Meet Portland SoundCloud Hero: Zefora Alderman

Meet Portland SoundCloud Hero: Zefora Alderman

After profiling our first five SoundCloud Heroes, we continue our profiles of our newest SoundCloud Heroes who joined us at our SoundCloud Community Heroes Summit in San Francisco last weekend on April 6-8. Read our recap here.

Zefora Alderman is both a classically trained musician and neuroscientist who says SoundCloud has carved the path for her music goals and friendships with other community members. She will be organizing the Global Meetup Day in Portland on May 17 so get in touch!

What do you do? How do you use SoundCloud in your life?

I use SoundCloud for making and sharing music. I also like to use my SoundCloud Android app to record random things in daily life that I find interesting. I’m a classically trained musician and studied Commercial Music, Recording Engineering, and Music Business in college, but I got sucked into this 10 year stint of doing nothing with it. I had total writer’s block, so I went back to school and became a Biologist. I work in Neuroscience now. When a friend got me back into music a little over a year ago, I joined SoundCloud and soon discovered the amazing diversity of music and other sounds on the Cloud just by listening to whatever showed up on my dashboard. It was really inspiring.

Before long, I’d discovered the constant requests for female vocalists by (primarily) electronic artists. I’d never considered myself a “singer” before because I’d majored in guitar in college and even though I grew up doing a lot of singing in choirs and did eventually double major in guitar and voice, I’d just always identified with “instrumentalist.” But in trying to find my ‘place’ in the SoundCloud community, it soon became apparent to me that I might have something to offer that could fill that hole a little and get me working with others, so I started singing and that’s mostly what I do, now. I share a lot of Non-Commercial Creative Commons vocal stems to the community as a resource. I have a whole set of them on my profile that anyone can download and use for free. People have done some really creative and surprising things with them. It always makes me super happy to hear what people create. I love it. I’ve done a lot of collaborations writing and recording vocals for all kinds of music. It’s led to some very interesting things, including a part in a soundtrack for an upcoming movie. I’m so excited!!

What are your aspirations for the SoundCloud community in your city?

I’d love to see a close knit community that comes together regularly to inspire each other and make new art. I know that a lot of SoundCloud users are shy, like me but I’ve already seen some really enthusiastic Portlanders getting proactive about the Global Meetup Day, and that’s really exciting. It’s great to see people take ownership and take charge of sharing what they’re passionate about.

It’s my hope that I can act as support and catalyst for whatever the community members want to do. I definitely see us doing regular monthly meetings to hang out somewhere and chat and get to know each other and learn about new local goings on, but I’d also love to see collaborations and projects pop up, maybe some live shows or open mics or poetry readings. I’m very interested in trying to host workshops and lectures on subjects that might interest people, like production, mastering, performance, or any topic people might want to learn more about. I know that a vast majority of SoundCloud is focused on music, but I want our community to go beyond that to bring in podcasters, people who record nature or found sounds, or just any people who do anything with sound, really, because meeting someone who has a totally new perspective on sound can lead to new inspiration for your own work and new inventive projects and collaborations. You don’t have to BE something or someone to show up. All you have to be is a person who likes sound. That’s it. Everyone is welcome, shy or not. I’m really excited about what this community can become and I’m super excited to hear people’s ideas on where they’d like to take this. I am here as a bridge to support your visions. I want you to tell me what you want to do, and we will make it happen!

What is your favorite place in the city and why?
I love Pioneer Courthouse Square. It’s like this hub of activity in the city. All 4 MAX lines stop there and it’s a fun spot to have lunch. There are all kinds of interesting sights and sounds, and you never know what you’ll encounter when you walk by. The first time I took my son there on a picnic to watch the trains, we were sitting on the steps and suddenly he says “What’s that sound?” So we got up to investigate and find it. There was a guy on the corner across the street playing a drum set made entirely out of plastic buckets. He handed my son a pair of sticks and let him play along, then let him take over the entire set while he took a cigarette break. My son loved it! It was the most memorable event of his entire week.

What is your favorite sound and why?
I love basslines in Dubstep, Future Garage, and Drum & Bass because I have synesthesia and I can taste it. The grittier and grimier the bass, the better. It radiates this texture on my tongue that’s kind of chocolatey and I feel like I’m eating something or drinking a thick chocolate shake. It’s extremely intense and I get a total high from it. I’ve actually proposed marriage to some guys on SoundCloud just because their bass gives me such a high. Haha sorry about that, guys…

Where else can we find you on the web?

Interested in being part of this growing network of SoundCloud Heroes?
Read the program details here and apply at the link at the bottom of the post.

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