Just after releasing her first album “Bad Habit” (plus, being announced as the latest addition to the Boots & Hearts 2017 line-up), we sat down with up and coming country star, Alee, to hear all about her journey through the country music scene, and what she has planned for the very near future.
1. In what moment did you realize you were born to make music?
I played a show backed by David Foster’s band back in 2009… I just remember walking into rehearsal… you’ve got Matthew Della Polla, Nathan East, Dean Parks, Michael Thompson, John Robinson and an entire string section on stage (yeah, go look up the discography on those guys and tell me it isn’t daunting)… they start playing the intro so this 16 year-old can walk on stage to sing… I can’t even begin to tell you how many chills were had… in that moment, it wasn’t about genre…wasn’t about performing to a crowd…wasn’t about doing it for any other reason than the fact I was so in love with the way that music made me feel. I knew in that moment, it was just the beginning.
2. As an established name in Canadian Country music, what has been your favourite moment of this experience so far?
That’s the best part about the journey so far – there has never been a shortage of “moments”. I really love hearing from the fans – snapchats of them and their friends jamming to my music, tweeting when a song is playing on their local station, quoting lyrics, sending me notes about how something I wrote helped get them through a day… little reminders that I’m lucky enough to make music that has an impact, and that means the world to me. The fans make the fact I get to do what I love that much more meaningful. What good would music be, if there was no one to listen?
3. Can you take us through your writing process, and how your songs come together?
The luxury of technology makes 24/7 access a possibility… in the midst of a conversation, while surfing the internet, driving to a session… I’m always jotting down ideas in my notes or making voice memo melodies. Then the fun is getting into a writing room, picking up a guitar or sitting at the piano, and sifting through all of the ideas to find a gem. Lyrics and melodies start to form, and next thing you know…you’ve created something really special.
4. Which artist/band is your biggest influence, whether it was to enter the music business, or inspired your unique style?
I don’t think I could ever say one person was the inspiration behind it all. I grew in a music-heavy house… lots of RHCP, Nickelback, and NSYNC*, which eventually turned into Grace Potter, Sara Evans, Brad Paisley, and Rascal Flatts. It’s funny because all those artists still end up on my playlists. I like to think that all of them have played a part in developing my sound over the years.
5. If you could tell your high-school year old self something, what would it be?
There’s enough time to do it all. Learn everything you can. Challenge yourself. See the world. Make new friends. Don’t feel like you have to wait for things… go out and make it happen.
6. If you could make a song with anyone in the world (country music or not), who would you choose?
I’d love to get in a room with Julia Michaels & see what would come to life. Ooh, and the Old Dominion guys! Could you imagine?
7. What’s your favourite thing about performing live?
You get to give a piece of yourself you don’t get to when its just a song on a track. People show up to see you play, and trust you enough to do your thing – so you get to have fun, show your personality, share some stories – it’s the one place you really get to live in the moment. Even though we may play the same set every night, the experience is never the same…how cool is that?
8. Why are you excited to play Boots & Hearts?
THE FANS! Every year I always see a ton of Boots & Hearts photos & videos flying across my newsfeed… and I am always so jealous! I’m also really excited to play a show out that way (FINALLY). I feel like we’re really doing it the right way!
9. Who are other artists performing a Boots & Hearts that you’re excited to share a stage with?
I’m a big fan of a ton of the acts on the line-up, from the up and coming artists, to the big guns. I’m especially excited for Eli Young Band. Cool enough – those guys provided a good portion of the soundtrack to my high school years. I get to say I loved them and their music before it blew up on the country charts. Still find myself listening to the Level (2002), and Jet Black & Jealous (2008) albums, and they’re still SO good. I’ve got a lot of respect for those guys, they were a crucial part of choosing country as my homebase. Finally getting to see them play live?… that would be wicked!
10. What can we expect from you in the near future?
I just released a really cool video for “When I Do” I cannot wait to share. And we’re gearing up for an amazing summer sharing all of the new songs, travelling and adventuring across the country, meeting fans, and making some new ones! The excitement is just beginning…
Check out Alee’s music video for “When I Do” below: