When Alle Norton finally decided to move production from the confines of her small Hollywood apartment to a fully stocked recording studio, Manifesto Records provided the perfect opportunity.
Initially, Norton (who now goes by the mystifying moniker Cellars) couldn’t afford such luxuries. But after some self-released music got into the right hands through friendly industry acquaintances, a promising record contract soon “manifested.”
Norton enthusiastically embraced all duties involved with the development of her eclectic third album Phases.
“I had total creative control over the entire project,” she explains. “I engineered the entire record, which was a lot of work. But I’m proud that it
“Having other people involved was eye-opening.”
turned out so well. To have control over not only the sound, but how [the songs] were actually produced, was really awesome. I had my hands on every aspect of the record.”
But relinquishing some responsibility proved just as satisfying. “My songs are very personal and sort of cathartic,” she states. “I like [writing] because it’s what keeps me from going crazy. But having other people involved in the production and recording process was pretty great and eye-opening, as far as how much others can bring to the table collaboratively.”
Although she studied music business in college, Norton has entered a whole different realm of artistry, she says. “It’s cool having that background, then coming into the industry and seeing how things actually work. It’s a huge learning and growing experience for me. If I want to make this a career, I have to be more mindful of certain things that maybe worked before when I was just playing little DIY shows and making music in my bedroom. Stuff that I wasn’t worrying about, but now I have to be more cautious of.”
Working alongside Manifesto and producer Ariel Pink (one of Norton’s biggest musical influences), brought Cellars to life in a way the instrumental powerhouse once only dreamed of. “Coming in and working with them as partners,” she says, “it feels less like a label telling you what to do. I have full support––these things don’t really happen that often.”
Norton is now touring to promote Phases.
Photo by Danielle Garza
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