Now settled in Edmonton, Canada following four years of touring across North America and Europe, multi-instrumentalist and producer Aladean Kheroufi has released his new EP, Beauty Beyond Grief today.
A collection of covers which Kheroufi has adapted into something very much his own, the EP was created during a time of turbulent personal and global change for Aladean, presenting both him and the listener with a much needed sense of escapism.
Intrigued by both his soulful and soothing sound and his journey into music, Aladean took the time to talk us through touring with bands from a young age, how Beauty Beyond Grief gave him an escape from tough times and his aims to lead a comfortable and creative life.
Tell us a bit about yourself and how long you’ve been making music for?
I'm currently based in Edmonton, Canada where like most musicians around the world I assume are navigating the weird times of making music during a pandemic. I always grew up playing some sort of instrument. My mom's a singing teacher so I started playing Violin at 3, piano shortly after, I played trumpet in marching band when I was 8 but never really liked doing any of it to be honest. I started playing electric and upright bass when I was 9 or 10 which then became my focus. After that I got obsessed with music, started playing with bands and always was trying to learn something new. So I guess it's been a minute since I got into it. To give you more of a reflection of musicians who inspired me I'd say Curtis Mayfield and Neil Young are my people.
At what point in your life did you decide to make a career out of your music, and what influenced that decision?
For me it's always felt like the only path I'd take. I started touring with bands when I was 17 and never looked back. It's only been the past year that I've really started to focus on music under my own name tho. But a few years ago after touring heavily with a few bands I did an internship at a record label in NYC, after that I knew that this is what I wanted to do. It's not always the most financially rewarding but happy to be along for the ride.
What would you say was the main source of influence for 'Beauty Beyond Grief’?
I made this right when quarantine started, my partner and I had just broken up which meant finding a new place to live in the middle of all this (if you thought it was hard to get your friends to help you move before, try hitting em up during a global pandemic!). It felt like working on something from scratch could be an escape for myself and a small victory to work towards.
What is something you’ve learned about yourself through making music?
Nothing's perfect! Never strive for perfection, go for honesty. When I listen to my favourite records they're never perfect. There's always quirks and imperfections and I believe that's what makes anything special.
Is there anything you wish you had known when you first got involved in the music industry?
If you want something to happen you gotta do it yourself. Don't let opportunity fall into your lap. Of course a lot of luck is involved but we gotta make it happen.
Who are some of your favourite upcoming artists from the city you live in?
This band isn't from the city I live in but the province. They're called Ghost Woman and they're from Lethbridge, Alberta. I think they're the best band in Canada so y'all better check em out!
What would your dream tour & rider look like?
Hmmmmmm, that's a hard one. I've been lucky enough to see some amazing places touring with other bands but with my own music I'm happy to tour anywhere if I can bring a bit more joy into the world. More so than seeing new places I like meeting new people. For a rider I'd like a hummus plate with veggies/pita, a nice home cooked meal that's local to the region, seltzer, a healthy amount of beers and maybe a little bit of weed ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
If your music was to soundtrack any film or TV show, which would you choose?
This is also a hard one.... I love anything very cinematic that was scored by Ennio Morricone or Francois De Roubaix, but if I were to be more honest with myself I'm more likely to find my music in an Adam Sandler flick.
What’s the bucket list goal for you as an artist? Where do you want to be in a year’s time?
The goal is to live a comfortable life while playing music and creating more. I don't need much but consistently improving my recording space, working with other artists and writing more is something I'm always working on. Would also love to work with a big time producer - like a top 40 producer, I think it would be a cool flip of how I usually go about making music. Mostly I wanna be happy with my family while doing what I love, ain't that cheesy?