Star-in-the-making Aaliyah Allah grows while keeping the feeling of her rawest R&B songs intact | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Star-in-the-making Aaliyah Allah grows while keeping the feeling of her rawest R&B songs intact 

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click to enlarge Aaliyah Allah

Aaliyah Allah

Anna Claire Barlow

The publicly available catalog of Chicago R&B singer-songwriter Aaliyah Allah stretches back five years, to a song she recorded on GarageBand with just a USB mike; as she told Circus magazine in February, she didn’t know how to mix music in those early days, but that tune, the dreamy, slow-motion “Infatuated,” remains one of her favorites out of all the material she’s created. “It is probably the most raw, organic song I’ll ever be able to make,” she said. Since “Infatuated,” the 21-year-old has improved her mixing skills and kept the intense emotions of her early work intact. Her self-released 2017 EP, Being, is so gentle it sounds as though Allah was resting beneath a gravity blanket and in the midst of drifting off to sleep when she recorded her vocals, though the crackling drum on the featherweight “Baby” and swaggering synth patterns on “Electric Lady” provide those tracks with centers of gravity. On her latest single, the languid “Stay,” Allah uses a breathy vocal style to inject an uncomplicated, bluesy guitar line with woozy romanticism.   v

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