Born and Raised:
Full name: Alice Russell.
Born: March 1, 1975 in Suffolk County, England. Raised in Framlingham, Suffolk, England.
British soul singer Alice Russell was born the daughter of an organist and grew up surrounded by music as she grew up in the town of Framlingham in Suffolk County, England. At the age of nine, she followed in the musical footsteps of her father and sisters by beginning to take cello lessons, and she later sang in choirs, before studying art and music in Brighton beginning in 1994 while in her late teens. During her studies, she found a variety of influences, including various Gospel and Soul artists, including Chaka Khan
, Aretha Franklin
and Jill Scott
After committing to a music career, she began making a name for herself as a complimentary vocalist in the early 2000s and was featured on recordings by Latin Soul and House music group Bah Samba, Funk Soul producer DJ Quantic, producer/bandleader TM Juke and recording artist Ben Lamdin, aka Nostalgia 77. Her debut album, Under The Munka Moon was released in the UK via the Tru Thoughts label in 2004. It was a collection of new material and songs she had previously collaborated on with various other creators. Her second album, My Favourite Letters, followed in 2005 and was co-written and produced by TM Juke. Her third album, Pot of Gold, was the first to be commercially released in the United States and is best known for her bluesy cover of the Gnarls Barkley song "Crazy." Her second U.S. solo album, To Dust, followed in 2013.
Early in her professional career, Alice made her mark appearing on recordings by other artists, particularly ones on the label she was with at the time, Tru Thoughts. These collaborations included a soulful remake of the White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army" with Nostalgia 77. In August 2007, she and Tru Thoughts parted ways, with the label releasing a statement stating that it "felt it was appropriate to allow Alice to look for alternative outlets for her releases." She returned to the label in 2012 however, for Look Around the Corner
, a collaborative album with Tru Thoughts mainstay Quantic.
Over the course of her career, Alice Russell has been compared to the likes of Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan and many of the classic Soul artists she grew up admiring. She is one of numerous British female vocalists known for their soulful sound, with some of the others being Joss Stone
, Duffy and the late, great Amy Winehouse
2012: To Dust
2011: Look Around the Corner
2008: Pot of Gold
2006: Under the Munka Moon II
2005: My Favourite Thoughts
2004: Under the Munka Moon
"I was brought up in the countryside. And I'd sing in the choir with my dad. He's an organist, and it wasn't like this little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine kind of choir. It was like proper, old English Church of England. And then I just started hearing stuff on the radio that I loved, and I gravitated towards soul music, and then also, all the boys used to play loads of hip hop. So from that, I'd find, you know, you'd go to the samples and then find the music from that, and that would also take you into another line of music." Alice Russell to National Public Radio, in November 2008.