NMV Sit Down: Anderson Alley
Nashville-bred vocalist Anderson Alley talks his new EP Redheaded Step-Child, working the music business, and paving his own lane.
We were fortunate enough to catch up with singer, songwriter Anderson Alley as he prepares his new EP and continues to diversify his eclectic alternative sound.
SM: Steven Mainzer
AA: Anderson Alley
SM: What up anderson, how have you been? What have you been working on lately?
AA: Dude, I have been locked away in the studio. Been working on a couple new things I am looking forward to releasing. Next Monday I’m releasing the single for my new EP called Redheaded Step Child.
SM: How did that idea come about?
AA: I have red hair. So that was definitely part of the inspiration, I don’t know but the term has always followed me. As a kid and not really fitting in in any situation ever, I felt like that was fitting for the EP and where I currently am in my life.
SM: If you had to categorize yourself musically, what direction are you going?
AA: Always been an interesting question, I’m inspired by so many different things. I would have to be it in this weird pop alternative hip-hop lane.
SM: Your "High on Fashion" video has gotten positive feedback, how did that video come about?
AA: Dude, honestly we were looking for content and I had a buddy of mine that I called, and another buddy who owns a photo spot. He let us rent out the space for the hour for free. So we shot the video and wanted to see what would happen.
SM: So it was kind of spontaneous?
AA: With the song “High on fashion,” and you’re broke it's an ironic situation, just like trying to shoot a video that’s about high fashion being on a shoe-string budget. I was working with the resources I had, I'm happy with the way it turned out. It has definitely gotten positive feedback, you know it's interesting my sound not fitting in a certain lane -- it has been interesting getting a different perspective.
SM: What are some of your current musical influences?
AA: That’s kind of all over the map, I’ve been really heavy into J.Cole. I just went to his show at the Bridgeview arena, also John Bellion, and Coldplay. I love Coldplay.
Coldplay is the jam, man. I’m really into 21 Pilots, yeah I don’t know that’s always an interesting question, being an artist you get asked that a lot -- but there’s so many things I listen to its hard to be pinned down.
SM: That makes your sound diverse.
AA: Yeah, I feel like nowadays with streaming and stuff it’s just a great big world out there.
SM: How has Nashville influenced your sound?
AA: That’s a good question. Nashville has influenced my sound a lot, its a music town period. I feel like growing up and dreaming about being an artist and putting that dream to work and being inside the business, it definitely has a big impact on how I view the world and what kind of music I am doing. There are so many types of genres, people think its just country but there’s a lot of stuff going on, to constantly be in that situation is always been interesting, I could talk for hours on it. I don’t know what the right word is to really pinpoint how its influenced me.
SM: How do you keep your vocals up to par?
AA: That’s a good question. I don’t know man, drink a lot of water, drink a lot of tea, I try to eat healthy, try not to smoke too much, yeah exercise, all that good stuff. I’m constantly trying to work on craft.
SM: Favorite hobby away from music?
AA: Man, to be honest with you, music is my hobby and my job, so honestly if I’m not doing music I’m sleeping. Its funny my friends are like, "You work too hard and you need to take a break" and I’m like "No, this is what I do. I love this."
SM: Favorite cartoon character and why?
AA: Favorite cartoon character… definitely would have to be Bugs Bunny. Straight up, Bugs Bunny -- just looney tunes in general ever since I was a kid that s**t was always playing in the background somewhere, I connect with the character.
SM: Any advice to up and coming artists, vocalists?
AA: My only advice would be do you. You know what I mean, don’t chase after something -- just try to be yourself honestly. I use to get caught up in the game of the people that I know or thinking I need to be like this person or do this thing, but the second I started to focus on myself and make myself better and cut out all the other bulls**t, that’s when I started to see real progress. Focus on what your real goals are and don’t get sidetracked.
SM: Yes I can attest to that for sure.
AA: I use to think that like the labels and the name meant everything, but we live in a time period where if you really do hustle you can build your own island, the old way isn’t the only way anymore.
SM: Yeah especially in the age of technology and social media.
AA: I use to think that if you weren’t Taylor Swift then you were nobody and that's totally not true anymore. Thee same people buying Taylor tickets are also J. Cole fans. Everyone likes different things, all you have to do is stay true to yourself and build that island that has people come to it.