Singer Alya: It’s not just about singing, you must be a complete product, a complex persona

The Slovak singer Angelika Kollmannová performs under her stage name Alya. She became passionate about music at an early age, finding her idols all around her. Her parents are well-known Slovak musicians, and she discovered her own singing talent as well.

In an interview, she told us about her participation in the competition Superstar, interesting aspects of the Slovak music industry, and what it’s like to work in show business. She revealed how her journey began and where she hopes to go in the future.

How did you get into singing?

I always say that I didn’t even have a chance not to get into singing. (laughs) My parents met in a band, later separated, and still perform as a musical duo to this day. Music was always important in our home. We all play a musical instrument. Sometimes, when I’m falling asleep, I hear my dad getting into a jazz mood and playing. Sometimes he even does it in the morning instead of my morning alarm 🙂

I started playing the piano in first grade, but I never enjoyed the theory classes. To this day, I’m not exactly friends with sheet music. I can play what I need, but I wouldn’t call myself a virtuoso. Along with the piano, I took singing lessons. Suddenly, during my teenage years, music and singing became my place of comfort, where I could express everything I felt. My therapist helped me realize that music is actually a self-healing gift for me, one that heals my wounds.

“I lost myself and was searching, but I always found myself in music.”

What inspires you when it comes to music?

Since I was little, I wanted to be the Slovak Hannah Montana, just without the blond wig 🙂 I liked the life she lived. I knew that I wasn’t born for the stereotypical life either. Almost anything can inspire me. I can even get excited about any word I hear on the radio. I write it down and then incorporate it into my lyrics.

Certainly, my parents also motivate me, who even after their 50s can handle several hours of intense concerts without any problems. One day I would like to achieve what they have. But only when I grow up 🙂

How was your experience on Superstar?

I always had it in my mind that if I wanted to succeed in pop music in Slovakia, I had to participate in Superstar. I was afraid that if I didn’t win, I would never accomplish anything in music. However, my confidence crumbled like a house of cards there. I wasn’t in the right mindset, and it didn’t help my mental state, and so, I left devastated, and for several months afterwards, I couldn’t even make music. I didn’t believe in myself.

“Every experience is good for something, but in Superstar it was not easy for me at all.”

What gave you the boost then?

It was in Superstar that I met a great girl named Erika, who was performing under the production of Illuminate. At that time, they were holding a competition to find new singers. At first, I didn’t even want to apply because my failure in Superstar demotivated me. In the end, I finally gathered the courage and sent them a video of me singing at the last minute. The next day, I got a message from them saying that I made it to the TOP 3. That’s how I got into Illuminate and started creating with them.

I was lucky to have my producer Max Mikloš. The whole team is incredible. Our cameraman, PR manager, and even our big boss 🙂 We have great relationships with other artists like Yaek and Tian Moon. We are like family.

I was a surprise even to my parents. They knew I enjoyed music, but when I told them I was going to the studio to record my own songs, they were speechless. When they listened to my first song, it moved them to tears.

What surprised you the most about the music industry?

It’s not just about singing. You must be a complete product, a whole complex persona. Everything is hidden in your expression. I feel that nowadays people are more interested in scandals and dramas on social media than in genuine, artistic content. Therefore, if you try to present yourself only through your work, it is a bit more difficult to gain attention and break through. Despite this, I decided to take the slower but more conscientious path. Everything is very closely connected with social media and the mutual promotion that we exchange with other singers.

“The music industry is ruthless. If you can’t adapt, they will choose foreign performer instead of you.”

What bothers you the most about show business?

The only thing that really bothers me is when some musicians act superior to others. This usually happens when someone achieves instant success in something. For example, when they record a new song that suddenly becomes very popular, or they suddenly gain a lot of new followers. That fame seems completely artificial and unjustified to me. We are all equal, and I don’t see any reason why we should treat each other differently.

What can we look forward to in your upcoming work?

This summer, I’m planning to perform concerts and entertain you with my music. In the fall, I’ve set a goal to release something big, some larger project. Although I already have material for my first EP, I’d like to create something fresh and start from scratch. I believe I can achieve this within this year. I’ll be delighted if you join me on this journey.

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