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One to watch: Alma

One to watch: Alma

By: Nicole King

What the world needs now is…a neon-haired Finnish girl with a soulful voice that hits like Thor’s hammer. Well, here’s Alma.

21 years old and in full collaboration mode with MNEK, Rudimental, Charli XCX et al, Alma dresses like a sloppy skate-punk, her musical style crossing punk, reggae, soul, pop and techno. She's been singing all her life as an escape, as a security blanket. From 12, when she let her family on on her little singing secret, she devoted herself to YouTube, listening to four or five hours of music in a sitting. She put in the research, boning up on The Jackson 5 and Amy Winehouse. In the meantime she wrote her own material and honed her craft, signing up twin sister as backing singer. Her tongue-in-cheek song Dye My Hair has garnered 35 million plays on Spotify. Her track Knock is the exemplar of her voice and style, an offer of sanctuary to a friend in need. "I want to live in the moment," she says. "I want to be here and be real. I don't want to bullshit anyone or write empty pop bangers. I want to keep the Finnish mind-set, cos I'm just a Finnish girl."