Check our interview with talented Grammy-nominated Dominican singer-songwriter Alih Jey about her newest single “Mi Debilidad,” included in her upcoming album Soy De Peña. The new album is a tribute to her father Aníbal De Peña, who to this day remains an icon in Dominican musical history.
“Mi Debilidad” was written by Alih’s father and was his greatest success in the 1960’s. The emotionally moving song, which features elements of the Dominican criolla and bolero, is part of her upcoming album Soy De Peña, a tribute to her father Aníbal De Peña, who to this day remains an icon in Dominican musical history.
Hi Alih, please tell us a little about you?
Hi! I’m Alih. I’m a singer and songwriter from the Dominican Republic.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Romantic, passionate, impulsive
How all started?
I started singing in harmony with my family when I was 3 years old. We had a family band in the 80’s. It was hilarious. Then I started writing songs at 14. A song a day for the entire summer.
When was it that you first realized that you wanted to pursue music as a career?
That first summer when I wrote a song a day, was when I realized I wanted music to be my career.
Did your family support this decision?
Yes, they’ve always been very supportive.
What is your musical background?
I’ve been a singer my whole life. I started writing at 14 and playing guitar ta 16. And since then have had the pleasure of working as an artist and songwriter on a variety of projects.
What kind of music do you listen normally?
I like a lot of different genres. But I have the feels for post/punk and new wave.
Tell us about your debut single “Mi Debilidad?”
“Mi Debilidad” is a tribute to my father’s biggest song from the 1960’s. It has elements of the Dominican criolla and bolero, and is a very melancholy song that pulls at your heart strings. It’s also a collaboration with the band Cuñao. It was super inspiring putting it together.
And about your upcoming album ‘Soy De Peña?”
My new album Soy De Peña pays tribute to both my father’s music from the 1960’s and my grandfather’s songs/poems from the 30’s. It’s a very meaningful project to me because it’s about family, legacy and roots. I collaborated on it with Cuñao and it’s coming out in May. Very excited.
Describe your sound in 3 words?
Alternative tropical folk
What music influences do you have?
I’m a big fan of Rita Indiana from the Dominican Republic. But I also love PJ Harvey and the Smiths. David Bowie, St. Vincent, and some traditional pop.
What is your next goal as a musician?
I would like to tour the world.
What is your own definition of happiness?
Happiness is quality time with loved ones, new experiences, and good wine.
What are the five things you can’t live without?
Best advice ever given?
Do you get nervous before a performance?
What is next for Alih Jey in 2019?
Sharing my baby, this new project, with the world.
Any advice for upcoming singers?
Be part of your musical community. Connect with other musicians that inspire you.
If you weren’t singing, what would you be doing?
I’d do something else in the arts. I’d be a visual artist or work in theatre.
Something people don’t know about you?
I make a mean Pollo Guisado.
What would be the dream holiday, and who would you go with?
I already went to Paris with my boyfriend. I want to go again!
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
I would love to have met Frida Khalo because she was so unique, interesting and talented.
What is your favorite healthy food?
And your favorite cheat food?
Deep dish pizza from Masa in Echo Park
What would be a deal breaker on a first date?
Someone who name drops constantly.
Which project is still on your bucket list?
Hanging out in a deserted island.
Idea of a perfect Sunday?
Exploring downtown, finding a good book or awesome vinyl at a quaint music or bookstore. A good meal. And Game of Thrones to finish it off.
Do you support any charity?
I support the Vincent Price Art Museum and donate to the Red Cross as well.
Any exiting news you want to share with us?
New video coming soon!
What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion is another form of art. It’s a brilliant way to express who you are visually.
How would you explain your fashion style?
Retro bettie with a hint of tropical vibes.
How important is Social Media for you?
I get tired of it sometimes, but other times I’m grateful to have an outlet to connect with people in different ways.
Where we can follow you?
Look for AlihJey on all social media.
Quote: Be fearless.
Actor/Actress: Chris Hemsworth hehe.
Drink: Good wine or Mezcal
City: Los Angeles
Movie: Get Out
Sport Team: Used to be Miami Heat, leaning towards the Lakers, but truthfully, none. 😉
Song: Cruel by St. Vincent