In 2016 Ali Stone was named by Billboard as one of the 6 artists to watch – the only woman on the list. Billboard was right. Since then she has filled arenas with live shows, Toured with Justin Bieber, put out hit albums, and became one of the youngest composers for film in the world, producing the full soundtrack of the thriller Demental. Her remix for the official soundtrack of the Disney film Monsters University was chosen from more than 2,000 participants. Plus she has become the only Colombian spokesperson of the international campaign Women Working for Women. She just released her new single ” Follow Me ” after Latin and Central American tours where she DJ’d and played for full-stadium crowds. Now in LA, she is writing, producing and engineering songs for artists such as Alan Walker and Prince Royce. She is a very busy woman but she took time to sit down with Music Friday Live last week in the iconic Civic Center Studios in downtown Los Angeles for an interview.
Patrick: Ali, first of all, thank you for taking the time to sit down with us. I know you are a busy woman and we appreciate it. Your music is high energy electronic pop, but you put feeling into it. You weave meaning and thought into the notes and sales and sounds. Does your classical training have anything to do with that…the way you can extend notes and infuse them with emotion?
Ali: Yes. Totally. My training in classical music really put that kind of feeling and emotion into translating it into sounds. I began that when I was 4. I began studying when I was 7 I went on to blues jazz, rock, metal so it gave me the hard core feelings I infuse in my songs.
Patrick: In your song En Tú Piel – which really grabs your gut, but is especially powerful in Spanish is remarkable, and so is the video that goes with it… the chains and the bars and the cell and glitter. Where did that imagery and the song come from.
Ali: Actually, that song is about treason and when someone cheats on you. That is why it has such a hard feeling, not just in the music but in the video. That is where idea for the video came from – the chains and in the cell. I had this idea of the chains and being in a cage. When you are able to set yourself free and go on with my life. I could outside the cage and put the man who betrayed me in the cage.
Patrick: So that is a real thing… there actually was a man foolish enough to betray you?
Ali: Yeah, yeah. That was three years ago he was such a dumb boy. I am over it now.
Patrick: In looking at your video, it pops out that you like customs. Do you design them?
Ali: I actually have my own designer in Columbia. He has his fashion brands which has real metallic clothing which are kind of like superhero in clothing. When I began performing I had in mind a superhero. I was a huge comic book fan as a little kid and I always remember when I play music I feel superhero power it awakes in me…it makes me the superhero I always wanted to be. That is why I implemented this kind of clothing that I want…I have very specific ideas of what I want to wear and work with a designer and bring together clothes that give me that feeling.
Patrick: Do you have an idea of your person – who you project to the audience, or is what you see what you get…just the real you?
Ali: It is just me. When I am on stage I am more confident, like I am in my own skin. In the end, I am super real, I am not pulling on a mask. I am the same… it is like I am grounded. I show people who I am and who I want to be.
Patrick: Are you ever scared when you walk out on stage in front of thousands. I get the feeling that you are not.
Ali: There is always a little fear, but it is a positive fear. There is excitement, I am going to show my soul to the people, I am super transparent. This is what I live for, this is my passion. I have some fear because it is so personal, but it is so exciting because I am communicating to people my passion. When I see the people cheering and singing it really wakes you up. This when I feel the confidence. When I see video of myself performing, I am so happy. There is an some nervousness but energy to making a great performance.
Patrick: You are an icon for women. You have excelled in a man’s field and it has been said that represent Latinas worldwide. Does that intimidate you a little?
Ali: Well, I feel not so much intimidated, but proud that I have this responsibility. I am always taking this power and my presentation seriously. So there is so little representation of women among producers and DJs and engineers. I can bring the power of women to this… I feel that this is my duty, beyond making the music it is a social purpose, and Latin power is one of those purposes. It makes my heart super proud and I hope I can continue to be a role model for girls to perform.
Patrick: Your new song Follow Me makes it clear, no more following the guy’s dream, you are in the lead. Is part of that because you are a Columbian women, who are known for their determination and independence? Does that describe you?
Ali: Yeah, I think so… We are very determined. We know what we want. So like translates into stubborn, not the bad side of stubborn, but passionate about what we want to do. We are very persistent and resilient about what we love… we will do anything for it and fight for it. Especially Latin women and Columbian women, we have a bigger fire in us that is pushing boundaries.
Patrick: You were involved in an art exhibition in Mexico City called Empowering Women. What was that about?
Ali: It was a campaign of women working for women. It portrayed eight women in jobs that represented female power in traditional male jobs. I was representing the DJs and music producers. They had huge paintings – also in Spain and Italy – with quotes about what female power meant to them.
Patrick: One last question, are there any interesting challenges in your back pocket, plans for something new and idffeerent?
Ali: I have a new project making music for film and TV, a song for Nickelodeon. I also have new project – new releases – for the most famous label in electronic music that should be out next month, so that tis going to be super exciting. And , I also have a couple of songs coming that I can’t mention yet but you are going to know that are with artists you know that I really admire. It’s going to be in Nashville. So stay tuned…you will know.
Patrick: I am looking forward to that, especially the Nashville project. Thank you so much.