Last month, local singer-songwriter Aliza Hava released her debut full-length Natural State. It’s a passionate, well-produced album that bends the line separating emotive folk, rootsy country, and uplifting rock ’n’ roll anthems.
The full band performances are stellar, and her vocals—heart-on-sleeve balanced by professional restraint—carry the tunes to this place where peace, unity and self-awareness are causes worth putting your life on the line for.
It wasn’t an easy album to make. In fact she started it over 10 years ago, while still living in New York. Shortly after arriving in Santa Cruz in 2013, she assembled a band called Eve of Eden to perform the songs. The band broke up in 2017, but she continued on. She mixed and tweaked the album several times before finally getting the album she wanted.
“I’ve been working on this album for a long time. It’s my magnum opus,” Hava says. “Some of these songs I wrote when I was in high school and college, while I was an activist in the Middle East. You just have to allow the process to unfold. If something’s not ready, you can’t force it. You can put out stuff that’s half-baked. But why?”
Over the last few years, she’s created an app that helps bands manage themselves called Musician’s BASS, which recently won the grand prize of $20,000 in the Monterey Startup Challenge.
Now, as she’s getting ready to launch her app to the public, she’s also finally putting out her long-awaited solo album and gearing to get out and promote it. She’s ready to take the world by storm twice.
“I know it’s not a fairy tale story. It was a long-winded journey. It may not be a romantic tale, but it’s definitely one of perseverance,” Hava says.