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ALMA talks French Montana-collab: "He was so nice!"

22 September 2017, 08:36 | Written by Matthew Kent

Finnish pop phenomenon ALMA continues her hot streak of faultless pop with new single "Phases".

The follow-up to her breakout single "Chasing Highs", ALMA has done it again, this time with a little help from her friends. "Phases" feature a guest verse by French Montana and was co-written by Brit-hot singer/songer and star in her own right Charli XCX. This latest track could feature on ALMA's highly anticipated forthcoming still-in-the-works debut album, which is slated for release next year and will be executively produced by XCX alongside Justin Tranter, who has written some of your favourite songs.

BEST FIT: Tell us about the new track.
Alma: I wrote the track with my friend Charli XCX and she also directed the video. We finished the song in Finland and it was very nice for us to hang out there and finish the whole track there. It’s just about teenage phases. When you’re getting drunk Friday and think you like someone, Saturday you wake up like “no” and sometimes you hurt someone else’s feelings.

French Montana is on “Phases”, what was it like working with him?
He was so nice, I didn’t know what to expect, because he’s a big artist and is friends with Drake, Nicki Minaj and I’m a girl from Finland. He was very nice, he liked my style.

You finished the track in Finland, do you get to spend a lot of time back home?
I’m actually on holiday, starting tomorrow, so I’m very excited. I can’t wait to see how all the Finnish fans and people react, it’s already all over the news that I’m doing a song with French Montana. I think they’re proud of me which feels very good.

i-D championed you in an article about a new wave of Finnish stars coming through. How do you feel about being face for Finland?
Sometimes weird, but it feels very good. I feel proud, I’m just happy that Finnish people are pushing up and not pulling me down, people think I’m gonna make it and it feels very good. I feel like I’m the first artist that people really support, like she can do this.

This summer you’ve been everywhere playing festivals.
It’s been so nice to play all summer, I love my band and my sister’s with us all the time all the time.

What have your highlights been?
I have to be honest, every festival in the UK. Reading, Leeds, Bestival. The slots were like 2 in the afternoon, but there were so many people every time. The last show from festival tour too, Berlin for Lollapalooza, let me show you this video, there were 20,000 people and we performed at 2:30PM. I was like what the heck is going on. Everyone was going crazy. That was one of the highlights.

The reaction to “Chasing Highs” here has been massive. It’s crazy, we’ll be playing and then “Chasing Highs” starts and people just scream. I always take my in-ears out because it feels so good. My goal has always been to have a career here in the UK and because I’m not here all the time I sometimes don’t get it, it feels weird, but still every time I have a gig here I’m scared there’s not going to people there.

You had your headline show at Oslo. How was that?
Sold out. Fucking amazing, people were so good. The love is amazing. I feel like people just accept me and that’s great. People are having a good time and I’m feeling every emotion in my head.

What’s next and coming up in the world of ALMA?
I’m gonna take the next couple of months until the end of the year to write the album. I have support from Charli XCX and Justin Tranter, who are going to executive producers for the album. I’m very excited and they’re putting things together, then we’re going to write in Finland, London and LA. First of all I want to go home and thinking about the theme of the album, so many things have happened, I really want to work out what’s in my head, what the story is, because I need to have a red line. I have like 100 demos, but I wanna work more. It’s going to be loads of work still, but it’s looking great.

"Phases" is out 22 September.
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