Alfa
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Alfa

Los Angeles, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Los Angeles, California, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Solo Pop Singer/Songwriter

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Jan
24
Alfa @ The NAMM Show

Anaheim, California, United States

Anaheim, California, United States

Jan
09
Alfa @ Renaissance Los Angeles Airport Hotel

Los Angeles, California, United States

Los Angeles, California, United States

Sep
12
Alfa @ The Nerdery

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

Music

Press


"Music Album Review: Alfa - Spark & Fury (8/10)"

Indie pop artist Alfa is not here to show off or impress with flashy vocals or gimmicky sounds. For her Pacific Records debut, the songstress has crafted a collection of honest songs, putting feelings out in the open; vulnerability. Combining witty lyricism, catchy melodies and genuine, warm vocals, Alfa showcases lighthearted, rom-commy takes on love and love lost without resorting to writing emotional songs in a heartbreaking, dark and gloomy manner—listeners can still relate to the material that they might actually shed a tear. See select tracks: “Round & Round,” “Rubber Band” and “M.O. (Missed Opportunity).”

Released by: Pacific Records
Producer: Alfa + Various
- written by Siri Svay - Music Connection


"Q&A: Indie Fil-Am Artist Alfa Talks New Album Spark & Fury"

The inspiring and mentally frustrating creative process that goes with producing, recording and writing a new album is no easy task.

Alfa, a Philippine-born singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist of guitar, ukulele, piano and violin, has spent the past two years writing and recording her third full-length album “Spark & Fury,” which was just released last month.

Alfa first gained traction when she tied for first place with singer-songwriter Mike Isberto at Kollaboration LA in 2009, a showcase that gives a platform for young Asian Americans to perform in front of a live crowd.

“I stumbled into this whole Asian American community that was nationwide,” Alfa explained during her album release show at the Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles. “Everything snowballed from there and I think that’s what helped me make the move here [to Los Angeles].”

The self-described “quirky” singer-songwriter was born in the Philippines, raised in New Jersey, moved to New York for college and now resides in Los Angeles. Her newest album explores the past six years of her adjustment into Los Angeles — mature themes of finding one’s place, being understood and opening up to love — while releasing an album under a label for the first time in her career.

“Spark & Fury” is full of bright, indie-pop songs about love, loss, letting go and growing up. Full of rich acoustics, percussive elements and lots of sing-along moments, songs like “Bare Feet” open up the album to finding and accepting one’s place in life. “Nothing Ever Lasts” is an honest reflection into sifting through life’s curve balls and letting go of emotionally unavailable prospects.

Her previous album “World Go Blue” entered the CMJ Top 200 National Charts and the College Radio Charts Top 100 in 2013. In September 2013, she played seven shows in six days in the Philippines while headlining SM Mall of Asia with Ukulele Philippines. She is also endorsed by Mya-Moe Ukuleles and Walden Guitars.

Alfa sat down with us to talk about her lifetime journey of songwriting, fighting for the record she wants and how instrumental the Asian American community has been for her musical career.

You just released this album. Tell me a little bit about the process of getting this out, because I know it’s been a couple of years since your last record.

It was two years making this and four years since my last solo record. I would say the songwriting was the easiest part because once I know that I have to write an album, I’m usually really good about sitting down, writing, filtering. Plus there’s a few that I’ve written, revived or re-recorded, so there’s a couple of older songs in my catalog. I think the toughest part was dealing with the challenges of funding it. I’m with an indie label, but you know every indie label faces the same challenges and I think there was a lot of back-and-forth trying to figure out how to do the album.

This was also your first album with a record label. Did that make the process any different from previous ones?

A little bit. There’s a lot more people I had to talk to about more things, which bothered me a little because I’m so used to doing things myself. But it was a learning experience. It helped me grow and be able to collaborate with people a little more. In the end, I wound up being able to have a lot of control over what I did with this record. I was able to get a whole bunch of my friends on board to do it so it wound up being really fun.

You are under Pacific Records, which is based in [San Diego].

I actually think I fooled them a little because they thought I was just going to do the super acoustic, stripped down stuff. I think they saw female singer-songwriter and were like, “Oh, guitar, vocals, easy!” And I was like, “No.” I love harmonies, I love layers, I love chord progressions. If you listen to any of my past albums I do the same thing, but you can tell [with my new album] that I just love building things and not just basic vocals.

How was the production process and how was it collaborating with other people for this record?

It’s a pretty organic record. You have guitar, drums, bass. My drummer, bassist and I all got together and recorded over the course of two days. There’s 10 songs. We did about 13 songs in two days and not even all of them made the cut. I went back with these producers in Hollywood who are both playing with me and did the vocals. Angel, who’s going to play guitar tonight, did the guitars. It was awesome.

A lot of people know you from when you did Kollaboration 2009 and 2010 back in the day. Can you describe what those early days were like for you?

I stumbled into Kollaboration because I was in New York. … I stumbled into this whole Asian American community that was nationwide and I remember meeting someone who was like, “You should really try out for Kollaboration LA.” I did that and I wound up tying for first place with Mike Isberto. Everything snowballed from there and I think that’s kind of what helped me make the move here. I had some networks so it made that move way easier.

What do you have to say about your new album? Have you heard any responses yet?

I think everybody has been positive. I don’t know if people just want to tell me positive things — I’m just kidding! — but this is the first album I’m truly proud of. I don’t listen back to it and go, I could’ve done this, I could’ve done that. I actually listen to this and I’m cool.

So this is the first album where you can say you kind of “figured it out.” How did you think of the album design and concept?
Funny you should say that, my husband did [the album artwork]! He’s an artist and he took a photo of me and made it all art nouveau. We had argued about the color of my hair because I was like, I have black hair, honey. But he was like, the black hair looks so weird against this color! And I was like, I’m not going to argue with you. Ha!

Where did the title “Spark & Fury” come from?

It came from the whole process. I think every creative endeavor, at least for me, has a little bit of both. You have those, “Aha!” and you have those, “Ugh,” kind of moments. It sounds really cheesy and it’s so on the nose but for me, it was the only thing it could’ve been called. I just wanted to be honest about what this process was like for me.

Is there one thing you wish you could’ve told your younger self back in the day?

There’s a lot. I probably would’ve told her to stop panicking so much! I was a really hyper kid. Now I’m mellowed out a bit, so I think I would’ve told my younger self to conserve your energy. Chill out. I love my old self, it’s just you get older, you get a little more calm and I kind of just wish I was a little more calm. I think I would’ve missed less things, if that makes sense.

Alfa’s album “Spark & Fury” is available to purchase on Bandcamp, Amazon, iTunes and on her website at alfa-music.com. - Kore Asian Media


"Alfa Hits the Mark with "Spark & Fury""

Between touring the U.S. College market, Philippines and in LA and NYC, Singer-Songstress Alfa has been working diligently in the studio in San Diego and just released her fun-loving, catchy and sophisticated record via Pacific Records. Spark & Fury is the ideal record for a breezy highway cruise or a relaxing day on the porch.

Bare Feet is Alfa’s shimmering lead track on Spark & Fury. A driving four-on-the-floor rhythm section, pleasant pop flourishes and glossy harmonies roll through the track. Alfa paints a complete picture for us in each verse with her vivid and prolific lyrics. Alfa’s uptempo energy continues on her hit song Blue, which is contagious with its upward stroke, island-ukulele and pop-punch vocals. A playful vocal melody and lyrical story encompass Blue. You will be whistling this tune browsing the grocery store months after your first listen.

The upbeat and optimistic vibe of Incomplete and the harmonies through the chorus tie the song together in a memorable way. The bridge and build into the last chorus keep the listener engaged and coming back for more. This rendition of the song is a nice contrast to the alternate mellow version of Incomplete recently released by Alfa's co-writer, yours truly.

A light-hearted but sorrowful chord progression floats through Round & Round and pulls the listener in close. Particularly during the hook, Alfa pedals on a suspended chord that keeps us in a bit of a piano-lead trance. A cello hugs the track close, only enhancing the melancholy yet beautifully composed Round and Round. Alfa’s haunting voice and droning minor chords on her piano spin us back around to press repeat on this tearing ballad.

Rubber Band is Alfa’s departure from the rest of the tracks on Spark & Fury. It veers a bit outside of her typical songwriting style on the record as it leans a bit harder against the rock and roll tendencies of her past influences. Tension, marching and brooding comes to mind throughout this tune. Some light vocal production and cavernous calls rotating in the background give a more mysterious vibe to this track.

The chorus is a strong melody in M.O, aka Missed Opportunity. A bit of studio magic and mixing gives it a contemporary twist with a dash of inspiration from Dark Side of the Moon with the sampling of the cash register on Money. Soothing harmonies and a laid back feel on Nothing Ever Lasts and From Me help close out Alfa’s record in a conclusive and satisfying way.

Alfa’s new record is a steady expansion on her strong creative repertoire. Alfa’s 2017 record Spark & Fury, is available now at digital music outlets worldwide (Apple, Amazon, Spotify, BandCamp).

~ Matt Koelsch, Turbulent Records - Turbulent Records


"Music Connection's Favorite Signings of 2015"

Alfa
Label: Pacific Records
Management: Paul Condon, mgmt@alfa-music.com
Booking: mgmt@alfa-music.com
Publicity: Pacific Records
Web: alfa-music.com
A&R: Gary Hyde, gary@pacificrecords.com

Having a dedicated team behind you is a key component in an artist’s prospects for success. Even with her catchy mixture of folk with pop sensibilities, it wasn’t Pacific Records that started the conversation with Garcia and her team, but rather her manager Paul Condon who reached out to them. He was on a quest to find a label that he believed fit her philosophies and approach to her artistry when he discovered Pacific Records. Soon after contacting the label, Condon heard back and the rest is now history.

The label, which is looking to extend to a more global reach after conquering the local scene, outfitted the singer with a two-year, two-album deal that also includes a publishing contract. “I give them so much props because they pretty much gave me creative control with this record deal,” she said. “They basically said, ‘We like what you do and we just want you to keep doing it.’ That’s the kind of deal you want! You don’t want one where they like your look, but want you to write songs more like XYZ.” - Music Connection


"BMI Indie Spotlight: Alfa"

Born in the Philippines to a family of musicians, Alfa Garcia discovered the classical piano and violin at an early age. But as a teen growing up in New Jersey, it was folk/pop that spoke to her — so much so that she taught herself guitar (and later, the piano, ukulele, and kazoo). No stranger to the stage, Alfa spent years gigging in New York City after graduating from New York University, all of which prepared her to one day perform at such prestigious venues as Lincoln Center in New York and the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. It was the college crowd that proved to be some of Alfa’s earliest supporters. Her 2013 Kickstarter-funded album World Go Blue, recorded in Nashville and L.A., entered the CMJ National Charts and the College Radio Charts Top 100. Featuring some of Music City’s finest, including Tim Lauer (The Civil Wars, Brett Dennen), Tony Lucido (Hunter Hayes, Kelly Clarkson), Ben Phillips (Blake Shelton, Plumb), and Mike Payne (Natalie Grant, Sidewalk Prophets), the album served as an important stepping-stone for Alfa. Having recently inked a record deal with Pacific Records, she is currently recording the follow-up to her 2014 pop-country EP, The Idle Hours. With a body of work that has been placed in several high-profile television shows, including E!’s Keeping Up With The Kardashians and MTV’s Real World/Road Rules Challenge, as well as on independent films (Baby Steps), there’s no limit to what Alfa can do. - BMI


"MUSIC CONNECTION MAGAZINE Live Show Review (Dec. 2014)"

(Show review from October 10, 2014, WitzEnd - Venice, CA)
Material: Alfa is a singer/songwriter who is self-described as indie folk pop, with lyrics that have a lonely hearts club vibe. Her encore number "Home to Me" is reminiscent of ABBA's bittersweet, "Slipping Through my Fingers."
Another song of note is "God Writes Happy Endings," where Liang joins in with lovely harmonizing. Then there is "Isabelle," which sounds like a pay homage to Edith Piaf based around a sauteuse rhythm with a story: "Often I'd find her asleep in the garden/The one-eyed cat slept by her feet/Then in a moment she'd rise and the old woman watched the sun…I can hear your lullabye/cherie toujours je t'aime…"

Musicianship: Violins are a novelty in live sets and often a bit rusty in timbre. Alfa, however, produces a clear and clean tone and proves to be a proficient multi-instrumentalist. Carlson, too, shifts between acoustic and electric guitar, adding delicate vibrato accents for both surf rock and pedal steel tones. Jimenez switches between a percussion setup of cajon and double live shakers and mostly brush work for his drum kit. When Underhill transitions between electric bass and uke bass, a surprised audience member incredulously quips, "That bass sound is coming out of him!" The instrument selections here are perfect for the musical styles.

Performance; Alfa has an extremely soulful singing voice. She excels at keeping her audience engaged, following the singer/songwriter format of brief anecdotes and request of audience participation. What is commendable here is that despite standing-room-only, the band overrides the sound of the patrons, commands attention and keeps its sound from blowing out. This is in large part due to the use of miked boutique amps, a good choice not only for the venue, but acoustic sound. Perhaps as a similar quality control choice Alfa did not take advantage of the house piano but stuck to her own keyboard.

The Players: Alfa Garcia, vocals, multi-instrumentalist; Erik Carlson, guitar; Austin Underhill, bass; Kevin Jimenez, drums; Priscilla Liang, backup vocals.

Summary: Alfa is a talented artist whose primary strength lies in lyrics, musicianship and her ability to shift between genres. She and her band should take note of their surroundings, however, and utilize the tools provided - for exempt, using the house piano rather than cramming a redundant keyboard on stage, leaving no room for the band. - Brooke Trout

(Artist note: the keyboard was used for its concert piano and Hammond organ sounds, both of which are not attainable with the house piano; it is also provided with the generosity of endorser Kawai Pianos) - Music Connection Magazine


"RADIO REPUBLIC: The Best Songs of 2014... So Far"

"Alfa – War!"
As the track builds up, you know Alfa’s setting you up for another easy hit with her guitar.

Those major freak-outs late at night when you’re evaluating your life need a soundtrack. While not everything that Alfa is talking about are the ones that you have had when you’re lying in bed and sunk in deep thought, the experience is very relatable. She may be singing something that’s fairly ordinary but her way of telling the story through this delightful listen makes it sincere and original.

Apart from launching a career in the US, Philippine born and New Jersey raised singer-songwriter Alfa has already breached the gap between the mainstream and underground market, finding favor with both music lovers and critics alike.

WAR! sounds like an honest confession, it’s almost pulling you to take a good look inside yourself too. – Yna de Leon - Radio Republic (Philippines)


"MUSIC CONNECTION MAGAZINE (Jan. 2014): Artist Critiques"

Smart, articulate and not a little bit flirtatious, Alfa Garcia brings an extremely strong mic presence, and with the help of a dexterous, organic backup band she pushes her material to its commercial limits. "Blue" is an especially playful tune whose ukulele and great backup "Ooooooo's" make the song quite ripe for an Apple TV spot. Same goes for the wry, observational "Missed Opportunity" with its fun piano lead. All in all, this is an artist who has a spectrum of colors in her palette, a songwriter with a knack for tickling a mainstream ear.

Production: 8
Lyrics: 8
Music: 7
Vocals: 9
Musicianship: 8
OVERALL SCORE: 8.0 - Music Connection Magazine


"CANDY MAGAZINE (Dec. 2013): All Access - Alfa Garcia"

"If you could take the Friday Night Lights meme, 'clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose' and turn it into a person, you'd get pop-folk singer Alfa Garcia. The Fil-Am songwriter has a new album out called World Go Blue, which features the chill, honest music she's known for. With her raspy voice, it's no surprise that she's been compared to Sara Bareilles, whose 'natural talent, dedication, and humility' she greatly admires. Last September, Alfa came home to visit her family and play a few gigs. 'The band scene here blew me away! I was so stoked to open for Up Dharma Down.' Does she have any advice for aspiring songwriters? 'Keep writing, keep performing, keep improving.'" - Candy Magazine (Asia/Philippines)


"HIGHLANDER NEWS (UC Riverside): A Conversation with Alfa"

Last week’s Nooner was my first time listening to Alfa Garcia, and I didn’t know what to expect. I’ve been the unwilling spectator at bizarre and ambitious indie shows where the discomfort is almost tangible. But without a doubt, watching Garcia was time well spent. She poured her sunshine onto the crowd and her sincerity canceled out the awkward anticipation that generally settles among first-time listeners. The Highlander crowd enjoyed themselves, and filled the afternoon with applause.

Garcia, an independent folk-pop artist from New Jersey, moved to Los Angeles two and a half years ago to pursue her music endeavors. An independent artist must have an unyielding devotion to get her name out there, become known and eventually sign with a record label. Entirely passionate about music, Garcia made most of her connections on her own, leading to her recent successes, with music from her latest album, “World Go Blue,” featured on E!’s “Keeping up with the Kardashians” and the Top 100 College Radio Chart.

But it’s challenging to be caught on the music radar, and those who do manage to get noticed may only be relevant for a limited amount of time. In a soulful music talk I recently shared with Garcia, she explained, “I have always treasured music. I would rather have a hard copy of an album. The beauty of music is that it is timeless and that’s what I want my music to be like.”

Her performance was perfect for fans of acoustic artists like Sara Bareilles and Feist. For her sound check, Garcia warmed up to Death Cab for Cutie’s “I Will Follow You into the Dark.” The familiar melody traveled across the quad and turned the heads of shuffling students on campus. Garcia’s voice intrigued bystanders, and the chatter I heard from the audience revolved around the “chick on stage,” trying to recall what class someone had seen her in.

Garcia’s melodies were sensible and sweet; she accurately summed up her on-stage vibes by saying, “I’m the basic girl-next-door type.” Between songs, she provided bubbly commentary and college small talk. Garcia shared that she was a student at New York University, where she studied international relations. A college alumna who plays the guitar, piano, violin, ukulele and sings like a bird’s song — it’s safe to say this is what constitutes being well-rounded.

Garcia has been writing songs for 14 years and has studied with an orchestra for seven years. Her background in classical music and Filipino folk also influences her songwriting approach, and her lyrics borrow from 90s artists such as Jewel and Fiona Apple to create something distinctly unique. “I don’t need to put on any pretenses,” Garcia said. “I march to my own drum.” With five albums released, Garcia’s goal is to continue writing in the years to come. Aside from her singing career, she is a music instructor and teaches throughout the Los Angeles metro area.

The set continued with an acoustic compilation of pop hits that were woven together unexpectedly. She started with Alex Clare’s “Too Close,” then dove into Britney Spears’ “Toxic” and concluded with Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River.” It’s always intriguing to listen to covers as they reflect the performer’s personal feel for the song; this musical concoction animated the audience, filling the air with the hum of lyrics to these well-known numbers. After all, it’s not hard to fall into body-swaying to Britney’s music.

Off her latest album, “World Go Blue,” Garcia sang “War” and revisited a nerdy song from 2010 titled “Pi Song,” which literally celebrates the algebraic symbol. She assured any math majors it would be a treat, but that enjoyment wasn’t limited to a single circle of listeners; everyone from the audience to the technician was very entertained. “My lyrics are very personal and confessional,” Garcia explained. “There’s going to be someone out there that feels the same way that I do. I want more people to hear what I’m doing.” And based on the size of the crowd at the Bell Tower, she was definitely heard. - Highlander News (University of California - Riverside)


"VOICE COUNCIL MAGAZINE: Alfa: On the Road & Getting "Liked""

Singer-songwriter Alfa Garcia on building a fanbase
She’s in the midst of a grueling college campus tour – but she loves it.
After being a journalist covering other artists, Alfa Garcia decided to go full time with her guitar and distinctive voice.
Now Alfa’s building a fanbase – and we asked her to share how she’s doing this with our VoiceCouncil community.

Were you getting depressed reporting on the art of other people?
I don’t know if depressed is the word; more like “restless.” If anything, being a journalist helped make me feel certain about what I already knew, which was that I wanted to be out there pursuing my music.

When you first went “full time”, what was your strategy in terms of building – and maintaining – a fan base?
When I went full time, I found that I could dedicate more time to all of it – the promotion, the live shows, and the online stuff. It’s both quality and quantity when you go full-time – you get more time to work on music, and your output is a little more substantial just because you’re dedicating more time to it

How has that strategy changed over time – what are you doing differently now?
I think the social media aspect is so huge now, and it’s something you constantly have to keep up on. You have to be on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube…you have to have a good-looking mailing list…whereas when I first start playing music, this may not have mattered as much.

What do you mean by “good looking mailing list”?
In the past, I would have sent a basic e-mail to everyone on my mailing list, these days it helps to have an email with graphics, or a more involved layout that makes it a little more pleasing to the eye. An example are e-mails sent through Fanbridge.

How do you make college gigs work for you in terms of retaining those fans after the gig?
A lot of those students are on Facebook, and that’s really become the most direct way to stay in touch. Some of them become personal Facebook friends too, not just fans on my music page.

What do you do at the gigs to get and keep those fans?
Just be positive and friendly, relate to the students. I remember when I was their age, so I try to talk to them about what they might be going through in school or in their personal lives.

At a concert, what do you do to actually get those FB likes?
Usually I’ll tell people that I’m often updating on FB, and if they’d like to stay updated, they should follow the page. I think this is also a good opportunity for giveaways and stuff like that, though I haven’t done it yet.

Your Facebook page isn’t looking too shabby – what wisdom would you pass onto other singers about building their facebook pages?
Thank you for saying so. Just try to keep the Facebook page engaging for everyone. And also, I have been bad at this of late, but try not to over-post.

You’ve been active on Twitter – what are you learning about that medium?
Twitter is interesting, but I don’t love it. I am not a fan of the sound byte, and that’s really what it is the equivalent of. But you know, it’s part of the game, so I bite.

What can Twitter do for you?
I’ve found that Twitter isn’t the best way to promote a show, but it is a good way to present an arc of your life story in multiple, short posts…and if there’s something funny or quirky that happens to me and I want to share it with anyone who’ll listen/read, it’s great for that.

You describe yourself as a “road warrior” – how do you make life on the road work for you?
Oh man, I am still figuring this out! I am admittedly terrible with eating regularly when I’m on the road. I have started calling it the “tour diet,” when I shed 2 or 3 pounds by the time I come home just from bad eating habits.

What’s working for you with life on the road?
I have figured some things out – getting a TON of sleep is key. It makes such a huge difference in your performance, your mentality when you face each day, and with facing the challenges that you inevitably run into.

Alfa Garcia is a folk-pop singer & songwriter; her album “World Go Blue” is climbing up national charts, including the CMJ Top 200 National Airplay Charts (#135) and College Radio Charts (#77 unweighted). In 2012, Music Connection Magazine placed Alfa in their Top 25 Music Critiques, noting, “fans of Ingrid Michaelson and Sara Bareilles will savor this artist.” - VoiceCouncil Magazine


"Alfa Garcia Translates Lyrics of Life & Love for Listeners"

By Re [Audio Interview available via Link]

Hailing from the Philippines and raised in small Bergenfield, New Jersey, pop-folk singer, songwriter Alfa Garcia never anticipated that her music would be heard on E!’s Keeping Up with the Kardashians or MTV’s Friendzone.

“I knew I wanted to pursue [music], but I didn’t have the capital. You need a little bit of time to go out there and explore, and so you need to be kind of financially there,” Alfa said, regarding her work as an entertainment reporter in New Jersey. “I didn’t want to ask my parents for money, because [they] just sent me through four years at New York University,” she laughed. Thus Alfa worked 40 hours each week, chasing dreams of music on the side.

But about three and a half years down the line, having interviewed an array of musicians, she made the choice to become the interviewee, herself. And so she relocated to Los Angeles to record the songs she’d been writing since she was 15 years old.

By 2013, Alfa’s album World Go Blue, recorded in Nashville and Los Angeles under producers Marc Lacuesta and Paul Wight, entered the CMJ Top 200 National Charts and the College Radio Charts Top 100. It features top Nashville musicians Tim Lauer (The Civil Wars, Brett Dennen, Anais Mitchell), Tony Lucido (Hunter Hayes, Keith Urban, Kelly Clarkson), Ben Phillips (Blake Shelton, Plumb, Jeremy Camp) and Mike Payne (Colton Dixon, Natalie Grant, Sidewalk Prophets), as well as percussionist Nick Adams (David Cook).

World Go Blue, Alfa said, is the closest representation of what she wants to put out. “This record, all of the songs are written by me. There is one song that I co-wrote with my co-writer in Nashville, Marc Lacuesta,” she said.

Alfa said her background in classic music has influenced her songwriting. “[They are] not the melodies you’d expect from a pop singer.” But that is, indeed, what makes her music inimitable.

While Alfa said her lyrics are not meant to be interpreted by listeners in any particular way, she admitted, “My goal is always: whatever is in my life or in my heart, just to put it out there…For me, it’s really cathartic to be like, this is my life, I’m singing about it; I’m creating something out of something else.” And her lyrics of are authentic, disseminating personal tales of love and life, all from which we can take.

I met with Alfa and had the chance to translate the messages from one lyric of each of her eight songs on World Go Blue for both Her Report readers and Alfa’s listeners. Check out the Q&A below!

Re: War— You’re blind to what’s inside: a heart grown old too soon. What does it mean to have a heart grown old too soon? Describe the value of maintaining a young heart.

Alfa Garcia: The inspiration behind the song is age, and what aging does to you as a person—not speaking physically, of course—as far as how you have to take on more responsibility, how you become more accountable for your future and your decisions, how you have to pave your own path and how your character is tested. Aging is really exciting, but there are also a lot of pitfalls, and this song in particular was inspired by the confusion of being in my 20’s. On one hand you’re still young; on the other, you’re starting to take ownership of your own life.

As far as the idea of being “old too soon,” I think that goes back to my fascination with the idea that as we get older, we have a loss of innocence. For me, it’s especially troubling to see younger people—especially younger girls—get too old too fast: wearing makeup at a young age, having sex and being exposed to too much of the world too soon. I’m not a prude by any stretch; it’s just that, usually, with the loss of innocence can come the loss of imagination, or a sense of hope, creativity. The great thing about youth is that those things come second nature—so it’s just the thought that if you force age to come too fast, you’ll become blind to hope, truth, inspiration…that sort of thing. You’ll get jaded too quickly.

Blue— If you wait long enough, til’ I’ve made up my mind enough, promise you I will be there. In this song, you’re asking for time to straighten your mind, to run and to test fate. Explain the criticality of figuring things out for oneself, before rushing into a relationship.

This song was actually inspired by my sister’s love drama. It was just a love that wasn’t meant to be, even if it often seemed like it was. They’d keep coming back to each other; they seemed to suit each other so well, but in the end it was really about timing, and about how ready each person was to be in the same kind of relationship that the other person wanted. Love is all about timing; and while love can seem like the be-all-end-all, the truly important thing is figuring out who you are and being secure in your own skin before diving headlong. But then again, who am I to say? It’s not like I’ve never dived headlong into romance before (I am an artist after all). I guess given my own experience, I’d just say it’s generally better to get all your other goals and desires out of the way before settling down.

First Sight of Land— Our old stories keep me warm on cold California nights. The lyrics of this song suggest that memories last forever, regardless of where you are. Tell us about one particular memory that has stuck with you through your cross-country transition.

There are too many to mention! On that trip, I think being in Nashville for the first time was a really great memory. Since then, I’ve gone back there multiple times every year to record, write, hang out or just pass through. It’s one of my favorite cities.

Missed Opportunity— Don’t wanna be the girl on the side waiting for her goodbye…I won’t wait till you fall for me, So call me a missed opportunity. Tell us about this lyric, in particular, and the notion of a missed opportunity.

This song is just about deciding that you’re going to give up your unrequited desire for someone. It’s meant to be cheeky and basically kind of like, Okay, I’ve been rejected by you, but it’s not my loss, it’s yours. So it’s like, making lemonade out of a situation where you’re obviously not getting what you want—kind of self-consoling. What’s funny is that I didn’t write this about something that happened to me, but about something that happened to someone else who wanted to be with me; but whom I didn’t feel the same way about. So I kind of turned the story around and wrote it from his perspective.

Unwritten Rule— Childhood, chocolates and curly q’s, the way we are is nothing new, innocence is short, one step is too far a distance to, the fear you have inside of you…the fear I have in me. Describe that fear. What is the unwritten rule to love?

Here’s that idea about the loss of innocence again (See? I told you I was fascinated by it). This is my “bad girl” song, I guess if you want to put it that way. Haha. It’s basically my analysis of being unfaithful in a relationship. The idea is that most people who are unfaithful don’t have bad intentions. Often, they’re testing their limits in a relationship. They’re unable to completely understand what it is that’s missing in their current one, so they don’t have the self-awareness to understand that they’re going down a rabbit hole. In this song, the “unwritten rule” is the faithfulness that is inherent in a relationship (with the exception of those open relationships, of course). It’s not really about fear of love or anything; it’s about curiosity; it’s about questioning that “unwritten rule” of faithfulness for one reason or another.

Replaced— And then I grew into a girl, a woman made just for this world, a wounded heart and painted face, a wicked soul to bear the days. Describe a woman made for this world. Who is she? Explain her wounded heart, painted face and wicked soul.

I wrote this song when I moved to L.A. and thought about how there was a lot of fakeness around me. There’s a lot of people with botox, plastic surgery, a lot of people who worry about their weight, their appearance, their makeup, their clothes, et cetera. I just got tired of it and was hoping that would never turn into me, and so I sing about a woman who starts off as a girl, simple and understated, and how, as she gets older, everything changes. Maybe because she’s been hurt before, or she’s bought into the idea of constantly having to look a certain way, or maybe she gives up a piece of her sincerity for the sake of success or money. There’s a lot of that out here, and understandably because there’s also a lot of pressure from the environment and Hollywood.

Cup of Coffee— Some say love is the answer, blue skies and sunsets, they’re not for me. This lyric tells us that there is no universal answer, and that’s okay. What is it, then, for you?

This song is about missing the kind of love that happens off-the-cuff. I was thinking about things like online dating, and how a lot of people orchestrate when they’re ready to fall in love, usually when they’re successful, or have all there “conquests” out of the way, whatever it is. I just thought it’d be cool to write a song about wanting that spontaneous way to fall in love—a way that’s completely unplanned and out of nowhere.

Bergenfield, NJ— Now I’m drawn back to the world that I loved, the streets that I knew and faces familiar, they smile and they say, that I’m still the same, What do they know? Everything’s changed. This lyric reminds me of a favorite quote of mine. In A Hat Full of Sky, Terry Pratchett writes, “Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” Describe the feeling of coming home, having moved across the country to chase your dreams. What about it has changed you, and what are some of the palpable changes that have gone unnoticed to those familiar faces?

Yeah, that quote pretty much has this song right on the money. I was very sad to leave home. I lived in the New York/New Jersey area for 19 years and even as I had this unsettled knot in my stomach that told me I absolutely had to leave in order to pursue my dreams, I still thought fondly about home and everything that it meant to me. I still do. Most of my friends and some of my family are still there, and I still visit every chance I get. But every trip that I take out there sits differently to me, both because the place has changed and because I’ve changed due to all my experiences. I think since I left NJ, I’ve become more worldly, more open-minded, definitely more focused on my career and a lot more open to new people and different situations. I won’t say I’ve become a “better” person, but I’ve definitely opened up my worldview. That being said, there will always be a part of me that gets a little sentimental when I think about home. That’s normal, I think. That won’t change, and even if it’s kind of sad, I don’t want it to. - HerReport.org


"MUSIC EMISSIONS: "World Go Blue" Review (10 out of 10)"

Why havent I heard about this musician before? According to her web site (www.alfa-music.com) World Go Blue is her 5th release and this is the 1st time Ive been given a go to check her out. From what Ive heard and seen so far (just watch this music video: http://youtu.be/zg8C46e2uHU) apparently Ive missed quite a lot. So, now given this opportunity, I plan to make up for lost time and do my best, as well as you should too, to enjoy all things Alfa.

World Go Blue offers 8 songs that are so intimate I felt as if Id stumbled upon a young girls private diary. Every track is like a page of that diary where she ponders love, rejection, happiness, regret, self-discovery, remorse, satisfaction and yearning. Each entry, while written solely for the writer, speaks to the listener in a universal language that I can only describe as unvarnished honesty. Her words ring true and without affectation.

But this is far better than a diary because Alfa uses music the way a painter uses color. Her melodies are like subtle hues employed to add depth and dimension. She utilizes her voice to aptly apply unique and beautiful brushstrokes to her audio canvas. The way an artist carefully chooses perspective and detail is the way Alfa presents her well chosen arrangements and instrumentation. Nothing is left to chance on World Go Blue, but at the same time nothing seems contrived. Alfa makes it all seem to appear so effortless and easy.

Im hard pressed to settle on a favorite song from this album. Each time I listen to it brand new nuances emerge. Playing the entire collection from beginning to end takes little more than 30 minutes and none of the tunes therein make me want to hit the >>l button on my iPod. On a scale of 1-10, Id say that World Go Blue is the perfect 10. - Music Emissions


"UKE CAN PLAY!: Alfa - Simply Charming!"

Every once in a while, this blog brings me in touch with some amazing artists I might never have had the chance to discover. The internet is a noisy place, and too many times we realize late in the game that our “new” favorites have been around for a quite a while.

Such was the case when I “discovered” Alfa – the beautiful, soulful and exceedingly charming singer-songwriter whose song and video for Blue left me slack-jawed and wanting more!

I was lucky enough to contact her personally and she kindly agreed to grant me this interview.
Blogging has its perks!


Make sure to give this interview some social love to read the entire piece and access the videos and additional images.

BeatNik: When did you start playing ukulele?
Alfa: I taught myself ukulele in 2010, I believe. I was just curious about it, and thought it was a really cute instrument…not to mention, a little easier to carry around than my guitar or keyboard.
That is a beautiful instrument! Tell us a little about your Mya-Moe?
Thank you! I love my Mya-Moe…it goes by its other name: “the uke of destiny.” J It’s a tenor uke, with master grade koa on the entire body, mahogany neck, ebony fretboard with an abalone rosette. It has a direct pickup, which was a must for me…and a cutaway, so I can do some crazy high-register solos when I finally learn how.
Apart from the uke, I see you play guitar and a mean kazoo! What other instruments do you play?
I also play piano and violin.

You’ve recently moved to Los Angeles from New York, but you are originally from the Philippines, correct? Tell us a little about how you got where you are today.
Yes, I was born in southern Philippines, on the island of Mindanao. I started learning piano shortly after emigrating to New York and hated it at first. A lot of people in my family play music, so I didn’t think music was anything special and wanted to do something entirely different. Like dentistry (seriously, I wanted to be a dentist when I was 5). I got into the violin in 4th grade and absolutely fell in love. I played in some orchestras and got to tour a little as a kid, which was really fun for me. I started songwriting when I was 13, because I was going through a bit of an angst-ridden teenage phase and connected with a lot of music that I wanted to play. Eventually, though, I realized I couldn’t sing a lot of those songs I liked so I figured I’d make up my own songs instead! So, I started songwriting and eventually got up the courage to record, and eventually got up even more courage to play in front of people, and pretty soon it was pretty obvious what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. At least, it was obvious to everyone else…it took me a little longer to really figure it out. After graduating college, I decided to record my first full-length album, so I did that while I was working a full-time job as a journalist. I left that job 3 years later, moved to LA, and haven’t looked back since.

Where can my readers go to see you perform live?
It really depends on my schedule… you can always see where I’m playing on my website, alfa-music.com.
Would you consider performing at some ukulele music festivals?
Of course! I’d love to play a uke festival. Although I’m sure I’d be in awe of everyone there… I still consider myself a ukulele noob.

(BeatNik: You heard it here first, folks! Who will start the festival invitations?)
How many songs on the new album feature the uke, and can we expect to hear more like “Blue” in the future?
It’s just “Blue” with the uke, and if you can believe it, it’s the first song I ever wrote on uke. Prior to that, I’d just been playing covers and adding them to my live shows to mix things up a bit. I was really happy that “Blue” came out of my uke. It took about 15 minutes to finish it.
I heard you do a fantastic cover of Train’s “Hey, Soul Sister” in your concerts. What artists inspire your music?
Plenty… Sara B, Ingrid Michaelson, Regina Spektor, Fiona Apple, early Jewel stuff, Fiona Apple, Shawn Colvin, Joni Mitchell, Carol King, Camille… I feel like a big sponge that just kind of soaks in whatever I’m listening to.
A lot of my readers are also aspiring musicians. What insights or advice would you like to pass along to them?
I remember sitting on an airplane and reading this quote from the in-flight magazine, “Do what you love; love what you do, and share your gifts with others.” Apparently Gustavo Dudamel said that… he’s a smart guy.
Thank you Alfa, you have been simply charming!


For those of you who are now entranced by Alfa, I offer some more images and her sensational video, Blue.


Enjoy!


-BeatNik - Uke Can Play (Blog)


"HOT INDIE NEWS (Feature): Alfa - "World Go Blue""

By Ralph White

It’s a brave new world out there. The first time I heard about Alfa was through our Hot Indie News Facebook account. One of her publicists had contacted our publication through our Facebook page about her and what caught my attention was their opening line, “Alfa is a triple threat: singer, songwriter, and road warrior.” It went on to tell about her current nationwide college tour of more than 20 shows over the next 12 weeks (you can check this out yourself at www.alfa-music.com). Imagine that, an indie artist who’s actually brave enough to step out of the studio and onto the stage to connect with an audience. You know, like musicians use to do back in the day.

A little later that day our editor sent me a message that one of Alfa’s reps had called him to get permission to send over her EPK. Whatever the rep had said had my normally placid editor excited enough to suggest (really it was more of an order) that I temporarily drop everything else I was working on and begin working on writing something about the diminutive Asian/American artist. That was on February 4th, 2013, and I had two weeks to hand in my assignment (BTW-it turns out that besides her music what had impressed our editor was Alfa had generated the funding for this project by using KickStarter.com so if any you are not familiar with KickStarter I suggest you check them out).

So, for the following fortnight I followed Alfa on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube, Sonicbids, Bandcamp and her web site. As well, I contacted her promotion company and requested any updates about the industrious young woman, which they diligently provided on a daily basis. It was becoming increasingly clear that the singer/songwriter had assembled a dedicated team that not only pitched her product, but they pitched it with the heartfelt passion of being part of something that was about to become much bigger than the sum of its individual parts.

Later, on the evening of that same day, I sat at my computer and opened her EPK. Being a creature of habit I first downloaded her record, “World Go Blue”, from the Dropbox link one of her promoters had provided, then sat back to listen. For the next 30 minutes or so Alfa’s music made sweet, seductive love to my song-starved ears.
The 8 tracks on “World Go Blue” were more than just your run-of-the-mill tunes. Just when I thought I could predict where the melodies, lyrics and performances were about to go Alfa teasingly toke off in another unexpected direction. She’s not afraid to step outside of the standard chord progressions to explore and experiment.

Her album opens with the economically titled track, “War!” Not the folkie protest ballad one would expect it’s more of a philosophical observation of how we let the little things in life escalate into full blown battles with others and ourselves. She sings this battle hymn like a war weary soldier who’s fought too many poorly picked fights only to realize, in the end, what was won wasn’t worth winning after all.
“Blue”, the second selection, is a simply stated sonnet that kicks off with just a ukulele and Alfa’s voice, then by the chorus, introduces us to a cleverly casted array of instruments (including a ghostly glockenspiel). If you listen closely to her well chosen words you’ll have the answer as to where the album title came from. “Blue” is not only the designated radio single, but it’s also the first music video from this release that she made available so far. In my humble opinion, it’s one of the funniest anti-Valentine’s Day videos I’ve seen. But don’t take my word for it; watch her video for yourself that was so graciously supplied by her team and that is embedded below this article.

The third cut, “First Sight of Land” tells the tale of finally spotting that sight for sore eyes which often is so hard to find. Alfa really understands how to employ the fabled “middle eight”, or bridge, in music that allows the listener a departure point to travel away from the verses and repeated chorus sections. She slyly crafts her compositions so that the return from the bridge section is a refreshing reunion, like with old friends, to the returning verse and chorus.

“Missed Opportunity” starts out like a piano exercise that beginners are forced to perform. It even has the echoes of a metronome like percussion such as any keyboard student was forced to endure at the command of their pedantic piano teacher. Once more her lyrics lead the listener away from the obvious as Alfa ponders the fate of being the third wheel on a love triangle.

The closest that any of the tunes on “World Go Blue” could be considered as just filler is “Unwritten Rule”. It’s not bad, per say, but it just didn’t live up to the highly set bar of the preceding pieces. That being said, the momentary slack is handily drawn taut on the hauntingly beautiful “Replaced”. Who amongst us not experienced the daunting worry and despair of being the one to be left behind?

A - Hot Indie News


"UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA: "World Go Blue" Review"

Artist: ALFA
Non-Airable Tracks: None
Label: Unsigned
Alfa Garcia and her Album "World Go Blue," truly capture the instrumental uniqueness, strong vocals, and her passion in each track. Every track transitions smoothly and beautifully compliments into stronger vocals proceeding with peaceful guitars or ukuleles. This album is an overall success for ALFA, and New Jersey shall be proud to have her as their own. My favorite track being "Blue" with the unique accent of ukuleles and her crisp sweet vocals compliment each other perfectly. It makes me want to jump in my car and take a road trip to the beach. This Album is nothing but good vibes and great music; I suggest everyone take a listen.

Sounds Like: Kate Nash, Regina Spector
Recommended Tracks:
#1- War: Slower with a pop melody and folk vocals 4/5
#2- Blue: Island tone, Ukuleles percussion, and just good vibes 5/5
Name: Alexandra Adamson
Date Reviewed: 04/11/2013 - KAMP Student Radio


"MOCHI MAGAZINE: YouTube Star of the Week: Alfa Garcia"

You may have seen the name Alfa Garcia floating around for awhile now. She’s performed shows across the country from Los Angeles to New York, including a few with fellow YouTube star David Choi. Born in the Philippines and raised in New Jersey, Garcia has been living in L.A., where she continues to pursue a music career and create music videos, such as “Missed Opportunity” on her YouTube channel. We had the chance to ask Alfa a few questions while she was in New York performing near her alma mater, New York University. Read on to find out how she got started, what her favorite summer fashion trends are, and how to help with her upcoming Kickstarter project.

How did you get your start in music?
I started learning the piano at five years old. When I was eight, I learned the violin and studied for about 10 years. It wasn’t until I was 13 when I picked up the guitar on my own and started to write my own songs. All in all, I’d say I’ve been doing music for most of my life.

Who are your musical idols?
There are so many! I really don’t know if I consider anyone an “idol,” but I do look up to the work of Joni Mitchell, Fiona Apple, Jewel, and a rock band I was really into as a kid called Silverchair. These days, I really admire Sara Bareilles, Regina Spektor, Ingrid Michaelson and A Fine Frenzy. I admire them for not only being talented women, but because they have a great perspective on art and creativity. On the side of male songwriters, I love Sondre Lerche, Teitur and Josh Ritter, and anything that involves Ben Gibbard.

Where do you find inspiration for your songs?
It sounds cliché, but I find it in everyday life. I spend so much time being observant of the world around me, just being amazed at being alive, at the little quirks of daily existence. I feel like I could write a lot of songs on the most random things I’m curious about. I recently wrote a song called “War,” and it’s all about the inner battle you fight when you’re in your 20's and trying to sort everything out in your life. I do write quite a bit about love, many times about the difficulty of loving. I overcame the adversity of abandonment as a child when my father left my family, and this relates to the “love” themes that I am drawn to, or rather, the challenges of love. I’ve gotten a lot better at writing happy songs, though—promise!

What projects/plans do you have for the summer or near future?
I’m launching a Kickstarter! I have been writing so much this past year and now I need all the help I can get to bring these new songs into the studio. I’d love to have a new album and music video ready for fans by the end of the year.
What fashion trend are you currently into right now?
At the moment, I am really into short shorts. It’s always warm here in California, and I moved here just over a year ago, so I’m still getting used to being able to wear shorts on most days. Also, I’m always a sucker for the side-braid. It’s the perfect remedy to bad-hair days!

You can buy Alfa Garcia’s debut full-length album here. - Mochi Magazine


"WWS MAGAZINE: Exclusive Interview with Alfa! World Go Blue, New Album & The Upcoming Sensation"

Exclusive Interview with Alfa! World Go Blue, New Album: The Upcoming Sensation

Add equal parts unique vocals and disarming lyrics, throw in a dash of irresistible melodies, then stir in some Jersey-style girl-next-door sensibility and you’ll get ALFA: a musical concoction that is comparable to “a clear blue sky and a candid soul” (Indie Music Reviewer). Other listeners clearly agree: Alfa’s album “World Go Blue” is climbing up national charts, including the CMJ Top 200 National Airplay Charts (#135) and College Radio Charts (#77 unweighted). In 2012, Music Connection Magazine placed Alfa in their Top 25 Music Critiques, noting, “fans of Ingrid Michaelson and Sara Bareilles will savor this artist.”

Recorded in Nashville and L.A., “World Go Blue” is a melody-driven collection of autobiographical songs inspired by Alfa’s move to L.A. in 2011. The album has been praised for its lyrical depth and vocal delivery, with most reviewers at a loss for comparisons to Alfa’s multi-faceted style. The songs from this Kickstarter-funded project navigate complex but universal themes, from lost innocence to the restlessness of being a 20-something, and the hope that exists despite life’s ebb and flow. Alfa is currently on tour to promote “World Go Blue”.

WWSMAG: How is it just coming up in the music industry?
A: It definitely feels good to have a decent push behind my latest release. I feel very blessed to be getting positive feedback and a lot of people supporting me. At the same time, this has been a work in progress for a long time. I’ve been writing songs since I was 13, and recording my own music since I was 15. So, even if it may seem like I’m “just coming up” to a lot of people, to me, it feels like this is part of a long and exciting journey.

You had a big iTunes release, has much success come after that?
So far, so good. It wasn’t just an iTunes release, “World Go Blue” is also available on all major online retailers as well as Bandcamp (physical copies are available). I can definitely say that this album is the proudest I’ve been of my work, and I’ve gotten a very positive reaction to this album. As an artist, there’s a sense of relief that comes from that. Right now, we’re just promoting with radio and press, and I’ve been doing a college tour to support. Everything’s been pretty great so far.

How do you feel as an Asian in this American music industry?
That’s a pretty loaded question, and I’ve been asked this question a lot (I’d imagine you have too!). I think as far as being Asian-American and mainstream in America, the present is a great time for us. We still have a long way to go as far as getting into the “mainstream,” but I think the tides are currently changing. But with that being said, I don’t write music with my ethnicity as the first thing in mind. My music is very personal: I write about what I know, what I observe, feel, or imagine; and if my being Asian affects that, then it’s in there mixed in with everything else in my life that informs my art, much like any other artist of any ethnicity. In the end, I hope I would be judged by my work, and not the color of my skin.

Do you have any advice for those who are just starting out?
My biggest advice to anyone who is starting out, and is serious about pursuing music, is to be persistent. That means a lot of things. It means, be willing to put hard work in; don’t take no for an answer; and don’t believe in shortcuts.

If you had a choice, would you stay independent, or sign to a major label?
I think that’s a bridge I would cross when I got there. A lot of people slam major labels, but it really comes down to what kind of deal is being offered. The same goes for a small label, or really any kind of deal that you’re offered that relates to your music. It’s based on the circumstance, and it probably would be wise to stay open-minded.

What did you do before coming up in music?
I have been doing music pretty much my whole life, I just never thought I would pursue it as a career until after I graduated from college. My whole family does music, so it was normal for us to play music around the house. I still have memories of tinkering around at the piano with my sister when I was little kid in the Philippines, while my grandparents, aunts, mom and dad jammed along on their instruments. My grandfather, who partially raised me along with my mom and grandmother, is a pastor, so I grew up in church and started getting my earliest taste of music there. When we immigrated to New York, he started another church, and that’s where I really got a chance to explore music, and learn how to play and sing with other people. I started on piano when I was 5, and then took up violin when I was 8. I joined an orchestra for about 7 years, but eventually taught myself guitar and started writing songs when I was 13. When I got to college, my mom had advised me not to study music, so I studied International Relations instead… but my little “master plan - WWS Magazine


"ASIAN JOURNAL: Kollaboration: Empowering Asian-American Pacific Islanders"

....classically trained pianist, violinist, and guitar- ist, Alfa, has been writing her own songs for a long time. Her first full-length record, “Second Skin”, was received well by the Asian American community in New York. This petite music genius has also performed all across the US, Toronto, Swit- zerland, and the Philippines...
- Elgin Zulueta - Asian Journal


"NEWARK EXAMINER: Alfa's Second Skin yields brilliance and maturity"

NEW YORK– Artists have phases in their careers. The not so great ones have downhill phases, while great ones have phases pointing them towards perfection. In Alfa's sophomore album entitled Second Skin, we see her in a new phase, which reveals her in her most brilliant form yet– a testament to the fact that she is currently the best female singer-songwriter in the New York and New Jersey Asian-American music scene. Second Skin is such a well-written record that it is a challenge to anyone who listens to it to even describe it as an OK record because It is not just an OK record, it is a magnificent record. It is Alfa at the top of her game. The opening track Supergirl is rich with musical ideas because for the first time, we hear Alfa's music fully accompanied, unlike her first record, which was mostly accompanied by her acoustic guitar. Alfa's producer, Alex Houton played most of instruments in this album. Alfa chose to use the piano to a large degree here, which perfectly matches the nice tongue-and-cheek beat. Supergirl is a great album opener because it ushers the listener to Alfa's new phase as if she is saying '" told you it will be different." Well, different but great. Another great track is the second song Love as Tragedy: A Play in Three Acts, which displays Alfa's lyrical gifts and knack at crafting sweet pop music. It has a solid driving rhythm that brings a great groove. All the 11 tracks in Second Skin are great. The skip button will have no use for this record. Consider the track Isabelle. It is track number five in the album. The song is a French-styled ditty with Alfa actually singing verses in French. It is lushly decorated with an accordion and violin, which was played by Jorge Miranda. It is nothing short of magnificent for it is so different from the rest of the songs in the collection , yet the listener will have no doubt that it is still Alfa's song. Though extremely musically detached from the other 10 songs, it is not a "what was she thinking" moment. It fits perfectly in the album. All songs were written by the Bergenfield , NJ artist except for the songs Wear Your Shoes, and I wont, which she co-wrote with Mr. Houton The last song , Home to Me, which was recorded live with just Alfa playing the piano is a perfect album closer. It was a great decision to have her accompanied by only the piano for it totally captured the song's sentimentality and rewarded the listener with honest to goodness tenderness. If one thing is evident in this record, it is that Alfa has truly matured. She now understands the power of the chorus. In pop music, a song without a chorus is a song wasted. And Alfa provided the best choruses yet in her young career. So catchy are these choruses that the listener still sings them even after the tracks have ended and the the player has started playing the next track, which inevitably contains yet another catchy chorus. Second Skin is Alfa's second offering, but really, it is the beginning of her stellar career. - Examiner.com


"INCOGNITO MAGAZINE : "World Go Blue" Review"

Alfa is an artist I discovered randomly on Bandcamp one day. Admittedly, this is pretty poppy and it's not the sort of thing I normally write about in these pages. The reason I'm writing about her is simple. I was drawn in by Alfa's voice. What can I say? I am an all-day sucker for sweet-voiced female vocalists. The thing that's really interesting about this singer is that it is hard to pin down who she sounds like. At times, she reminds me of Norah Jones ("War!" "First Sight of Land"). She has that same jazzy sort of delivery. At other times, she reminds me of Harriet from The Sundays or Leigh from Sixpence None the Richer ("Blue"). Leaving comparisons aside, Alfa has the kind of voice that makes you want to hear her sing everything including phone conversations and orders for French fries. This is an album of eight songs that are catchy and sweet. Alfa shows that she is not only a good singer but also an accomplished musician. If you're like me and love sweet-voiced singers, check out World Go Blue! - Incognito Magazine


"MISS ELEIGH NEUX: Ukulele Siren on the Loose"

Check out who I found today! I'm not sure about the exact date but I think she was one of the live performances I was supposed to witness when I was invited by a friend in a ukelele cafe. Talk about missed opportunities but its fate I got to see her in a Facebook post today.

Alfa Garcia, more popularly known as "Alfa" is an upcoming folk pop singer/songwriter who's got the right melodies to spark a good mood from anybody who's been through a rough day. I just love the way her songs are embedded with the perfect blend of smart lyrics and a feel good vibe. Kind of reminds me of Yeng Constantino, Fil-Am style.

A Filipino native of Mindanao, Alfa's a musician at heart who grew up in New York City, the melting pot of all art enthusiasts. Being born to audiophile parents, Alfa had a quick start to discovering her musical prowess when she joined the Children's Orchestra Society of New York. She learned how to play the guitar, ukelele, violin and piano, which is really admirable as I've given up on those a long time ago. She also bagged the grand prize for Kollaboration Acoustic 2009, which is granted to talented young Asian-American artists. She's been in the industry for quite a while getting on a few gigs here and there, posting videos on Youtube and creating her own label. It has only been, I think, in her latest album entitled "World Go Blue" that she finally got her break. Her songs have been featured in E's Keeping Up with the Kardashians and MTV's Friendzone. Her debut album has also been included in the CMJ Top 200 National Airplay Radio charts (#123, not too bad) as well as in the Top 100 College Radio Charts (#65).

"I spend so much time being observant of
the world around me, just being amazed at being alive,
at the little quirks of daily existence.
I feel like I could write a lot of songs on the
most random things I'm curious about."
- Alfa Garcia on an interview at MochiMag

Here's the video I have been playing over and over again this day and probably the next few days. I love the direction they put in this video, about a girl serenading guys then murdering them after. It's a classic story of a ukelele siren on the loose. Enjoy!

Visit Alfa Garcia's official website HERE, where you can also listen and be swayed by her music.

Eleigh - Miss Eleigh Neux (BLOG)


"INDIE MUSIC REVIEWER: "War!" Song Review"

War is a heavy title to deal with. So much has been written and so much has been attached to the meaning of the word. What happens here is that you hit play on this Bandcamp player and get stolen from the world around you and thrown into a feeling you’ve experienced before but couldn’t put your finger on; the war that develops within ourselves against an imaginary wrongness. Is a telephone that doesn’t get us through enough to create such thoughts? Yes, it happens every day.
Then we have to go out for a walk and let it all go by, just like it happens in one of those good “west coast” movies.

Well, talking of west coast movies, Alfa has that freshness that blends the clear blue sky and a candid soul, there is something so appealing about her voice that makes you want to get more, something that makes you want to see what else she has to say. The production of this song is totally current and the choice of instrumentation fits Alfa’s tone like a glove fits a beautiful hand that’s ready to give! A great “sit-on-the-shore-and-think-about-it-while-the-sun-is-slowly-moving-towards-the-horizon” song that will make a lot of people out there feel better for 3 minutes. And maybe will even get people to call back!
If War is what the album sounds like this is a "buy it" for me!

4.75/5
- Indie Music Reviewer


"MUSIC CONNECTION MAGAZINE: Alfa - Top 25 New Music Critiques of 2012"

You can picture the artist singing her uplifting, melodic "Supergirl" into a mirror, boosting her self-confidence with each crafty chord change. The clean, uncluttered arrangement of this breezy, engaging song allows Alfa's vocal warmth to carry the day.
"Love as Tragedy: 3 Acts" is a pop-rocker with an ascending/descending melody as Alfa takes her ex to task for his pessimism. A poignant character study emerges to a waltz cadence in the French accordion flavored, "Isabelle." Fans of Ingrid Michaelson and Sara Bareilles will savor this artist.
- Music Connection - Music Connection Magazine


"Alfa - Top 25 New Music Critiques of 2012"

You can picture the artist singing her uplifting, melodic "Supergirl" into a mirror, boosting her self-confidence with each crafty chord change. The clean, uncluttered arrangement of this breezy, engaging song allows Alfa's vocal warmth to carry the day.
"Love as Tragedy: 3 Acts" is a pop-rocker with an ascending/descending melody as Alfa takes her ex to task for his pessimism. A poignant character study emerges to a waltz cadence in the French accordion flavored, "Isabelle." Fans of Ingrid Michaelson and Sara Bareilles will savor this artist.
- Music Connection Magazine


"LOS ANGELES INDYMEDIA: "World Go Blue" Review"

"World Go Blue", the latest release by Los Angeles singer/songwriter Alfa, is the epitome of the classic study of light and dark.

"World Go Blue," by Los Angeles singer/songwriter Alfa, is the epitome of the classic study of light and dark. The 8 songs on "World Go Blue" are juxtaposed as the expression of the highs and lows that we each encounter in our lives. Every tune on the album almost seems to be a clever flipside, as if the other side of a story or a coin, that relates to another subsequent track on the CD.

Opening with "War!", we have a song that seems to say that since life is essentially sad we tend to allow the day-to-day small and mundane occurrences to shadow our moods. There are shades of Bob Dylan's "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry" (from his 1965 "Highway 61 Revisited") here in her lyrics such as "...war, the fight, what is it good for? And why can't I find peace anymore?" that finally concludes with "I stand still, but don't feel complete-I won't admit defeat." Then, like a flip of a light switch, the 2nd track "Blue" celebrates the head over heels happiness of connecting with someone who makes you feel, "I make sense with you..."

Track 3, "First Sight of Land", which expresses the feelings of being able to appreciate the one you're with is offset by track 4, "Missed Opportunity" that seems to be about someone unable to see the goodness of what's right before their eyes. The cheating heart that Alfa reveals in "Unwritten Rule" (track 5) appears to receive its comeuppance in the lyrics of the following cut, "Replaced", where she laments, "...a wicked soul to bear the days-don't let me be replaced."

"Cup of Coffee" talks of how easy it is, for some, to fall in love and be blinded by the hopes and promises of new begins. After the heat of that moment cools down like a tepid cup of coffee, we still delude ourselves into believing we can successfully return to what we left long ago. Not to leave her listeners in total despair Alfa ends her record asking, "Can we ever go home again?" and replies to her own question with, "Someday you'll find, what you left behind will still remain."

Wisely enough, the album's producers (Lacuestra, Wight and Garcia) understood from beginning to end that Alfa's voice and songs were the featured lead instruments on these recordings. You won't find the ubiquitous guitar break or superfluous keyboard solo usually used to fill an empty 8 to 16 measures of music in a tune. Instead, they allow her masterful command of composition, notably demonstrated in the bridge sections of her writing, and her ovation-worthy vocals to step into the spotlight at the appropriate moment.

So, there you have it in all its bi-polar magnificence: the happy vs. the sad, the good against the bad, and night as opposed to day. That brief moment between the light and the darkness where it's neither black nor white. That unique space it time when, as Alfa Garcia would say, the "World Go Blue". - Los Angeles Independent Media Center


"Spotify Reveals Spotlight on 2016 Artists"

Following Spotify’s announcement on the biggest artists of 2015 this week, the popular music streaming service is now looking ahead at the brightest stars of 2016, as Spotlight on 2016 artists is revealed.

Spotlight is Spotify’s annual list of the best new artists that Pinoy music fans may love in the year to come. The Spotlight on 2016 list for the Philippines features artists including Charlie Puth, Troye Sivan, The Ransom Collective, Lunar Lights and LunchMoney Lewis, all of which Spotify is tipping for greatness over the coming year.

The Spotlight on 2016 list was carefully compiled using a combination of both human curation by Spotify’s team of in-house music experts, with the analysis of millions of streams’ worth of music fans’ current listening data, including:

– The artists whose music is appearing in Spotify’s viral charts, which are a barometer of the music that is being shared the most among friends

– The artists being listened to now by Spotify’s most musically-influential users, who have a track record of discovering and breaking artists early

– The artists whose music is bubbling up in Spotify’s Fresh Finds, a weekly-updated playlist that identifies under-the-radar artists that are generating buzz online.

Spotlight on 2016 Philippines Artists

Charlie Puth
Troye Sivan
The Ransom Collective
Lunar Lights
LunchMoney Lewis
Parson James
LÉON
Francesco Yates
Alessia Cara
Gavin James
DEAN
SEKAI NO OWARI
Ylona Garcia
Alfa Garcia
Zara Larsson
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Alfa Garcia

In 2013, Alfa’s album World Go Blue entered the CMJ Top 200 National Charts and College Radio Charts Top 100, and was supported by multiple U.S. tours primarily in college campuses. The said album was an important landmark in Alfa’s career, expanding her reach sonically and professionally. - Clavel Magazine


Discography

Spark & Fury - 2016 (in progress)
World Go Blue - 2013
Second Skin - 2009

EP's:
Growth - 2007
Picture Memories - 2003
Alfa - 2002

Photos

Bio

Quirky, poetic, and drawn to catchy melodies, Alfa has been hailed as "an artist who has a spectrum of colors in her palette, a songwriter with a knack for tickling a mainstream ear." (Music Connection Magazine) Yet this LA-based artist has a versatility beyond the studio, crafting an organic live show that features an "extremely soulful voice" and a revolving door of instruments - a recipe that has landed her opening slots for major acts like Sam Smith, Howie Day, Shawn Mendes & Us the Duo.

In 2017, Alfa released "Spark & Fury," a 10-song follow-up album to her previous album, "World Go Blue." Her song "Blue" was released worldwide under Ivory Music/Pacific Records and landed Alfa a slot on Spotify's Spotlight on 2016 - Philippines, a coveted playlist that curates upcoming artists to watch, garnering more than 178,000 streams.  Alfa's songs have been heard on E!'s "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," MTV's "Real World/Road Rules Challenge," the Taiwanese-American film "Baby Steps" (from the producer of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), and the nationally-released film "Old Fashioned" from Skoche Films.

To find out more about Alfa, check out www.alfa-music.com.