LA-native musician Ali Angel’s retro-soul production and classic songwriting style emanate a 1970’s influence, giving lovers of classic rock, indie, soul, and country music all something they can gravitate towards. Full of surprises, she keeps listeners intrigued by effortlessly shifting from sweet, daydreamy twang and gentle vocals to gritty soulful rock and attitude. Upon releasing her debut single, “Play Pretend” in April of 2021, the record amassed over 80k streams on Spotify independently and was added to more than 3k user-made and tastemaker playlists. She’s been featured by curators like Relix Magazine, DittyTV and Ones To Watch. With her self-titled EP debuting June 17th, listeners will have the perfect golden-hued feel good sound for their summer playlists.
Thank you for taking this interview! How has the New Year been for you so far as an artist? New Year has been very interesting! This year I’ve released more music than I ever have (I only had my debut single Play Pretend out which was released in April of 2021) so that has been exciting and nerve-racking. It’s also been overwhelming- there’s so much to do to prepare for a single release beforehand, during and after to keep momentum building and I’ve learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t! Definitely a lot of changes in my personal life lately too, which have led to a lot of new topics to write about and that has been getting me very excited about my future project! Can you tell us how you've transformed from the beginning to now as an artist? I’ve grown so much these past two years- my songwriting has gotten stronger, my work ethic when it comes to my artist project has gotten more laser-focused and tight- I feel more so like I’m operating a stable working machine now as opposed to functioning a little more aimlessly and without structure or vision. I’ve probably only been taking legitimate songwriting seriously for the last 3ish years? I was writing throughout college but I didn’t force myself to try to write more consistently until after graduation and it’s crazy how much I’ve grown in terms of discovering my style since then. It’s taken a lot of trial and error, experimenting and just exposure but I think I’ve just gotten more legitimate in all aspects of the industry: my craft, my ear, my performances, my business itself. How did you come up with your latest project? My self titled EP came together from me basically picking what I felt were my strongest, and my favorite songs I’d written at the time. I really wanted to showcase more than anything, what my style as an artist is and how dynamic that is; this project shows my voice in so many frameworks, from Loving You Lately which is a gentle and showcases my more breathy, lyrical tenor, whereas Middle Name and Beck and Call show my gritty bluesy sound. I think overall what brings the pieces together is that retro, soulful, classic sound that my music sonically and lyrically always have. Where are you from originally? Los Angeles! Where do you live now? Los Angeles! I lived in New Orleans for four years for school and moved back after graduation, so it made it an easier transition to pursue music because I already had a home situation, a friend circle, and a network to reach out to in terms of searching for bandmates, producers, songwriters etc! Do you think where you live impacts how your music is made? Absolutely but only to a certain extent- in LA there are musicians doing any and every kind of sound but there’s ALSO a lot of the same sound- so if you want to fit in with that or already do then that’s great! I think you shouldn’t be influenced by what’s mainstream when writing your music though because I think for many, it shows. What people love is authenticity and we're really good at spotting when it is and isn’t there, so just write the music you want to write- there’s enough space for all of it and there's always somebody who’s going to like what you're doing, for all the people that don’t. I think my stuff blurs the lines between a somewhat Nashville sound and a somewhat just my own sound (which fits in the LA scene since it has elements of pop) - maybe if I was living in Nashville my more countryside would be emphasized more? Who knows! I am usually influenced by the other artists and music I’m listening to at the moment when I’m writing new stuff and deciding on production direction. What was the inspiration to make music your career? Being a lifelong music lover and musician! I’ve always been a writer and music has always been a part of my life and I finally decided to just go for it after graduating college How do you want to shape your career? I want to be open-minded to however my career molds and shifts because I love changing and evolving as much as I can. I envision and dream about working with/for/in collaboration with certain artists and producers and I keep those visions and manifestations alive so that I have a clear visual of what space of the music world I want to be an influential part of! Sounds so spiritual but I really think seeing is believing! One thing I want to make sure of is that I find and work with more females in the industry, currently I’m mostly surrounded by men which is fine I guess, lol, just kidding I love my collaborators but it’s not actually fine! I want to work with women in the industry and want to promote more women in power and influence in this field- it’s so important Do you work on a tight timeline always or do you go with the flow when it comes to your music? Depends- I had a timeline for when this EP release would be and scheduled each single release for it in monthly increments and that helped a lot to organize my schedule and put pressure on me to finish- I think I’m going to keep doing that in the future and then when certain projects just simply CAN'T be forced into completion, I’ll let those ones breathe! How did your latest title of your music come to be? I truly couldn’t decide on a title that would encompass all of the songs on my EP because they aren’t connected in a story or thematic way, and because they have such a retro and classic sound, I thought, what would be more fitting and classic than to make it a self-titled project- an introduction to my sound and style. Is it hard to let go of the music when it is done? No!! I don’t think of it as letting go- I think it’s more so scary because you can’t help but think about what type of response you’re going to get from listeners, but at a certain point you have to force yourself to stop nitpicking every minute production detail that nobody else will even notice and finally say, “Okay, nothing else we do to this is going to change it to where people will notice, this is good! Let’s put it out!"
Do you feel an emotional attachment to your music? Absolutely! I am so proud of my music - it is scary to put your heart and soul into a project and throw it into the world to nobody and everybody at the same time to judge, enjoy, critique, cringe at, whatever they may do! I don’t allow the negativity to affect me and I use critiques to drive my choices in future writing and production. I also find that my songs take on new and different meanings along with their original ones as they age and grow with me, which is super special. How would you describe your music in one word to someone who hasn't listened to it yet? Classic Where do they go to listen NOW? Anywhere you listen/stream music!! Ideally Spotify ;) unfortunately Spotify’s the only streaming platform that matters in terms of (views/streams) because it’s the only one that shows numbers on its platform - it’s also the key to getting more listeners if the algorithm is boosting you and you get on big playlists and editorial playlists - so go follow me there please <3 What has been the best fan reaction to your music? The other week I had a stripped down show and sang a newer song of mine about my struggle with sexuality. I had a stranger come up to me after my show saying the song made her cry because it really hit her in her core and she could relate to it so much. I was really affected by this and realized how excited I am to release more music about these experiences because I want to reach people Is there anything exciting coming up for you? The release of the EP on June 17th!! Look out for that :) and doing production on some new songs I’m super excited about :) Are you performing the song anywhere LIVE? Playing my EP release show the night of the release- Friday, June 17th! Going to be playing sax and trumpet also which is super exciting since a lot of my music has horns and I’ve yet to play any shows with these songs with the horns! Give us all your socials and links so fans can link up with you! Link to stream Music: https://ffm.bio/n6j5z9q Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/aliangelmusic/ Tik Tok: https://www.tiktok.com/@alimayangel Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alimayangelmusic Website: https://aliangelmusic.com/ Bandcamp: https://aliangel.bandcamp.com/releases