Hailing from Northern Ireland, Ali Story quit a £70k salary to commit to her music career. With her recent track, “Higher Love”, BBC R1 Tune of the Week, it would appear the decision was wise. We put her to task in our QnA.
It’s always been an obsession.
If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing?
Launching a record label and marketing agency.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Comparison is the thief of all joy.
What inspires you?
What’s the next big thing?
Ali Story 🙂
Best club experience?
Seeing Shazam screens in the air when I drop unreleased music.
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
None. They’ve all taught me a lot about life and people. I really value my time, so the goal is to be successful young so I can look after the people I love.
How do you know when a track is finished?
When a label wants to sign it.
What was your last day job and when did you realise you could give it up?
My last day job was as a personal assistant and digital marketing role for a record label. I was let go when COVID struck. That, combined with lockdown, gave me all the time in the world to focus on my music properly. A blessing in disguise.
Which song do you wish you wrote?
‘Cola’ by Camelphat & Elderbrook.
What’s the easiest way to make it in the music industry?
There is no easy way. It takes a lot of hard work, effort, time, and sacrifice. It’s a long game, so you must be patient. Having a strategy is incredibly important.
I quit a £70k annual salary job in marketing to take on a £20k salary job with a record label, just so I could get my foot through the industry door. That, combined with endless hours of learning, training, completing courses, networking at events, investing in content and equipment.
What’s the worst track you’ve ever released?
None. I think they’re all great. Each one has been a stepping-stone to get me to where I am today, so I’m proud of them all. Every release feels like an improvement on my sound, production quality and artistic journey.
Recommend us a film.
“Nobody” with Bob Odenkirk. Brilliant actor!
Recommend us a book.
“I am enough” by Marisa Peer. I have it as an audiobook and I’ve listened to it three times this year. Understanding your head and being in control of your mind is incredibly rewarding to all areas of your life.
What or who is underrated?
What or who is overrated?
What are you addicted to?
What do you lust over?
What is your greatest regret?
Not pursuing a professional music career earlier in life.
What one thing would most improve your life?
Having all my friends and family living next to me, so I could see them every day.
What’s the worst gig you’ve ever played?
None. I’ve loved them all.
Collaboration: rich creative experience or pain in the ass?
Rich creative experience. Two creative heads are so much better than one. I love learning from others.
What’s the secret to a great mix?
Plan your music. Make an intro, peak, and outro section. Play tracks together in order of key. I spend hours prepping my mixes.
If you could only listen to one more track, what would it be?
My last release. So I could enjoy my hard work one last time.
How do you relax?
Gym, audiobooks, meditation, and spending time with the people I love.
What one piece of software/kit could you not do without? Why?
Logic. So I can make beats.
Art or money?
Ronaldo or Messi?
Neither. I’m not a big football fan.
Strangest place you ever wrote a track?
Nowhere strange yet, I’ve been lucky enough to produce in studios.
Must-visit record store?
Haven’t found it yet.
What’s your single biggest frustration in the music industry?
Waiting for weeks between releases. I wish I could release a track a week.
What’s your favourite label? Why?
I don’t have a favourite. All the labels I’ve worked with have been incredible! I’ve made some great friendships so far.
What’s the worst thing about making music?
What’s your motto?
Stop comparing yourself to everyone
Name something timeless
What’s the best production advice you can give in 140 characters or less?
Keep learning! “Udemy” have wicked online courses that are very affordable. You can complete them in your own time.
Complete this sentence: At heart I’m just a frustrated …
Can music change the world?
I wish. But it does make people happy.
What are you listening to right now?
The ‘UK House Music’ playlist on Spotify.
What should you do before you die?
Understand your head and learn to love yourself. It will save you a lot of precious time.
Find Ali Story on Instagram.
Ali Story’s’ ‘Girls Who Like Boys’ is out now. Listen on Spotify.