Alice Smith is a new artist with a common name, but also an uncommon voice. Her debut album, For Lovers, Dreamers & Me, takes listeners on a musical journey infused with sounds of rock, R&B, and soul.
The Washington, D.C., native, whose voice is often compared to those of Fiona Apple and Nina Simone, says it took her a while to realize the magnitude of her four-octave range.
"I didn't realize what it was until I started going to a (vocal) coach," says Smith, who admires the unique vocal style of legends such as Eartha Kitt.
Distinguishing herself from other artists, Smith infuses her songs with humor, sensuality, and social commentary. She says she takes pride in offering her fans lyrics and grooves that stick to the core.
"I want them to hear something that they can connect to in an emotional way... to feel something," Smith says.
But the singer acknowledges that her desire to musically connect with a wide range of emotions and genres sometimes conflicts with standards of the music business. As a black artist, Smith is sometimes mistakenly thought to play only to the interests of urban audiences.
Admittedly a fan of rock music, Smith refuses to be boxed in to just one genre.
"I think it's outrageous to think that people would only listen to one thing [or genre of music]," she says.
Video: Alice Smith Performs 'Dreams'