Finnish pop star Alma: 'People keep throwing bras at me'

Finnish pop star Alma: 'People keep throwing bras at me'
From BBC - March 1, 2018

Does Alma matter? If you like great pop music, the answer's a resounding, fluorescent "yes".

The Finnish singer seemingly came out of nowhere last year with the club anthem Chasing Highs - which clocked up more than 100 million streams, and earned her a place on the BBC's Sound of 2018.

She's also caught the attention of pop's biggest female voices.

Charli XCX is helping produce her debut album, while Dua Lipa invited her to join an all-star Live Lounge performance last week, alongside Charli, Zara Larsson and M.

"I felt like I was in the Spice Girls," laughs Alma.

"Those girls have so many great stories for me, because I am a newcomer.

"They are the best teachers for me to conquer the world. Maybe... Some day."

The next step in her quest for global domination arrives on Friday with the release of a mixtape, Heavy Rules, and the new single Dance For Me.

Before she takes over the planet, here's everything you need to know about the 21-year-old singer.

Fans keep giving her their bras

For reasons that Alma ca not quite understand, British fans have started throwing underwear on stage when she plays live.

"Is that a UK thing? Like a rock and roll thing?" she asks.

Assured that it's not, she seems bewildered.

"Well, there's a couple of fans who do that in the UK. They always throw bras on our stage."

Sadly, the singer has not been impressed with the sartorial standard of the garments so far.

"They have mainly been cheap ones. We want some designer ones. Gucci."

She almost won Finnish Idol

As a teenager, Alma made the final of Finland's version of The X Factor - but it was not the best experience.

"It was 50/50, you know?" says the singer. "People did not like me there because I was always trying to do things my own way.

Still, the singer made one important ally. Rapper Sini Sabotage was one of the judges, and invited Alma to tour with her after the show ended in 2013.

"We were touring Finland and doing teenage stuff and it was very much fun. But after three years, I was like, 'OK, now I need to focus on my own thing' and I started writing more."

Would she recommend the talent show route to other aspiring singers?

"I am not the biggest fan of those programmes," she says. "They are not real. But it helped me to get to know Finnish producers and stuff like this."

Pop stardom was never one of her goals

"I have always been making music," says Alma, "but I have never, like, gone, 'I want to be a star'.

"Writing and singing just made me feel better."

In fact, before auditioning for Idol, she'd never considered that a career in pop was feasible.

"In Finland you ca not dream about those things because it never happens to anyone," she says. "We do not have any big stars in Finland so it seems unreachable.

"So now I feel very grateful every day - just overwhelmed. How did I get here?"

Her twin sister inspired her punk style

Elton John championed her on his radio show

Charli XCX is her mentor

She's got that Hel-sinking feeling


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