London singer-songwriter Alessi Laurent-Marke is playing at Clapham’s Café Cairo, following the launch of her latest single DLD (Door Light Dream), writes Laura Burgoine…

The single features on Alessi’s new album, Love is the Currency, produced by Mercury Prize nominated producer Jago Jago, and in collaboration with Felix and Will White of the Maccabees.

“I drum for a band called Shitsick based in south east London,” Alessi told the Weekender. “I’m from west London, we met working in Brixton Market together at Rejuvenate. I loved their music and even though their style is different, like poetry punk, the message is quite similar: love is the ultimate healer.”

Love is the currency is a body of work based on the limitless ability to heal one another through love, Alessi said. “It’s the first record that was biographical. It’s taken four records to get to this,” she said. “Before I was tied by the guise of nature, talking about things through trees and animals. This is the time to talk about what it’s like to be desperately lonely in a relationship or cut off ties you feel in loyalty.”

It’s also the first record where Alessi has collaborated with another writer. “It happened through a Brixton meeting; I bumped into Felix White, he said ‘send me your demo’, then he suggested I reach out to his younger brother Will. They live in Peckham now. He’s a really gifted musician.”

The performer started drumming aged 11 in the school band, then taught herself guitar. “My sister had an acoustic guitar she left behind when she moved to uni. It was probably out of tune for a good year. That led to songwriting. And I play keyboard a bit.”

Without any formal training, Alessi got her musical education from attending four or five gigs a week. “I left after GCSE, and focused on working and gigging. I’m quite flexible, I’ll play with one band-mate in Clapham, the full band is five people, sometimes three; it keeps the mind creatively agile.”

The single DLD dropped on January 26, and Alessi is touring Japan in March. “Japanese audiences are so respectful. The way they move at a show is really beautiful; they’re massively into music. And they’re still really into CDs in Japan.”

The musician is following this with a US tour in spring, and some UK shows in May.

Alessi’s Ark is performing with Shitstick at Café Cairo, 88 Landor road, SW9 9PE, on February 16. Phone: 020 7207 0926. or