is one of the few things that accesses all my senses. It touches my body, spirit, mind, soul and emotions simultaneously. It allows me to process in a more wholistic way. I am immensely grateful for music and cannot imagine life without it. Music draws me in, gives me language when words are not enough and grants deeper permission into experiencing the entirety of what is is to be human.
What’s your favorite thing about yourself today?
I really like myself, I am comfortable with who I am and how I care for myself and those around me. I am grateful.
What do you love about producing other artists?
It is a true joy to journey along side other artists. What an honor to be invited into the sacred act of making a record. I see my role as helping an artist not get in their own way, but help them articulate their vision and pushing them to try new things. All at the same time not inserting my own artistry but hopefully allowing them to find their own voice in their album. I learn something every time and I find it a totally different experience from making my own albums. It’s significantly less pressure when it’s not yours, so I get to just support them and enjoy the process! But I can also relate to their position since I am still making my own albums as well. Each record I have produced has been meaningful to me and grown me as a producer and an artist.
What was the hardest thing you’ve had to learn about pursuing a career in music?
That the most important thing is to stick to my own personal convictions about what I want to communicate through my art. Not to try and make others happy but to just write what I am deeply compelled to say. And to keep at it. When I mess up, whether it be with engineering or editing, I can take it on the chin and try again.
Who’s one artist on your playlist we need to start following immediately, and why?
Liz Vice ‘cause her voice soothes my soul and she is a wonderful woman who writes music she is convicted by. Katie Herzig because she is a brilliant writer, producer, and performer. And Butterfly Boucher because she is an artistic delight and Warning Bell is maybe a perfect song.