Identity sits high on a list of intangible “items” that cannot be replaced or duplicated. Some search for it, some lose it, others attribute it to something else. For Alicia Blue, she owns her roots yet defines herself. Los Angeles’ folk-songstress shares her long awaited single, “Incognito” and its derivation from experience of listening to racist, off-color comments in regards to her Mexican background.
Hiding, immersing, and shaded with so many colors, the heartfelt penned lines and stirring visual that Alicia crafts on the track is that of a natural story teller. Recollecting what she heard at a younger age — “You’ve been talking about my brother saying things you shouldnt be / you say you love him but I cannot see — the track’s looming and Hollywood Noir score plays on the suppression factor that Alicia invokes.
Alicia’s versatility shows incredible potency that ranges from her thick tone, vocal twangs, matter-of-fact finesse, and rich harmonization alongside an acoustic. Blues ridden plucks weigh heavier towards the end and come together to bend and break each verse, as she continues to question: “We were taught that equal, is equal, is equal, how can you say those things?” She moves a listener with ease through the notion of her stories, therapeutic for others who also share this familiar narration and educational for others.
“Growing up as a ‘passing’ Mexican-American taught me that working class Mexican was not cool, at least to upper class suburban white kids. My friends made that apparent with comments like ‘do you have an alarm on your house?’ Or ‘ew the gardeners’ when I’d be outside at their houses playing. I don’t care what ethnicity I was born into, I had a deep seated knowing of what a hero was,” explains Alicia. “And that was somebody doing a job nobody wanted to do. Work in 90° weather that’s backbreaking? Not for me. So my heart palpitated for people like that, and they happened to come from the same place my ancestors came from. I couldn’t understand why nobody else could recognize that.”
Seen as a regular throughout Los Angeles, Alicia’s repertoire takes moments in time from her life for a larger connection with listeners. “Incognito” is a robust introduction to the craft of Alicia and leaves a golden streak; prideful and wanting more from the artist.
Los Angeles, catch her live February 26th at Highland Park Bowl