"I'm so proud of this EP. I'm very grateful to have so many bold and inspiring people in my life, and to see that people relate to this EP. It means a lot." To brand ALAK, aka Jocelyn Noir, humble is a slight understatement. I've just asked her about her feelings towards her most recent EP, the fantastic Guardian Petted, and as you can tell, she's rather pleased with the results.

You see, Noir is remarkably honest and pragmatic when discussing her musical output. She speaks of how she has been performing under the guise of ALAK for almost ten years, yet Guardian Petted, "the first time I've garnered any sort of wider attention or online presence," represents something of a transition, sidestepping the "experimental singer/songwriter" mould that she had previously favoured, embracing a "primarily electronic sound." "You can hear that transition the most on my record GRØUPS that came out in 2011," she tells me.

From listening to her various EPs, it is obvious that ALAK clings to a huge array of influences. "Musically speaking," she reveals, "Kendrick Lamar has been a huge influence on me and this EP, both lyrically, as well as Ali's production on M.A.A.D City, which is hilarious because no one would probably ever guess that." There are noteworthy mentions for Leonard Cohen, Cocteau Twins, M.I.A., branded a 'hero' by Noir, Gang Gang Dance, Stephen Steinbrink, Michael RJ Saalman, Zac Nelson, and, of course, patten, an artist who Jocelyn clearly holds in high esteem, cited as one of her strongest influences for years.

Aside from music, however, Guardian Petted has promptly taken shape due to ALAK's curiosity surrounding ancient practices. "I've been reading a lot about the goddess Kali, the Bhagavad Gita, and the history of religion," she enthuses. "Once humans began burying their dead they would place antlers painted with ochre on grave sites, like modern humans do with flowers. That really struck me; the importance of our body and character, and the belief in something bigger than this reality. The 'guardian' is the protector, or the universe, but also, because I am a mother myself." She pauses, before uttering a statement that is remarkably fitting after listening to the EP: "Petted to care without ego interference." The soothing stirrings of Guardian Petted are certainly comforting without feeling frustratingly safe, reassuring, yet wary of languishing within the realms of 'coffee table' pastiche.

In recent weeks, thanks to hefty support from The 405, ALAK was granted a well-deserved taste of Radio 1 airplay on the Review Show and, unsurprisingly, claimed victory over her rivals, topping a public vote. "I was shocked," Jocelyn admits. "I didn't know that there was going to be a vote, let alone my track would be picked among so many. It was really surreal to hear my music played alongside Justin Bieber. I've never experienced anything like it. I'm very grateful." There it is again; that refreshing bout of modesty. If only ALAK would realise that it is we, not her, who should be thankful.


You can visit ALAK by heading here.