Alis: Sometimes people are ready for things to be mixed up and other times they’re not
Contrary to belief, Alis is not a new person. A new identity, maybe, but the latest persona of Sabina Plamenova’s Subeena takes a more vocal approach to the music replacing the bleepy electronica of past projects with a loose, darker variation of pop. We caught up to talk Opit Records, moving home and her updated moniker.
How did you get into music in the first place?
My parents are both violinists and they really wanted me to do the same, but I didn’t want to. I think that’s how I got into music, but on the electronic side. I was in a band for a couple of months, that wasn’t very good, and I got into production around the age of 18 through a friend who taught me the basics.
What ever happened to Subeena?
That was actually a joke because I was living in Berlin at the time and my friend the graphics for me but I didn’t have a name. So he was basically joking and saying that you could misspell my actual name, Sabina, because otherwise people wouldn’t pronounce it right.
Is the whole Subeena project a thing of the past now then?
Yeah, I think its over now. I was never really much into names anyway and with the stuff I ended up doing I felt a bit stuck. People just decided that that’s all I was doing with electronic music; the kind of bleepy stuff. But, I think there were too many things I wanted to change so I just figured out that it was a good moment to change it all a bit. I was gonna change the music anyway so I needed to refresh it all, I guess.
At first I was thinking to not actually say it was me, but then I got a bit stuck because I was thinking they’ll watch the video and see that its me anyways.
Whatever happened to Opit Records?
I would say it’s on a undefined break, as in, very slightly over but yet you never know. Maybe one day I’ll just decide to start releasing other people’s stuff and change the name of that too.
You’ve just moved house, must be pretty hectic?
Yes! I also have two jobs besides university so it’s been quite long. It’s taught me to organise my time better though which is good.
So who’s the new persona, Alis?
The vibe is that I’m still very much from a production background and so it still has a lot of non-pop stuff in it. I was heavily influenced by 808 state, so I think that’s probably the best way to describe the way I’m trying to go. It doesn’t necessarily have to be dance floor orientated but I think you can tell by the sounds and lack of song like structures that its not entirely pop or anything like that. The production elements are just as strong as the vocals so to speak. If you think a lot about the pop of the early 90s, a lot of it wasn’t actually popular production if that makes sense. But then again, its coming again. I like the production that Azealia Banks has used with people like Machinedrum and Lone. Sometimes people are ready for things to be mixed up and other times they’re not. People always used to love drawing the line between the mainstream and the underground.
What was the idea behind the video for ‘Twist The Rule’?
There wasn’t necessarily this big idea for it, I just wanted there to be a darkish, minimal feel to it because the instrumental was that way. The guy that made the video was really good with animation and those kind of things so it worked out really well.
What’s the next move?
There’s possibly a third video and I’ve prepared a lot of material over the last year so I’ll probably be putting some of that up. Label wise, I don’t know what’s happening just yet because I’m in the process of doing that. You never know how things turn these days because people can just pick stuff up from the Internet, but it’s all been good so far.Alis, music, Opit Records, Sabina Plamenova, Subeena, Twist The Rule
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