Photo by: Dennis M. Kelly
Emilia Ali might be the sweetest person I have ever met.
The Berklee College of Music alum opened up the American Eagles stage Saturday at Lollapalooza with a lively pop set. While the beats might have a bubble gum sound, her lyrics are a gritty reflection of real life. Combined with her strong voice, which is smooth as honey, it makes for a promising future for this fresh new artist.
Ali’s first EP, Dreamland, was only released this year, but she is already making waves on her headline tour.
In spite of her recent explosion of success, Ali is still grounded. She blushes when I tell her I enjoyed her set, and she still acts flabbergasted that she was invited to Lollapalooza.
“I have felt just really overwhelmingly thankful just this whole time,” she says, laughing. “I’m sweaty, but I’m happy!”
Her bashful demeanor in person is not always mimicked onstage. Her first successful song has the lyric, “Fuck me like a dream come true,” as the center of the chorus, and she sings it fearlessly on stage. Another song, talks about being high.
While she knows that these topics could isolate some listeners, Ali thinks it’s more important to focus on those who her songs could help.
“There are going to be some people who are not okay with anything. It’s really hard not to care about those people, but you can’t,” says Ali. “There’s no point in holding back what you’re feeling because someone is going to feel that way,” she adds.
As an artist who does not limit herself to only writing love songs, Ali finds inspiration in every part of life.
“I’m trying very hard to not only write when I’m sad and to write when it feels good, too. Because it’s very easy to lock yourself up and want to express those feelings because they’re painful. But you gotta write about the good things, too,” says Ali.
Ali’s blend of dancey pop and adult content makes for a unique combination, and one definitely worth looking out for.
Biography: Berklee College of Music’s Emilia Ali made waves Fall 2016 with her vocal performance on VALNTN’s international hit, Can’t Let Go (feat. Emilia Ali). To date, the track has garnered more than 14 million global streams and 60,000+ downloads and equivalents. Shortly afterward, Ali released her EP Dreamland, which debuted at #24 on the iTunes Pop Chart and went Spotify Viral in multiple countries.
On January 12 2018, Listen For Pleasure/Capitol Records released Dreamland (Extended), featuring three new songs; Thick Thighs, u don’t like me when i’m high, and Bored (feat. NALIYA).