Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Alice Merton Talks About Travel Inspirations And Her Perfect Day In London

There is truly no other artist-traveler combination than Alice Merton, an indie pop rock artist. The 30-year-old “No Roots” artist has lived in Germany, Canada, the US, and England. Having been culturally influenced by all the places she’s lived, Alice has created music that represents all parts of her and clearly speaks to a large audience. 

Attention was first drawn to Alice after she wrote and sang for German band Fahrenhaidt on their album The Book of Nature in 2015. Soon after, she released “No Roots”, a song inspired by her constant moving and traveling, which became the catalyst for her growing career.

As of today, Alice has two full albums out, two EP’s, and over a dozen singles. In just under a decade, the talented artist has 8x platinum songs, US-Gold, and has played at world renowned festivals like Coachella and Lollapalooza. Alice toured across the US this Spring, as well as making some stops in Germany and other European countries on her summer tour that is taking place right now.

We had the chance to talk to Alice about her perfect day in London, the story behind her new song “run away girl,” and tips for getting used to living in a new city. 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

I know you’ve moved all around the world, but what’s your favorite day like in London?

I would say in London, my perfect day would be going on a walk somewhere in the park or just around in London. Getting a coffee, going to the studio, planning something for the afternoon or the evening. 

There’s some really nice spots to have tea or to be with friends. Then in the evening, there’s always a concert or a musical or some kind of opera going on. That would be how I’d end my day. Then probably going to the pub.

Do you have any favorite places to visit?

There’s a place in Notting Hill called the Portobello Garden Arcade. It’s an Italian restaurant that’s so good and it’s so cozy. I really love going there. If you’re more into pub food, I would suggest the Spaniards Inn. They’ve got a really good Sunday roast and It’s a very nice atmosphere, very old building as well. Those would be two places I’d recommend.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Tell me about “run away girl.”

It’s about the fact that sometimes in life, you want to see what’s on the other side of the mountain. I think in “run away girl,” what I’m trying to say is there’s so many outside factors that often determine what we think should be our happiness or what others want our happiness to be, but we don’t really take the time to figure out what we really want. 

So, it’s kind of this cat and mouse chase of thinking you found your happiness, but then realizing that’s not actually what you want in life, and figuring out who you are as a person because we get influenced by so many things nowadays, especially through social media. I think it’s really hard to tell who we actually are as individual people and what we want.

I was looking forward to this interview because you’ve traveled so many places and lived so many places. I wanted to know how travel and living all over the world has influenced your music.

I’d say it makes my music very different. When I put out an album or an EP, I am really bad at keeping the tracks similar to each other. I love experimenting, and it’s the same with traveling where it’s like, I don’t just want to experience this city, I want to experience different things in that city or different countries. 

I think all of those experiences kind of bleed into the stories I tell and make the songs very different. I feel like sometimes in my songs, when there’s a body of work, story wise, they all fit together. But music wise, I love getting influenced by different cultures, different things. 

You spend a few months every year traveling. What were some of the highlights of traveling in 2023, and where are you planning to go in 2024?

We played a show in Zermatt in Switzerland, and that was a huge highlight for me because I’ve never been. I’m not really a skier, but I really had so much fun putting on a concert in that kind of Swiss chalet vibe. It was just a really cool experience to take a train right through the mountain. I think that was one of my favorite places to visit, in 2023.

In 2024 we have a festival in Greece booked which I’m really excited about because I’ve never been to Greece. We’re going back to Turkey, and I’ve only been to Turkey once for a show, but I’m really excited we’re finally going back. Those are two places that I’m very excited to go to.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

You also have a US tour that started in May. Any cities you’re looking forward to visiting?

I mean, to be fair, I’m looking forward to all of them. I’ve never been to Nashville, so I think that’s going to be really interesting to see what it’s like to perform there. I am looking forward to Portland. Portland’s always a great city. Seattle, New York is always busy, but I think for two days I love it. If I were to spend more than two weeks there, I’d be overwhelmed, but two days is great.

You played the Brandenburg Gate on New Year’s Eve, which looked amazing. What was the highlight of that experience?

I think just being able to play with my band on the day and getting to celebrate New Year’s Eve with everyone. A producer I work with in London also flew to Berlin to perform with me. So honestly, it’s just the fun of spending New Year’s Eve with everyone and then playing the show. It’s a great combination.

Tell me what fans can expect from Heron, your EP, and what were your inspirations behind it? 

I’d say a mixture of things. I think they can expect an EP where every song is quite different. Every song tells a story of what I’ve experienced in the last year or conversations with friends that I’ve had. This EP talks a lot about self-happiness and not letting your happiness be tarnished or influenced by other people’s happiness. Also, self-discovery and figuring out what it is that I want out of this life, out of the short time that I’m on the planet. 

Do you have any tips for when you’re either visiting a new city or assimilating to living in a new city?

I think my tip is always try to be friends with actual local people that live there. Learn about their culture and don’t just go to the tourist spots. Pick a day where you’re actually living like a local and not going on like the typical tourist tours. They’re fun to do as well because it’s great if you don’t have that much time in the city, it’s a great way to see a lot of it. But it’s also really good to see how the people actually live in that city, how they are, what they like to do, what they like to eat, and what their daily life is actually like.

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Amy Harris
Amy Harris is a writer and photographer who has been traveling for 20 years and flown over 2 million miles to visit over 80 countries on 6 continents. She is a freelance photographer for Invision by Associated Press, AP Images and Rex/Shutterstock. Her work can be seen in various publications and websites including: Rolling Stone, AP Images, National Geographic Books, Fodor’s Travel Guides, Forbes.com, Lonely Planet Travel Guides, JetStar magazine, and Delta Sky Magazine.

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