Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m from a suburb of Chicago and have lived in LA for 5 years now and have been singing ever since I could talk. There are many causes I’m passionate about and my hope is to support all of them through my music in various ways. I care about animal rights, human rights, environmental rights, holistic health and generally healing the world together with others.
How did you get your start in music?
Well, I started making up songs when I was a little girl and started to write down poems and lyrics in middle school through high school and so on and so forth but didn’t consider pursuing music as a career until one of my brothers suggested I try giving it more focus and live in NYC for a bit. I took what he said to heart and transferred to school there to finish out my 2 and a half years left of college. I ended up staying there until 2013, then moved to Oakland, then moved to LA in 2015 and started to put a lot more time and energy into it. I started writing and recording one of my songs with my cousin in LA about 6 months I think before I moved there and it lit up a spark. So I followed my intuition and moved!
How would you describe your musical style?
My musical style always has soulfulness to it. I’m definitely a sucker for harmonies and love playing around with them, singing them, writing them, so they’re usually present in a lot of my songs. I love to weave genres and styles under the umbrella of pop.
What artists have you taken inspiration from?
Oh man, there are so many artists that inspire me. There are also a wide range of artists and styles such as Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys, Sia, Janelle Monaé, Emily King, ELO, Daniel Caesar, Chance the Rapper, Etta James, Nina Simone, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Dirty Projectors, Fiona Apple, Lauryn Hill, Sam Cooke, Stevie Wonder, Amy Winehouse, just to name a few haha.
What can you tell us about your latest single, “Witness”?
“Witness” is very special to me. I started this song as well as the whole Blood album when I spent a year in Atlanta a couple years ago. The melody was inspired first from listening to a Mahalia Jackson song. Then it evolved into a song for my brother and further into a song for the children stuck in the U.S. detention centers. I want to bring awareness about the injustice happening and for people to know that together, we can and must free these children. Every Last One is an organization that does incredible work to do just that.
Do you have an EP or full-length album in the works? If so, what can audiences expect from that set of songs?
Yes, “Witness” is off my album called “Blood”, which will be fully released at the end of May/beginning of June and is a family concept album. All the songs are inspired by my immediate family members–my experience of them and of the family as a whole.
What’s next for your career?
I just released my music video for Witness, and am planning on performing my new album in L.A. in the fall as well as going on a west coast tour.
What advice would you have for aspiring singers/songwriters?
My advice would be to follow your intuition, stay focused on whatever feels right for you according to you, not according to someone else. All of our paths look different from each other and that is what keeps life inspiring and exciting. Embrace the unknown and work toward goals that feel whole to you. Stay curious and try to maintain a beginner’s state of mind as much as possible.
What’s your life like outside of music?
My life outside of music consists of many different interests that, ultimately, relate back to music and creativity. I really believe that everything is connected. I love learning about holistic health, I love dancing, cooking, reading, practicing Spanish (I have a long way to go hah), being in nature, traveling, being with family and friends and keeping my community intact. I love connecting with people in general–I think that’s why I do what I do.
Let the readers know where to find you online.
Everyone can find me at my website at http://www.aliblake.org , Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, Amazon, Google Play, on instagram @aliblake1 and twitter @ali_bmusic.