Alice Merton Writes Music About People Places and Things

We chatted with the Canadian expat about collaborating to bring her album together, the writing process and advice for fellow music peeps.

German-Canadian artist Alice Merton is all kinds of real in her latest album, Mint, which she describes as an accumulation of all the experiences and feelings of the last several years come to life. It’s a pretty rad roller coaster for sure, showing all sides of passion, anger, confusion and everything in between. Like a modern-day, polished-up Joan Jett, she slays in her own way.

Also, it’s no secret that the last three years have been pretty tenuous for the world at large, so it’s likely that you’ll find something to “amen” to within this collection of goodies. Life, loss, love, loneliness; there’s something for everyone here and Alice is ready to share. We spoke with the lovely herself about collaborating to bring this album together, the writing process and advice for fellow music peeps.

First of all… How are you dealing with this cold? It’s crazy here in Germany right now!

Germany can get really cold, but I’m from Canada, so I’m used to it.

You’re a very diverse and well-traveled person I understand. Where are you based right now? Do you have a favorite place to write or record music?

I’m based in Berlin. I think my favourite place for writing is in Berlin.

So your latest album, Mint. How did it come to be?

I’ve been working on MINT for three years, and it came from different experiences, emotions and challenges. It basically sums up everything I’ve been through in the last three years with starting a record label, touring the world for the first time with my music and realizing that home was never in one place.

Were there many obstacles in getting this all together? Or was it more like smooth sailing?

I think in every creative process there are always obstacles. If it was smooth sailing, there wouldn’t really be anything to write about or to have discussions about. But I’m thankful for the challenges because they are what remind me of how much work and effort I put into the album.

What is the writing process like for you? From how passionate your songs are, it feels like there must be an aspect to it that’s therapeutic, in a way?

It’s definitely very therapeutic to be able to write about things I go through. It’s funny, however, that I then decide to share them with the world… I like to write the songs with my producer, Nico. He focusses on production while I focus on what I actually want to say in the music and how the melodies should be. It allows me to be very free in my thinking and not have someone suggesting I say things differently.

How has your writing process changed over the years if at all?

I still often start songs at the piano by myself, but I’ve learned to also be more spontaneous and throw myself into a song even if it’s just has a guitar riff or a drum beat.

Have there ever been songs that you’ve written where you were like, “man what was I thinking?” Either for subject matter or the general style or direction. 🙂

All the songs I wrote when I was starting out, I look back on and laugh, but they made me who I am now so I don’t regret it. 🙂

What inspires you most? Or when do you feel most inspired?

People inspire me the most and the emotions they can cause you.

Finally, what’s your advice to women or girls out there – either who want to go into music as well or just in general?

My advice is to be strong, listen to your gut and don’t let too many people decide whats best for you. That is something only you can feel and only you should decide.

Thanks, Alice!


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