Northern Irish DJ and Producer Ali Story has aggressively pursued her passion both behind the decks and in the studio, whereby in a short space of time she has already graced iconic venues throughout the UK and Ibiza. Although Ali has all the modern day musical influence, all of this matured from an origin of classical background. Ali is fully equipped in the classical capacity bringing instruments like the violin and piano to her modern day style. Ali has a passion for energetic tech house beats and song-writing and has already collaborated with the likes of Jaded, Malone and Monoky, with Ali’s first release “Dance Much’ soaring to no.7 on the Tech House Beatport charts. Having further releases on the likes of Toolroom and Club Sweat, we check in with Ali as she drops her new single ‘Smile’…
Hey Ali Story! Thanks for chatting to us here at DMC, for those who don’t know you, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hey guys, – it’s a pleasure to meet you, thanks for having me. I’m a Music Producer/ DJ/Songwriter from a small town in Northern Ireland called Castlewellan. I write and record dance records!
Where in the world are you today?
I’m currently based in London. I’ve been living here for 10 years or so. I’d definitely say the music scene here has had a huge influence and impact on my career journey and sound.
Tell us a bit about your career, how did you get to where you are now?
I have my parents to thank for that. I didn’t know how important it was at the time, but with my mum being a music teacher I grew up in a musical family. I was very blessed and lucky to learn instruments and musical theory from a young age. Everybody in our house plays an instrument of some sort. I definitely didn’t appreciate classical music when I was a young kid. Going to orchestra rehearsals and violin lessons several days a week felt like a chore, but looking back, I’m so incredibly grateful for it all. The weekly lessons, the long car trips, the hours and hours of practice sessions and endless push and support that went towards building my now musical career. I honestly can’t thank my mum and dad enough. I owe them the world!
What have been your biggest achievements so far?
Definitely my latest single ‘Smile’ being released on Axtone. I’ve always been a huge fan of Axwell, so to get personal praise and feedback from him on the track was a huge moment.
Who do you take inspiration from when making your tunes, is there anyone you compare your sound to?
To be honest, I’m making a huge variety of sounds. I don’t want to get pigeonholed into focusing on one particular sound or genre, as I want to stay on the fence and range between the underground and overground worlds. One day you’ll get a commercial piano house beat – the next day you’ll get a filthy, chunky underground beat. I take influence and have love for many different styles, so I like to get creative. I ideally want every track of mine to sound different to the previous.
You’re known to use your classical training in your house music production, tell us about this?
Yea, I’m lucky enough to read and write classical music and I play the violin and piano, so sometimes I just sit down and jam in the studio and see if I can create a catchy melody or hook. My musical background brings huge benefits of understanding notes, chords, keys, harmonies and the wider music theory side of production which is really helpful for speed.
Tell us about your new single Smile? What success has it had so far?
The track was released just over a week ago and I’ve been overwhelmed with the support so far. It’s reached almost 300,000 streams on Spotify – my best performing track yet. The messages of support from family, friends, social media and fellow artists in the industry make it all very special and worthwhile. The emotion surrounding re-connecting with both family and friends during such a crazy time inspired both the instrumental and the message that became “smile”. This summer, we’ll hopefully get to play out these messages and I’m hoping “Smile” will be the theme tune for many this year.
How has the pandemic been for you, what are you looking forward to most when things open up?
It’s been a blessing and curse. I lost my marketing job with a record label back in March 2020 due to Covid, along with many others in my industry, so it was a stressful period. But thankfully it gave me something even greater, which was time. I finally had all the time in the world to get my head down in the studio and make the music I love. I obviously miss my family and friends loads, so I’m looking forward to seeing everyone on a dancefloor – hopefully very soon!
You’ve had some amazing collabs so early on in your career, is there anyone you’d love to work with in the future?
Oh yea. The list is endless, ha! But I’d say the names at the top would be Calvin Harris, Eric Prydz, Carl Cox, Michael Bibi, John Summit, Swedish House Mafia, Peggy Gou and The Blessed Madonna.
What else have you released in the last year you’re really proud of?
It’s a toss up between ‘She Lyin’ and ‘Wheels of Motion’. I sang the vocals on both productions and I was genuinely surprised how nice they turned out as I’m a completely amateaur singer with zero vocal training. Being able to just release music for the first time is an incredible feeling, so I guess I’m proud of the effort I’ve put in during lockdown and not giving up.
What’s next for Ali Story?
I’ve got a ton of new music signed, so you can expect lots of new tracks from some heavyweight labels soon. Gigs wise, I’ve got a few in the diary but I’m holding off on announcing anything until we get the green light on clubs reopening. Here’s to hopefully a happier and healthier rest of 2021 for us all!