Lush Agave is the project of classical vocalist and electronic musician Alisha Erao.
Erao grew up on Florida’s east coast immersed in choir, dance, and theater. In 2004, she began studying music Performance, Technology, and History at the University of Central Florida. Her interest in low-fidelity recordings and early electronic music inspired her first experimentation with vocal samples and composition. During this time, she began teaching private voice lessons and quickly fell in love with the field of music education. Her teaching approach focused on utilizing classical techniques to explore other genres, music production, and electronic instruments.
Erao moved to New York City in 2008 and formed the band Alligator Indian with her partner matthew erao. During this time, Erao focused her attention on vocal experimentation and synthesizers. The electronic pop group released 3 albums with Bleeding Gold Records (San Diego, CA) between 2010 and 2013.
After relocating to Asheville, North Carolina in 2012, Erao co-founded the gallery/event space Apothecary. The space functioned as a means of exploring all forms of artistic development. It was in this environment that Lush Agave emerged from The idea to combine her passion for classical voice and its aesthetics, synthesizers, and vocal sampling. Erao premiered her first piece as Lush Agave at Blue Songs, a thesis performance by the founders of Apothecary. The piece further developed into “Madame”, which reimagines the aria “Un Bel Di Vedremo” from Puccini’s Madame Butterfly.
Lush Agave became Erao’s attempt to bring the vulnerability and intensity of classical vocal genres into the zeitgeist. It is a means of merging her passion of technical practice with electronic and pop music, and to speak of her experience as a woman in music. By sampling melodies, lyrics, or overall sentiments from her favorite arias and art songs, Lush Agave evokes the aura of tragedy, beauty, and passion in the operatic tradition.
Erao returned to Orlando in early 2016 where she continues her studies in classical and experimental voice.
- Written by Alisha Erao with contributions from Esteban Meneses