Carrying the Torch of Black Girl Magic | Alena Ciera

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Photo Credit: @nickychinito
       

Guitar Girl Magazine’s Diversity Editor, Gabriella “Guitar Gabby” Logan, sat down with some of her industry sisters to celebrate the cultural influence of Black history in music. This series highlights the amazing womxn that continue carrying the torch while using their platforms and music to spread positivity in a changing world.

What’s your name and pronouns, where are you from, and what instrument do you play? 

My name is Alena Ciera, and my pronouns are She/Her/Her’s. 

How long have you been playing, and when did you know you wanted to be a musician? 

I have been playing guitar since I was six years old, and I’m twenty-four now. I knew I wanted to play guitar when I heard the band, Linkin Park. I heard the rock riffs and rock music, and I just knew that playing guitar and performing was what I wanted to do.

Photo Credit @action_jacksonent

What is the best part about being a musician?

The best part about being a musician is being able to connect with the audience with your songs and having them engaged, and making them a part of the show. Another thing that I believe is the best part is traveling.

What do you think of when you hear “Black History Month”?

When I hear Black History Month, I think of all of my ancestors that made a difference for me and the Black society today so that we could have a better life. But to also continue to fight for our rights and what we believe in by making this world a better place not just for us but for those who come after us.

Is there a specific Black creative that inspires you? Why?

Who really inspires me the most creatively would be Brandi.  Brandi inspires me by not also just being her and being humble but by her singing and having a great controlled voice. 

Why do you think it is important to pay homage to the Black creatives that came before us? Why do you think the world needs to learn about our Black History?

I think it is important to pay homage to the Black creatives that came before us because without them, we wouldn’t be where we are today. The world needs to learn about Black History because I believe that people need to know and learn about the past and who changed things for the society of Blacks and how they made a difference. 

What is your current studio and (when we get back to live shows) live performance set up? Is it any different? (Feel free to address one or both of your rig setups).

Right now, my current studio is a home studio. But if I have to record something that I can’t do at home, then ill go to a studio that’s like home to me, which is 38 North in Falls Church, VA. My live performance setup isn’t any different at all; it’s pretty much the same. I use a Taylor 214 Acoustic-Electric Guitar, a Fender Stratocaster with a Line 6 HX Stomp, Joe Bonamassa Wah pedal, MXR Distortion, Xotic EP Booster, Xotic SP Compressor on a Black Bird pedalboard, and Sorry Cables. I also use my Custom In-Ears by Empire Ears.

What does it mean to be a Black womxn to you?

To me, being a Black Woman means to be Empowered, Determined, Ambitious, and Invincible. 

What’s one piece of advice you would give to your eight-year-old self looking up to the adult version of you?

One piece of advice I would give my eight-year-old self would be to continue to strive to be the best version of yourself and to never let go of your daydream. 

Follow Alena on IG @alenacieara

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Gabriella “Guitar Gabby” Logan is an Atlanta Native and proud graduate of Spelman College and Vermont Law School. Her background in environmental and music law fueled her desire to start and manage the international all-women touring collective, TxLips Band, LLC. Logan believes it is important for artists to be well rounded and versed in many areas of the music business, thus inspiring women worldwide to be an unstoppable force. She is the Diversity Editor for Guitar Girl Magazine and the Board Chair for Girls Rock Asheville. http://www.txlips.com