Born in Geneva, raised between Milan and London, and now based in New York City, singer Alissia Beneveniste is the quintessential globe trotter, and it only takes a quick listen to her music for her international influences to show through.
But it was Alissia’s take on classic funk that really set her apart. The singer and producer, who started her career in music as a bassist, is one of the guiding force in revitalizing the genre. The artist has gone on to catch the eye of none other than music’s new generation of luminaries Khalid and Anderson .Paak, just to name a few.
And now, she’s taking a leap into the fashion world. Alissia is REDValentino’s newest star, collaborating with the fashion label on the release of their latest campaign, dubbed the ‘Inspired By’ series.
To celebrate the new union, we caught up with Alissia to chat about her musical inspirations, delving into the world of fashion, and what being a REDValentino woman means to her.
You’re particularly known for your modernist take on funk. When did you get your first introduction to the genre?
I always loved listening to funk in general but when I moved to the US is really when I started digging in and nerding out on it! Listening to artists like James Brown, P-Funk, Larry Graham, Sly, etc. really made me want to pick up the bass and start learning each bass line and keys parts to every records of that era. I realized so much music I loved listening to when I was younger was either a sample from one of these records or heavily influenced by it. I just love the way it makes you feel, it’s really the core of groove.
What would you say inspires you the most to create music?
I’m inspired by so many things! From having deep conversations with friends, family, artists and mentors to places and music itself of course! Having conversations with each artist before and after a session is really golden.
You’ve worked with artists like Khalid and Anderson .Paak, what was that like?
I worked with Khalid when he first started, I remember when they sent me his music I didn’t know who he was but I immediately wanted to work with him because I loved it so much. He was really humble and so nice to work with. As for Anderson.Paak I really believe he is one of the best artist in today’s music industry. His talent is so unique and work ethic really inspires me every time we work together. I met him through Q-Tip and ever since we started making music and became great friends! So excited for the world to hear.
Does fashion play a big role in your life as a musician?
I always loved and admired fashion & designers.
What about REDValentino inspires you?
Of course, I love the clothes but also the brand really shows unconventionality and freedom which I love. The fact that they embrace and want to elevate boss women with a vision is really dope to me. I like collaborating with brands that show originality and that have a message. It’s nice to see that women are supporting each other more too, it’s so important because we are taking over 😉
What was it like for you to collaborate with the fashion house on this campaign?
Not only I loved the clothes but I really connected with their overall mentality and message. When they showed me the collection I immediately fell in love with it: the fabrics, motifs and color selection is stunning. The faux-fur coats, leather pants and sneakers are me all day! I really admire how they mixed retro-urban feel yet keeping it classy. We shot in my studio in New York where I made a track from scratch specifically for the occasion which was so special, I was definitely in my element.
Speaking of your studio, you call it ‘The Spaceship’, why is that?
“The Spaceship” was really the studio I dreamed for a while. When the vision came to life it was a really humbling moment and I always will be grateful for it. I named it “The Spaceship” because whenever an artist comes in we always create something magical going on a journey in another dimension, another world. I also got inspired by “the mothership” which was a concept Parliament Funkadelic had which I loved.
Any exciting upcoming projects you’re working on?
I’m working with really amazing artists, we’ve definitely been working on some amazing music. I’ve also been working on my solo project featuring some of them, I can’t wait for the world to hear!!