Ali Angel is ready to bring a little bit of retro-soul to your playlists. With 70s-inspired rhythms and a knack for hypnotizing her audience, she is THE up-and-coming artist to have on your Summer playlists!
Take her latest single, ‘Loving you Lately,’ for example. The retro beats hook from the beginning and wrap around your every sense. We find her dreamy vocals very reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac, and that satiates the nostalgic part of our brains that is always waiting to be fed. Check out the track below, and get ready to add it to all of your Summer relaxation playlists!
We adore her and her music so, so much! But just like many new artists (and veteran artists alike), COVID put a damper on the music industry, including (and maybe even especially) new and up-and-coming artists like Ali Angel. We got the opportunity to ask her about her music and what it was like navigating the music industry and new releases as a young artist during the pandemic – we are in awe at her perseverance, dedication, and hard work to get where she is today, so let’s not wait any longer and dive right into her interview!
COVID has made it exceptionally hard for everyone to work and do the things they normally would. What do you think was the biggest challenge for artists in the music industry during the pandemic? How did it affect your recording and writing processes?
Covid totally interrupted touring and performances! It’s one of the only stable ways to make money and build your local fanbase and without it, it’s pretty rough. The bright side is it allowed us to create more opportunities for virtual concerts, shows, and live streams, which I think to a certain extent will continue on regardless of the pandemic–it also forced us all to find ways to showcase our artistry through social media which this day and age can be just as important, if not MORE important, in curating your fanbase.
It also prolonged recording because people would get exposed or get covid and we’d be delayed another three weeks for recording something! At some points when it was really bad, we all just simply weren’t meeting up to do production. Some stuff can be done virtually, like sending vocal stems to my co-producer that I record at home–but other stuff simply had to wait! It was a great time to be more introspective and focus on writing, but sometimes I felt unmotivated because my writing comes from personal experiences–and since I wasn’t really living it up as much during covid, I didn’t have anything new to write about!
As a new artist in the industry, networking and building relationships can be monumental in helping grow an artist’s career. As you’ve witnessed firsthand, COVID had to have put a major dent in in-person events. Were you able to find a good alternative for networking and building those connections during the pandemic?
Yes! A lot of people started hosting online streaming concerts/listening rooms/ live stream shows and that honestly helped a lot. I think I did at least around 5 Instagram live shows throughout the pandemic and I’d post about them/tell my community about them in advance so I’d have a decent amount of people tune in. Honestly, it’s so much less of a commitment for fans than going to real physical shows, so at one point I had at least 70 people watching one of my live streams which is more than I’d had come out to many of my live shows! The virtual showcases were great for expanding my network of other artists and even my social media following somewhat–but nothing is quite as fulfilling as live shows. I’ve managed to play live shows throughout the pandemic too though! Whenever there were times when the world opened back up you can bet I was playing shows.
On the topic of connections, was it hard to make that connection with fans and potential fans with the lack of in-person shows and events?
It was! However, I was more so focused on production/writing/practicing at that time. Right now though, I’m definitely in the mode of trying to reach new fans and gain an audience because I’m finally releasing all of that music! It’s easier with the world being back open, but it can sometimes feel like screaming out to an empty highway. But the more I do it the more I get responses back, new followers, and new attention and it fuels me to keep ongoing. It’s a slow and steady build.
As you’ve learned more about the music industry and how it works, is there a solid piece of advice someone has given you that you wish you had known sooner?
Trust yourself first and foremost in the recording and production process! You’re always right about what you want and at the end of the day it’s YOUR music, so do what you want because you’ll be happiest with the ending results that way!
You are a busy, busy bee! How do you manage to juggle a music career, a day job, relationships, etc. all at the same time? How do you prevent burnout?
I’m lucky that my day job isn’t a full-time 9 to 5, otherwise, I honestly don’t think I’d be able to do it. I try to compartmentalize–aside from my baby mommy music classes, I’ll dedicate a certain amount of time to different duties: one day to music business stuff, another to the creative process, writing, and production, another to normal life stuff like groceries, cooking for the week, cleaning, etc! I have definitely had to sacrifice my social life a lot–my weekends are not just for fun or going out these days. A lot of the time I’ll spend the whole weekend working on my music stuff, recording, and rehearsing rather than going to dinners or having fun adventure days. And half of my “nights out” these days are just my nights where I play shows or am going to fellow artists’ shows to support them and keep my musician network strong. But I’m super happy with that sacrifice because it makes seeing my friends and doing fun stuff all the more sweeter when I can! And I think if you’re following your passion, it never really feels like a negative aspect or a sacrifice so much as an active decision you’re making towards reaching your goals.
More to that, how does your everyday life carry over into your music? Do you feel keeping so busy helps your creative juices flow better?
All my music and writing stem from my life experiences. It’s how I show the sweet side of the hard parts of life. So when life is rough, the positive is that I’ll make music out of the experiences! But I think staying busy helps a lot–if I’m consistently in a hardworking, focused, persistent groove, then it’s easier to keep going. Whenever I get out of the groove, I find it harder to motivate myself out of laziness or procrastination
After learning more of the ends and outs, how would you say your mindset has changed about the industry since the release of your first single to now?
Honestly, I’m not sure! I think I realize more and more just from experience that there’s a million ways to “make it” in the industry that doesn’t just look like becoming Billie Eilish—and I think it’s easier to see that having met so many more people in the industry and has been in the LA music scene and beyond who manage to do it full time in their own ways. However, the one thing I’ve always known is that it wouldn’t be easy! And I don’t think that ever really changes no matter how successful you get!
Breaking into the industry can be very hard. What are some things you tell yourself to keep pushing ahead and not give up on your dreams when you get discouraged?
I tell myself on days where I’m insecure, overwhelmed, discouraged, or lacking creativity to remember that I’m following my gut and my passion and that’s all that matters. Once you let go of trying to control the outcomes and directions of your path you suddenly feel so much more at peace with the reality that you WILL be where you’re supposed to be and get where you’re supposed to go, and you just have to keep working hard, doing what’s right for you, and trusting the process!
Where did you get the inspiration for your new single? Can you tell us your favorite lyric from it?
Thanks so much! It’s my most vulnerable, stripped-down record of the EP. It’s a love song inspired by a relationship that taught me what it really means to love somebody wholly and for them to love every part of you back completely and in a way that brings out the best in both of you.
“Precious, that look upon your face, I wish I could frame. You watch me dancing in the crowd, laughing way too loud, but you’re too sweet to ever call me out.”
In ten years’ time, say you look back over your music career, what 3 things would be the biggest achievements you’d hope you had accomplished up to that point?
Opening for a big musical act I love…
Then going on my own tour and being that bigger musical act!
Being an active producer on other musicians’ records in whatever means that may be–especially other female musicians! And uplifting other females in music and building a team with them.
What do you think of Ali Angel? What do you think of her song ‘Loving You Lately?’ Are you as excited as we are to spend the Summer fully submerged in her discography? Let us know in the comments below or by tweeting us @TheHoneyPop! You can also hit us up on Facebook and Instagram!
Want to check out more interviews with your faves? Buzz over here!