ALMA: A Year In Review

Coming into 2018, ALMA was one of the hottest up-and-coming pop disruptors out there. 12 months later and she’s shaken off that ‘up-and-coming’ label to position herself as one of pop’s most exciting new wave voices. As fans prepare for what looks set to be a firecracker of a debut album in 2019, CelebMix looks back at ALMA’s phenomenal 2018. 

Early 2018 saw ALMA with her head buried in the studio. In what was to be a year of big releases, the hours were being put in. An Instagram post in January saw the Finnish pop star in the studio with fellow singer and chum Charli XCX, as well as PC Music producer extraordinaire A.G. Cook. Later that month, ALMA was in the studio with XCX again, but now Tove Lo joined the fiery duo, as the work on that debut album continued. 

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As February came around, so did award season. ‘Chasing Highs’ was a track that defined 2017 for many pop music fans, and was deservedly acknowledged by winning Song of the Year at the Finnish music awards. Later that month, ALMA formed part of an albeit temporary, but iconic girl group alongside Dua Lipa, Zara Larsson, Mø and Charli XCX for a cover of Lipa’s ‘IDGAF’ in the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge. 

February finished with the announcement of a European and North American tour, as well as telling fans that her first mixtape, Heavy Rules, would be following very soon. That mixtape dropped on March 2ndand featured cameos from Mø, Tove Styrke and Kiiara. Heavy Rules showed a new sign to ALMA, adding an extra dimension to the booming, dancefloor-filling voice that had already won over so many fans. ‘Dance For Me’ with Mø also carried Charli XCX and Noonie Bao writing credits to make for one of the funkiest bits of electropop ever heard, whilst ‘Good Vibes’ with Tove Styrke has already smashed over 25 million streams on Spotify alone. Elsewhere, ‘BACK2U’ showed ALMA at her most vulnerable to date and gave fans a taste for what a full-length record might hold. 

Before long, April had come around and ALMA set off on the road, starting with a five-date North American trip, which featured stops off at New York’s Public Arts and Lost Angeles’ The Echo. Fellow hair-dyed artist Au/Ra joined the Cyber Twinz on the road for those shows, as ALMA fans were treated to new and old material alike in the star’s infamous high-energy party shows.

All the meanwhile, ALMA was busy in the studio. She announced that she had made over 28 songs during April alone, keeping fans’ taste buds tingling for exactly what remains in store for THAT album in 2019. 

Before the UK leg of the tour kicked off, a stop off at Vevo’s Great Escape Fest in Brighton went down a treat. From May 21st, ALMA was back on the road, now in Europe. Starting off in Glasgow before a landmark date at London’s Heaven followed by shows across the continent, the ‘Dye My Hair’ singer’s energy never wavered. 

And the new music kept coming. June 7thsaw her united with pals again, this time to spice up a remix of Tove Lo’s ‘bitches’ which came with a huge music video. Festival season saw stops off at Open’er, Ruisrock, Longitude and Benicàssim, amongst others, the ALMA party still rolling on. 

A mammoth support set in late September at Halsey’s sold-out Eventim Apollo show saw ALMA turn the iconic London venue’s crowd into a frenzy two nights in a row. A couple of weeks later and it was time for new music again. ALMA put out her final single for 2018 in ‘Cowboy’, another change in sonic direction. The care-free embracing of her kick-ass attitude was premiered on Annie Mac’s Radio 1 show and came with a music video set in the star’s Finnish hometown. 

During the ‘Cowboy’ madness, ALMA had headed across the pond again to play another string of 11 U.S. shows, which included a slot at Brooklyn’s prestigious Elsewhere. And the air miles kept racking up in November, as ALMA joined fellow Scandinavian popstress Mø for her string of European shows. 

Now, it’s time for 2019. The album seems ready. ALMA most definitely is. Are you ready for a Cyber Twinz party? 

Written by Toby Bryant

CelebMix writer and lover of all things pop music.

Follow me on Instagram @toby_bryant_.