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How She Got There: Nadia Ali, Singer/Songwriter


Name: Nadia Ali
Job Title and Description: Singer/Songwriter
Website: www.nadiaali.com
Twitter Handle: @NadiaAli

What does your current job entail? Is there such a thing as a typical day?

Nadia Ali: When I’m not touring, I am usually either in the studio writing, recording vocals or working with different producers. My daily routine would include waking up very early, usually around 6:00 a.m., going for a workout or hike and getting on with my day. I always just try to keep every day as productive as possible.

What is the best part of your job?

NA: I feel the best part of my job is meeting my fans at my shows and seeing their faces when I’m singing to them on stage. I’m always humbled by seeing the effect that my music has on my fans.

What is one thing you wish you knew about your industry when you first started out that you know now?

NA: I wish I had known how easily you can be convinced into signing contracts… when you first start as an artist, you just want your music to be exposed and you’re so eager that you sometimes end up signing contracts that aren’t as beneficial to your long-term career. People who are more experienced often take advantage of new artists. 

Who is one person who changed your professional life for the better?

NA: My husband. He’s ultra responsible and it rubs off on me in all kinds of positive ways. If I start to slack, he’s the first person to call me out on it.

What words of wisdom do you find most valuable?

NA: My dad once told me that it’s everyone’s responsibility to work hard and no one is going to do anything for you.

What is one mistake you made along the way and what did you learn from it?

NA: As human beings, we’re never satisfied. It’s never good to compare yourself to anyone, whether it’s professional or personal. There is always somebody better, more talented and powerful out there.  There is no point of getting sucked into all that.

What has been the most surreal moment of your career thus far?

NA: The most surreal moment of my career was the first time I heard [my song] “Rapture” on the radio in the year 2000. I felt utter shock… truly surreal.

What do you look for when considering hiring someone?

NA: Well for me, hiring someone means working with a producer on a track. What I look for is someone who has the same vision as me musically.  There also has to be an undeniable musical vibe together in the studio. I’m typically very particular about the kind of sounds I go for, so when someone is on my page, he or she is likely going to get “hired.”

What advice would you give to a 20-something with similar aspirations?

NA: If a woman’s aim is to become a singer, I would highly advise her to first develop her craft in songwriting. It’s such a powerful tool to have when you’re a singer. Really take your time and figure out what your identity is as an artist. Don’t compromise on your vision. People are always going to have a motive behind influencing you to do something. 

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