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After Hours

ITS staffer doubles as professional musician

Written by Mike Thee
August 9, 2017

Aline Vida’s careers—yes, that’s plural, as in two—are about as different as can be. 

By day, she intently scans her computer monitor, vigilantly on the lookout for potential threats to the security of Seattle University’s networks. By night, she is often found behind a microphone at a local venue, belting out a song of her own creation. 

Vida says her job at SU as ITS security analyst gives her the opportunity to use a different part of her brain while providing a work-life balance that supports her artistic endeavors as a professional singer/song writer. 

Originally from California, Vida says her career as a musician started to take shape in college when she sang back-up vocals for rap artists and other musicians. In time, she began writing and performing her own music. 

Of her song-writing process, she says, “I usually write about what I observe. I’ve found that when it’s truthful, a part of it winds up being about you anyway. You think you’re writing about someone else, but somehow it’s intertwined.” 

Asked to describe her genre, Vida calls it “a mixture of soul and rock. I’ve been compared to Amy Winehouse and Billie Holiday, if they rocked out,” she says with a laugh. 

If that kind of music sounds like your cup of tea, you should head to High Dive in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood, Wednesday, Aug. 30, to see Vida perform live. She’s part of a lineup of four talented musicians including Kreea, Champagne Honeybee and Aaron Towns. Doors open at 7 p.m.; show starts at 8 p.m. Click here for all the details and tickets. 

Highlights of Vida’s musical career so far include releasing three albums, writing and recording a song for the crime drama television show “Justified,” and getting the chance to perform with Valerie Simpson of the legendary duo Ashford & Simpson in New York. (Vida, who was living in the city at the time, sang while Simpson played keyboard at a jam session.) “That was a rite of passage for me,” says Vida, still awe-struck at how humble and generous Simpson was. 

So that’s the short version of how Vida’s musical career came to be, but what about her day job—what was it that drew her to information technology? 

“I’ve always been good at fixing electronics,” she explains. “It’s just a natural inclination.” She started to put those skills to use in a professional setting while working for a small wealth management firm that didn’t have on-site tech support. “Our boss, if something wasn’t working, he wasn’t in a good mood, so I learned quickly to fix his Blackberry or whatever it was, and he was in a much better mood.” Her mother suggested she may as well get paid for her troubleshooting ways, and thus began her foray into the land of IT. 

Vida says she is surprised by the number of musicians she meets who, although being of the highest caliber, hold other jobs like she does. In her case, she suspects there’s some cross-fertilization at play—for instance, that the communication skills so critical to her IT work also help her in writing songs. 

That being said, if her next album were to go double-platinum, she says she’d likely turn in her IT badge and completely throw herself into music. For now, though, she is content to spend her days hunting for spam, viruses and Phishing scams. 

You can learn more about Aline Vida, the singer/songwriter, here.