There is nothing better than accidently finding a new artist to add to your ipod. There I was, watching *cough* Jersey Shore *cough* (guilty pleasure, judge me!) and I heard a song and for the next day I couldn’t get it out my head. So I googled the lyrics and stumbled upon Ally Burnett.
You may not have heard of her just yet, but I am willing to bet by the end of the year she’ll have been snapped up by a major label and will be blowing up stereos everywhere. Already being featured heavily on MTV, Ally’s blend of rock and pop sucked me in, so I thought I would catch up with her and bring it to the masses…
So most people in the UK may have not enjoyed the Ally Burnett experience, tell us a bit about the story so far, how did you start out in the industry?
It was a natural progression, I guess. I’d known since I was 4 that I wanted a career in music, so I just did what I could to make it happen. Did choir, theater and vocal coaching growing up. I started working with other people and recording when I was 18, then joined bands and just kind of went from there.
You used to be named Ally Cupcake, what prompted you to change your stage name?
I had been thinking about changing it for a while, but was hesitant to do so. When I got the theme song for The Seven (on MTV USA), I decided it was best to change it. Going under that name pigeon holed me. A lot of people wouldn’t give my music a chance because they thought my name was stupid, so I changed it!
Who is involved in your writing process, as your sound is based on a full band?
My producer Rob Freeman (whose name you might know, from former Drive Thru band Hidden In Plain View) has been involved in the writing process since The Takeover. I don’t have any one specific way of doing things. Sometimes I’ll write lyrics and melody first and have music put to it and other times I’ll write lyrics and melody to a musical idea. It just depends on the song.
Do you work with the same people / use the same band?
I’ve worked with a few producers. When I met Rob, we clicked. We worked so well together on the writing and recording that I felt I’d found my musical soul mate. He plays almost every instrument on my songs with the exception of drums, which are played by Nash Breen (former drummer for Armor For Sleep)
Do you think, as a female who makes pop-punk music, that it is harder for you in such male dominated genre? Why do you think it is harder for girls in this genre?
I wouldn’t really classify myself as pop-punk. I shoot for pop/rock, and more recently have been working on adding a touch of country to the mix. I think in any genre in music, it’s harder to be a female. It’s harder to be taken seriously and there’s certainly a lot of drama with male egos getting in the way. But you know, I don’t let that stop me. If anything, it makes me work harder. If dudes don’t like it, that’s too bad.
What do you find most challenging about operating as an unsigned artist?
There is certainly financial stress. I don’t think most people realize how much it costs to make music. It’s tough because music keeps me too busy to work another job, but I don’t make enough money to be out on my own. Pretty much everything I make goes right back into music!
What artists / bands had the biggest impact on you growing up?
No Doubt, Blink 182, The Cars and Queen were influences, but Something Corporate was probably the biggest. The first time I saw them live when I was 16, everything made sense to me. Watching Andrew McMahon perform left me in awe, just standing there going “THAT is what I want to do.” That band drew me in, they were captivating, and on top of it all Andrew was so sweet and down to earth. Definitely a role model.
Who are you are favourite artists / bands currently?
Something Corporate is my favorite band. Right now I’m really into Phoenix, they’re just so good.
What was the last gig you went to?
Something Corporate reunion tour! It was so amazing.
Your music has been featured a lot on MTV and you wrote the theme song for their show, The Seven, how did that come about?
I’m really very lucky in the sense that one of the music coordinators at MTV just sort of found me, liked me, and wanted to put me on shows. Without him, who knows if I’d get those opportunities. I had no idea I was even up for The Seven. He called me one day all “So I pitched you in a meeting and people really liked your songs. Want to do a theme song for a new show?”. I was and still am extremely honored to have been asked to do it. Such a huge opportunity for me.
Has it had a big impact on increasing your fanbase?
My Jersey Shore placements really increased my fan base! I was surprised. I didn’t know so many people watched it. Haha
Have you ever been ever been over to the UK, or do you have any plans to come over soon?
I haven’t been to the UK and I currently don’t have any plans to go, but would love to play there.
Finally, what can we expect from Ally Burnett in 2011? Any big plans we should know about?
More new music and more placements!
You can download Ally’s ep, The Takeover at itunes now and be sure to check out her new material here