By: Aleyda Ortiz.
It is very important for Red Page, to get to know deeper each one of the singers that will participate in the Beyond the Black production. Each one of them have a musical and personal history that enhance their performances and make them all exceptional women into the areas in which they develop.
During this second chapter, we had the enjoyment of interviewing Alis Heded Loza, a mexican singer who lives in the City of Guadalajara, who owns a very powerfull opera voice that allow her to imprint a very unique signature to the first Red Page album.
Alis Heded or Anikka Haitanen (su pseudonym)?
“I would like that people know me as Alis Heded, because my grandfather marked my life and supported my career very hard, I would love that my grandpa´s lastname Heded to be recognized.” Alis started her career at the age of five: “Since very little my family realized about my talent, mainly my paternal grandmother, who also was a professional singer, one day she heard me while I helped her washing clothes and then she was the one who talked to my parents and encouraged them to take me to the singing lessons. Soon after music started to passionate me, and then I realized that yes, that was the reason for which I wanted to live the rest of my life.”
Alis Heded tessitura is defined as “Dramatic coloratura soprano”, which main characteristics are the agility for faster passages and the wide extension of its registry: “They can reach a very wide extension, from B4 or even B3 to easily a F6″, indicates Danny Heksolson. They also have a fuller, darker timbre when going low, that leaves a higher weight and volume sensation.
To grow that magnificent voice has been a hard task which involves continuous work and study, so Alis obtained her specilization at the age of 18, singing arias in several cultural events, consolidating herself as a professional opera singer. In 2008, she started her bachelor degree in Gregorian Chant, at the Sacred music school of Guadalajara which allows her, to be active inside the Jalisco´s official cultural scene (Jalisco is the mexican state in which Guadalajara City is located).
How Alis foresees the opera/sacred music appreciation not only in her state but in the whole country?
“There still is the need for a strong support for mexican musicians, not only from Guadalajara. There is a lot of talent and excellent singers that need to be more exploited -in the good meaning of the word-, unfortunately, for years, there has been a strong lack of government support for cultural events organization, or even to promote the singers; but I have to say that with the new administration we have had it in a small dose. I foresee a promising outlook in México for this kind of music, there is a lot of people who want to be recognized, who want to introduce the gigantic cultural richness from our country”.
Opera music has been the kind of art that is the main stream in Alis Heded´s life; but we know about her admiration for Tarja Turunen, who was the main singer for the finnish symphonic metal band Nightwish, as well as for her melodic metal performances delight; How the Alis´s interest for each one of this musical genres (that are apparently opposites but that are deeply attached), born?
“It was so curious, I started with Zéjel, a rock band, and there our drummer Fabiola Magaña told me that my voice could be a right fit for those styles, she lended me a Nightwish album when I was 13, and I loved it from that moment. I was studying opera because my grandmother and my whole family knew that my power, vocal registry and tessitura were perfect for that, therefore I always took opera seriously. I admire Tarja (Turunen) a lot, because she arrived in a very important moment in my life, I was a teenager and sometimes you feel depressed and things like that, you know. She helped me to sustain my faith in this musical genre; I admire her a lot because of her vocal registry from about three octaves and that very few people have. A great soprano, very tenacious. I wanted to try the melodic metal because of that, I love classical music, I love the opera but I can tell I also love metal music.”
Inside Beyond the Black, first Red Page album, Alis sings “New Begin” (working title), tenth track of the album, but how they reached this point?
“I met Danny Heksolson when he contacted me after he discovered I am a singer, composer and pianist. –because I also play the piano- He told me he was looking for talented singers for his project and asked me if I had something to show him so he could listen to me. I sent him a YouTube video that I have, a Nightwish cover version, he listened, he loved it and later on he invited me to participate officially. I accepted with no doubt. He showed me his music, I liked his compositions very much, he is an excellent musician, he has a very peculiar form of capture feelings and musical ideas that very few mexican composers have; thats why I accepted inmediately. He proposed me to sing “New Begin”, the last track in the album; a piece that I liked a lot because it has a melancholic melody that is at the same time happy; it feels like a rebirth because the song goes its progression in crescendo and then softly it returns, it is like the vital cycle. I liked it and I fell in love with the song completely; obviously we still have to work on it a lot, but I am very happy bacause of my participation in this project.”
Beyond the Black is a collaborationist project which features -in this first album at least- the multicultural participation of great voices. Regarding that Alis comments: “It is the first time I work in such a project and I feel honoured for being part of it, precisely because of the participation of other beauty female voices, who came from diverse world places and cultures. I feel super-happy of being in this special album of Red Page”
Alis Heded Loza, dedicates the main part of her time to the music: “I give singing and piano lessons, I compose and follow my study at the Sacred Music School, at the same time I keep on rehearsing with my metal band: Abyss Of Time and I participate in several cultural events in which I´m invited. My life is dedicated to the music 100%, in that matter I also admire singer María Callas, I identify with her because her life is pretty similar to mine; she was a strong woman and she always persevered; they didnt allow her to get into the conservatory of Viena, but she fought hard for reaching her goal until she did it. I have encoutered the same kind of detours, but no mater what I have keep on the musical road”.
Besides Maria Callas, who other musicians does Alis Heded admire? “I admire mexican composers such as Domingo Lobato or Miguel Bernal Jiménez, a great sacred music composer. Classical music singers I can say that besides Tarja Turunen, Cecilia Bartoli (una gran contralto) & Anna Netrebko are the ones who have marked me the most. Speaking of metal music, I have influences from bands such as Nightwish, -that was my first experience-, from there I heard The Gathering, Within Temptation, Épica, among others that have influenced me with their style.”
What if someone puts Alis in the position to choose between opera and metal music? Which one she would choose? “It would be very hard because I love both genres, I feel the mine; but I think I would dedicate myself to the opera because it fills me up more and it posees qualities that are more suited for me.”
Abyss of Time, the melodic metal band in which Alis is the singer and composer, the sacred music and arias quartet, and her participation as guest singer in Red Page, are the three projects that ocuppy her goals in the short place while she finishes her bachelor degree, but: “In the future, I foresee myself as a well known opera singer, not only in Guadalajara, but nationally” –says Alis– “I would like to sing one day on The National Palace of Fine Arts´s stage and later in Europe, at the grand opera halls and of course, keep on working with my Abyss of Time band, I wish it gets also recognized mainly in our country and we´ll see what happens internationally with it”
Alis Heded has the talent, la presence, la simplicity and the humility required, because of that, we dont hesitate in asseverate that each one of her musical and personal dreams will be totally achieved.
So as we reach the end of this interview, our nice and talented girl leave us her advice: “To the people who love music and who want to dedicate themselves to this, I would tell them that they need to be patient, that music is a dicipline that requires strong commitment and work. Of course, it takes sweat and tears, but is heartwarming. Keep on and fight for your dreams, never ever give up, be perseverant in whatever you do because someday you will achieve what you want.” There is no doubt Alis Hededis one of the greatest voices that “Beyond the Black” will feature, making it an interesting work, full of nuances and contrasts that surely will surprise us.
We let you all precisely with “Kuolema” the Nightwish cover song that Alis showed Danny Heksolson and that was her ticket to Beyond the Black; stay alert for the upcoming interview next monday.