This Is My Story
May Eleven is a solo project of Dublin-based singer and songwriter Alena Kucharenka.
She released her debut single - Stupid Love - in 2013.
Her new single - Nightmare - released on June 10, 2014, is now available on iTunes: http://smarturl.it/may11nightmare
Music genre: Alternative Rock.
Main influences: Linkin Park, Evanescence, Muse, Avril Lavigne.
Alena did NOT play piano at age 5. Neither did she dream of rock stardom in her teenage years.
(She did write her first song at age 14, though, but this fact was soon forgotten and did not resurface until recently).
Her dreams lay in the world of IT.
She graduated with a Computer Science degree (First Class Honours!), was hired by IBM straight after college, and started building what was supposed to be a long and successful career as a Software Developer.
But soon enough she started noticing that something was now quite right... Something was missing. What was it? She didn't know. So she started on her quest of discovery.
The next few years were full of soul searching and trying out different activities from photography to acting. And every time she felt like she was getting closer and closer...
Until one day she looked at the photo collage of herself (themed "I'm pretending to be a singer") that she did for her own amusement, and it suddenly hit her: "I know what it is! I want to be a singer! And I don't just want to sing someone else's songs. I want to write my own."
"I think the answer has always been there. It just took me quite some time to find enough courage to face it, to admit to myself that I wanted to do music, because I was dreading the inevitable "Now what?" question".
That was late 2011.
Discovering your passion is (relatively) easy to do. Acting on it is the real challenge.
At the end of 2012 Alena quit her job at IBM and immersed herself in the world of music.
"It might sound like a radical decision, but music was a completely new area for me, so I knew I had a lot to learn. And I knew that I would never be able to do it unless I was totally committed to it".
"I started with really basic things like "What is a major scale?", because I was completely clueless. I wanted to understand how music works, how different parts of a song work together".
Writing and producing her first song was a "learn as you go" experience. Read a book about lyrics - write lyrics, learn about creating melodies - write a melody, read a book about mixing - create a mix, etc. The first song - "Stupid Love" - was released in June 2013. It was inspired by the "Hunger Games" books and movie.
Working on the second single ("Nightmare", released June 2014) followed the same pattern as the first song, but on a deeper level, building on the skills and knowledge already acquired.
The second song is also much more personal.
The idea of the song came to Alena on a sleepless night, when she was lying awake, afraid to close her eyes, because every time she did that, she would fall into yet another nightmare.
Alena's technical background serves her well. Even though she sees herself primarily as a singer/songwriter, she discovered that she really enjoys the mixing and mastering aspects of song production.
"I enjoy mixing. I didn't think I would, but I am. It teaches me so much about music in general, about the song as a whole, how different components fit together and create a single entity."
In the true spirit of DYI, Alena also creates her own artwork and videos.
May Eleven on iTunes: http://itunes.com/mayeleven