“When I was nine years old, I told my mom, ‘I’m going to be an artist, let’s do this,’” Snoh Aalegra laughs. Her mother picked up the phone book and started making calls. Without any demos or recordings to share, she landed a meeting with a studio executive who gave her young daughter a chance to sing for him. That eventually led to a development deal with Sony ATV in Sweden for the hopeful 13-year-old. At the time the family lived in Enköping and a young Aalegra had to travel 45 minutes to Stockholm after school and on the weekends to attend recording sessions.
She looks back on those years fondly, remembering train rides as a time to sit quietly with her thoughts. In the first of two new exclusive performances, Aalegra returns to that familiar train setting with a four-piece band for a new rendition of “Find Someone Like You,” from her 2019 album Ugh, Those Feels Again. “I’ve always been a big daydreamer,” she says, “And that definitely gave me time to just dream away, listen to music, and be in a different world on my way back and forth from school and the studio.”
“I Want You Around,” is a timeless song about the innocent feelings that take root before love fully forms, a snapshot of something familiar to many. “My music and my albums are like little time capsules. I’m literally telling you about the latest that I’ve been through,” explains Aalegra. “It’s like a diary.” In the second new performance, Aalegra shares a stripped-down show flanked by her band members and curtains moving through the light of a warm afternoon. Watch the performances above and read more about Snoh Aalegra’s rise to fame in a new documentary about the Swedish-Iranian soul singer at billboard.com/hondastage.