GZ: What challenges have you faced as a singer?
Ali: I think the biggest challenge is balancing my schoolwork with my desire to write, record and perform music. It’s hard to do all these things at once and be really good at them all at the same time. I’ve had to make choices to focus on my music. It hasn’t always been easy but I love music so much it’s been worth it.
GZ: How have you managed to overcome these challenges?
Ali:I have a great support network around me and my teachers have been really understanding about making up schoolwork when I’m gone. My parents too have made sure that I have my regular life and my high school education has been the first priority.
GZ: Is there any particular person or people that have inspired you and helped you in your journey?
Ali:My dad really inspired me to sing, he is really into jazz music and I grew up listening to artists like Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Ella Fitzgerald. I have great memories of car rides to my grandma’s house where my dad would turn on the jazz tunes and we’d sing along together. We even had a fun contest when I was little to see who could sing the best bedtime story! My parents are very supportive, if I had trouble getting my feelings out, there was always a picture, a story, or a song to help. We just used music and stories as our happy place!
GZ: What does an average day in your life involve?
Ali:Well, a school day starts early, I’m usually up at 6:30. My classes at school start at 8 AM and I usually leave school by 3 PM and then it’s off to rehearsal or music meetings. Some days I’m in the city and other days I’m at home working on the piano or guitar and writing music. Whatever homework I don’t get done at school I do after rehearsal. My mom helps me manage things I need to do for my music like social networking, or registering my songs or getting the band together. I have a manger too that helps me with my career. It’s a busy day and I’m usually pretty tired. I usually get to sleep in either Saturday or Sunday!
GZ: What do you do when you are not singing, recording or performing?
Ali:Homework, hangout with my friends, shop, watch videos and ride horses! I love going up to the barn and just hanging out for the day. It’s my favorite place to be and where I get lots of inspiration. It’s important to me that even though big things are happening, I still remain true to who I am and remember where I come from.
GZ: What do you love most about performing?
Ali:Being on stage is really the place where I feel most comfortable. It’s where I really feel like me! I love looking out at the audience and seeing smiles on their faces!
GZ: What is the hardest part of recording and performing your music?
Ali:Honestly, there is nothing hard about doing what you love to do. I wish I could do it more! If there was a challenge I would say it’s balancing my school work and getting enough sleep
GZ: Have you had any embarrassing moments on stage or during recording?
Ali:None that I can think of! I’ve been lucky, I have a great band and we have so much fun together. I’ve also had the opportunity to work with a lot of different people in the studio and I’ve learned so much. To me recording is fun and easy because I enjoy the people I work with and we laugh a lot!
GZ: Any advice for Girl Zone viewers? About music or life??
Ali:Always believe in yourself. Don’t let people make you think less about yourself, accept who you are and find the things that make you happy. You need a happy place to go to when you feel sad and for me, I found that place in music.