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INTERVIEW: Ali Awan

Pic by Kirby Sybert

Hi Ali, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Thanks for having me I’ve been well just working on new music and planning a tour.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Pick Me Up”?

It’s a song about being hungover and wanting to be with that someone that makes you feel better when you’re not feeling too hot.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

Yes many hungover mornings.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video for “Be A Light?”

Really fun, I had a limited budget and the director Kirby Sybert (also a band member) offered to do it. we got some props and simple backdrops together and some friends came by for beers and pizza to make it happen.

The single comes off your new album Butterfly – what’s the story behind the title?

It’s an EP of some songs that I whipped up in order to have a set to play because I started to get show offers after releasing a couple singles a while back. The title of the EP is one of the favorite creatures of my partner Milya. The transformation of a butterfly is sort of how songs get written sometimes anyway, it just sort of made sense for the batch of tunes.

How was the recording and writing process?

Super fun. We tracked bass and drums with an acoustic guitar first to get the right tempos and built on top of that in layers. Joshua A Friedman coproduced and engineered the EP with me and is one of the funniest human pedals anyone could work with.

You brought some special guests into the record – did you handpick them or how did they come on board?

Yea besides the band we had Carly Brand, a fantastic singer/songwriter and one of my old buds Rory Cain, a great musician and music teacher. They came in to lend their ears and talents.

What did they bring to the table?

Carly sang harmonies on “Meet me in the Middle” and Rory played some piano and Rhodes piano on the title track “Butterfly”.

Do you tend to take a different approach when you are collaborating with someone else rather than on your own?

I didn’t collaborate with anyone as far as writing the songs go but collaborating in the studio and with the band at rehearsals to bring the music out of my head and into a live band setting is one of my favorite processes in the world.

What role does Philly play in your music?

The band all lives here! My friends and family all live here as well. It’s always been home-base for me. I guess it finds its way into the music through lyrics sometimes, just the vibe. This city keeps you on your toes. It’s like someone who is hard to get to know but when you’re in you’re family.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

I take long walks when I can, it helps me process ideas. Sometimes I just mumble a melody and the words show themselves. Sometimes inspiration just comes in a six pack when you want to make some noise. it’s different every time I suppose. Showers help me think. Friends, other artists. 

Any plans to hit the road?

Yup planning a tour for this summer.

What else is happening next in Ali Awan’s world?

Tour and more writing. Probably a few singles soon. Definitely, at least one new single in the next couple weeks or so.

Check out the Free at noon here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeBlQyHkylg

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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