“Music seems to help the pain, seems to motivate the brain,” sang Roger Waters on Pink Floyd’s “Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk” from 1967. Waters’ speculation rang true for listeners back then and it rings true today. Music can have a profound affect on our emotions while also stimulating our intellectual capacity. Music can be fun and sad all at once—it is not a contradiction to suggest that your favourite songs might be the ones that make you cry the most.
Melbourne-based Colombian musician, Alethia Gomez, seeks to tap into music’s ability to simultaneous heal and motivate. On her upcoming debut album under the artist name, ALETHIA, Gomez is exploring the seven chakras through the prism of R&B, reggae, new age, electronic, pop and Latin fusion.
Gomez was born and raised in Colombia, where she began performing music at a young age. She got involved in the world of musical theatre in her pre-teen years; at 16, she enrolled in EMMAT, the Colombian affiliate of the famous Berklee College of Music, where she studied jazz, pop and the Cuban styles, bolero and son Cubano.
In 2013, Gomez was a finalist on the Colombian version of The Voice (aka La Voz Colombia) but soon left Bogotá to appear in Spanish-language productions of Grease and Jesus Christ Superstar in Miami, Florida. Since relocating to Melbourne a few years ago, Gomez—who’s now in her mid-20s—has been concentrating on her own original music.
ALETHIA will release her debut album later in 2022. The record—which Gomez is producing as part of her Master of Creative Industries (MCI) at JMC Academy—comprises 12-songs divided into four separate EPs, each of which centres on different genres and themes.
Gomez worked with a different producer for each EP, which enabled her to be very specific with the sounds, moods and stories contained within. “Every producer I have been working with has helped me to refine and find those peculiar instruments and atmospheres to create that musical environment that will help us put across this deep purpose through the music,” she says.
Gomez wants the record to have a positive impact on listeners; the sort of impact that could alter not just someone’s mood, but their entire outlook. “I don’t want to distract people from their reality or to help them escape,” she says. “I want to invite them to be present, to reconnect with themselves and their greatness; to reconnect with their spirituality if that is what they need.”
Gomez’s spiritual exploration is rooted in the seven chakras (i.e., the main energy centres in our body according to certain spiritual belief systems). Finding balance between the seven chakras puts us in harmony with our own energy, says Gomez, thereby connecting our physical body to our mind and spirit.
“I wanted to connect songs with chakras so that the emotion and sensation that these songs bring to the listener could in a way stimulate this energetic balance,” Gomez says. For example, “Alma Mia”, from the first EP, concerns the root chakra and “aims to make us feel grounded, secure and with a sense of belonging,” says Gomez.
The album is preceded by the single, “Once More,” which is the record’s most significant track. “Once More” marks the story’s beginning and strengthens the thematic coherence between the four EPs.
“‘Once More’ frames a very special moment in my life when I found myself and had a profound experience that led me to my personal reconnection and spiritual awakening,” Gomez says. “This song is an invitation to believe again, to dream again, to follow our hearts and be ourselves.”
Gomez wants the album to engender a similar kind of awakening (or reawakening) in her listeners. “Once More” reflects the songwriter’s belief that, to change and evolve, one must first imagine themself capable of doing so. “As a caterpillar you must believe that you will be a butterfly, otherwise, you may never be able to fly,” she says.
JMC’s Master of Creative Industries admits students not just in music but in all areas of the creative industries including audio production, animation, visual and game design, film and TV production, entertainment management and acting. Gomez says her experience at JMC has been “amazing”, which is partly due to the networking opportunities it has provided.
“I have met filmmakers, painters, music producers and musicians, animators and literati,” she says. “It’s been great to be surrounded by creative and interesting people from all over the world.”
It’s not an overstatement to describe Gomez’s creative goals as lofty, but she’s been emboldened by her interactions with creatives across disciplines. “There is something very special about sharing your ideas with other creatives, seeing their creations and making collaborations. Your craft and your creative process are fed by the environment in which they develop, so they are enriched by different people’s perspectives.”
Gomez has been particularly empowered by the mantra, “No idea is too crazy or impossible” which has provided the impetus to “dream big.” “I believe that if we allow ourselves to dream big and imagine without limitations, the best inventions are going to be created,” she says. “As a creative, that’s the way I have to think.”