Stephanie Sokol for The Oakland Press
Fans of Detroit native and musician Porcelain Black should know who is behind the music they listen to.
Alaina Marie Beaton, known more commonly by her stage name, began releasing a series of five live performance videos with personal narrative intros on her Youtube channel “PorcelainBlackMusic” last week.
“Coming from Detroit, it’s a very real place,” Black said. “I live in L.A., and it’s just so fake and different. I just feel it’s good for people to know your story and learn about you, to connect with you on more of a person-to-person level, not just like, ‘Look at my fancy videos, look at what I’m doing’ — people can relate to you more and know that you’ve been through things as well.”
The live performances were filmed during a private show at SIR in Hollywood two months ago.
Black said she spent a lot of time figuring out exactly what she wanted to discuss in the intros, and will film the rest in L.A., with each video having a different story.
The first, “Mama Forgive Me,” begins with clips of Detroit, as Black talks about growing up in the city.
She will also add personal intros to “Rich Boy,” “Pretty Little Psycho,” “How Do You Love Someone” and “One Woman Army,” from her upcoming album “Mannequin Factory,” released through 2101 Records.
While Black sees Marilyn Manson as a musical and visual performance muse, she said Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails is her favorite artist. She considers Reznor a musical genius, though her father got her into music in the first place.
“My biggest inspiration growing up for music was my dad,” Black said. “He would put on Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, AC/DC, Nirvana, and would be like, ‘Who’s playing guitar? Who’s singing?’ He just schooled me on rock ’n’ roll.”
Breaking into the music industry came easy, but the journey that followed required a lot of work. Black was signed immediately when she was 18 and living in L.A. for one week, but she described the next phase as an “uphill battle.”
The industry was tough, and she says she had to be true to herself as an artist, be bold and have respect for her art, though it took a long time from when she was signed to finally releasing this album.
“Everybody’s journey is so different and so crazy,” Black said. “Stay true to your art and what you want to do. Don’t get pigeonholed and don’t get swayed into doing something that you don’t feel proud of and happy about at the end of the day. The industry’s definitely a f—– up place and it’s not easy at all. Only the strongest survive and that’s the way it is — it’s a lot of heartbreak.”
The sound she creates mesh dance music with grunge for a genre she describes as “industrial pop,” with a gritty, strong guitar sound.
“(I wanted to create) good music people like — that touches them. Music that can help people, empower them and make them feel strong,” Black said. “I just really hope (the fans) like it. There are so many musicians out there. I hope people see what I’m doing and that it inspires them to do what they want to do artistically and live out their dreams.”