Q & A : The Defiant | Alana Chirino

The Defiant is the work of Miami born singer/songwriter Alana Chirino. Coming from a family of Latin music royalty, she has defied the expectations to keep with the family tradition to create her own unique brand of soulful indie rock. She is the daughter of Cuban legendary singer Willy Chirino and pop diva Lisette Alvarez. To say music flows through her DNA is an understatement. Her three sisters are all musicians that play separately as well as together and all have had their own successes. It wasn’t that The Defiant was born not wanting to continue the success that might come with using a family name, it was that the path Alana was paving is clearly her own. Her talent as a singer, songwriter is equivalent to her talent as a bassist. She is a force to be reckoned with as a multifaceted artist whether recording in the studio or performing around LA.

    How long have you been playing music?

      I have been singing since before I could even really speak… there’s a funny video on youtube to prove it. I started playing bass when I was 13, guitar when I was 18, and picked up the uke a few years ago.

        Describe your family’s relationship with music?

          I grew up in a very musical household. My parents, both born in Cuba, are professional recording artists. My father is a salsa singer and my mother is a latin pop diva. My grandparents on my mothers side were also professional musicians who had their own TV variety show as a singing duo in Cuba in the 40′s and 50′s. All 4 of my sisters also sing and play instruments and work in some form of the music business, and my brother, who’s never wanted to get in to music, collects royalty checks as a songwriter for a song idea he gave my father. So needless to say, it runs in the blood. How did you come up with the name The Defiant? It was actually the name of a blog I had started a few years ago after my yoga obsession began, in which I explored the idea of defying gravity, defying convention, defying negative thoughts and people, and living in the now. I was also reading Henry David Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience” at the time, which may have had some influence. I think I’ve always had a bit of a rebellious nature in me, mixed up in all the insecurities, fears and self-doubt that go with being a human, and I wanted to write about the process of shining a light and exposing them so that they no longer have power over you. I really loved writing and blogging but then the music took over my life and I shifted the focus on to making this record and the name just stuck.

            Who are your biggest influences?

              So many!! But just sticking to the big, shaped the course of my childhood and teens type influences, i’d have to say… The Beatles, Stevie Wonder.. and pretty much all of Motown, Fleetwood Mac, Nirvana, Erykah Badu, Fiona Apple.

                Who are you listening to right now?

                  In my disc changer right now… Jake Bugg, Dale Earnheardt Jr Jr, Tame Impala, Portugal The Man, Graffiti 6, and Alex Winston.

                    What inspires your music?

                      Unfortunately, mostly a broken heart. That’s when the songs just flow out of me. Is there a difference between LA inspiration and Miami?

                        Yes, the music scene here is so great, there are so many amazing local bands and people that just appreciate real music. Not that Miami doesn’t have amazing, talented musicians, but overall I find that it’s more of a DJ culture. It’s changed a lot since I left 5 years ago, for sure. There are a lot more cool music venues and national acts making their way down there which is great, but I just love California. The Weather, the mountains, the ocean… so much to do, so much diversity. It is inspiring.

                          WATCH “GUILTY” – The Defiant

                            When is the album dropping?

                              Don’t have a date yet but sometime this summer. The EP is called Plans and Schemes.

                                Describe your first single “Guilty” and where it came from.