Dubai singer Allexa Bash's debut album Dark Angels is a transformational journey

The Ukrainian artist worked throughout the pandemic on new music, coming up with a stunning album in the process.

by Enid Grace Parker

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Photos: Supplied
Photos: Supplied

Published: Sun 13 Mar 2022, 2:36 PM

Last updated: Sun 13 Mar 2022, 3:57 PM

Dubai has been a constant source of inspiration for artists who want to pursue their dreams and achieve something out of the ordinary; the multi-cultural environment and forward-thinking mindset that prevails in this cosmopolitan city allows them not only to survive, but to thrive.

One such individual, who has been greatly influenced by the vibe and positivity of the creative atmosphere prevalent in Dubai is Allexa Bash. She recently released her debut album, Dark Angels, a significant accomplishment for the Ukrainian singer who spent the pandemic writing and recording material. Through its myriad tracks and musical compositions, Dark Angels asks existential questions like ‘who am I’ and ‘why am I here’.

Allexa who released her debut single Spin Of The Moment around this time last year, said she “really enjoys” the music scene in Dubai, a city that helped build her identity as an artist.

“I think there are a lot of talented people here, and great opportunities. And what started to happen right after Covid, is that platforms with original music started to grow - and it’s an amazing opportunity for musicians who are creating their own stuff.”

Allexa has been in Dubai for almost four years and initially had a long residency as a singer. She shared how the city has been instrumental in her musical journey and giving her a platform to express herself through her songs and performances. “I’ll be honest; Dubai actually helped me to build my stage identity. Before I moved here, I was writing songs but it was like some piece of the puzzle was missing and I still didn’t have the courage to express my thoughts and I didn’t have that clear message, you know?”

Like anyone shifting to a new country to start a new life, Allexa found the move to Dubai and the process of establishing herself as an artist “a big challenge” but the risk was worth taking in the end, she admitted. “After I came here, I discovered my true identity as an artist, and started to record my own songs. So I’m really, honestly, thankful to Dubai for that. It was a great experience.”

Creativity during the pandemic

When the pandemic began, Allexa began taking advantage of the ‘stay home’ policy to tap into material for an album. She said she feels “happy and excited” to have finally released Dark Angels on February 11, 2022.

“It was a long time of recording - almost two years - and a lot of recordings, a lot of creative work. I really wanted to release it ASAP. I actually wrote a lot of songs when the pandemic started; that was the most creative process for me. Because I had the chance to just lock myself up with the piano in the room, and be focused completely on that. And then we started to actually record songs, and produce.”

She mentioned how she wanted to create Dark Angels “as a story”.

“I call it a conceptual album because all of the songs are connected to each other and even if you’re going through the music, you will notice that, starting from Spin Of The Moment and Stay, there are like, dark vibes in the sound, it’s heavy, but with each song the vibes become more uplifting and more positive. So it’s kind of a transformational journey I think and that was the concept of the whole album.”

Allexa, who counts Adele, Rihanna, Madonna, Beyonce and Whitney Houston among her musical influences (“all of them have something which really inspires me, in terms of singing or showmanship or a message through their music”), is also something of a rock fan; when she performed covers on stage, Led Zeppelin was a name that often came up.

She admitted that she wanted Dark Angels to be more of a “rock-electronic” genre, but it ended up being an interesting combination of “an electronic style of fusion” that incorporates elements of electric guitar, orchestral arrangements and more. She expressed hope to experiment more with rock styles in the future.

And like any rock chick worth her salt, she loves performing live and is appreciative of the vibe she gets from her Dubai audience. “I love to connect with the audience through my energy. And it’s an amazing experience when you see the feedback, because it’s usually good. You share emotions with the audience and they respond - it’s a great thing. I love it.”

An inspiring journey

Allexa who grew up in Ukraine where she appeared on reality show The Voice, said she always harboured ambitions to become a singer, even as a child.

“When I was four years old I was already performing on the couch in front of my whole family!”

After the initial singing thrills, she admitted “it was gone for a while”.

She still wanted to play piano, however, and finished music school, but didn’t get back to singing until she was 17.

“I think the most challenging time was when I lost my father; I started to sing and get into music professionally. I started to develop myself as a singer and make myself better and better.”

She spoke with fondness about and concern for her home country that is currently in a state of conflict, concluding our interview with a strongly-expressed belief that music is something that unites us all and has the power to change the world.

“Music is the sound of your soul; you can connect with your emotions through a song. And other people can connect with it as well. It doesn’t matter which country you are from or which language you speak but music can achieve that connection of heart and that makes it very important.”

Enid Grace Parker

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