Ali Tamposi is a female songwriter and Grammy-nominee who has worked with multiple renowned artists. She’s collaborated with Justin Bieber for his album “Justice”, and on Dua Lipa’s song “Break My Heart” on her Grammy Award-winning album, “Future Nostalgia”. Ali also recently partnered with her friend and activist, Tamar Kaprelian to launch a new educational Spotify video series titled “Song Start”.
How did your music career begin?
Around 14-years-old I started writing my own songs as a performing artist, not a songwriter. I didn’t understand how the business worked and really didn’t appreciate that songwriting was this massive engine under the hood of the music industry. In fact what happened was, I wrote a song meant to be released as my first single, however; the producer was also working with Beyoncé at the time and she heard it. She liked it and I was given the option to either release the song myself or take the writer credit for Beyoncé’s release. Just like that, everything changed.
What is the process you embark on when writing a new song?
The essentials to a successful songwriting session and new song are first and foremost being around collaborators that you have creative chemistry with. I typically like to start from scratch. I feel the most connected to the song when the chords are created in the room. If I’m writing with the artist, it’s essential that we all have a feel for the story the artist wants to portray and the sonic landscape for that artists vision. The majority of the time the song starts with chords and melody, and then lyrics come in and harmonize with the emotion of both those elements.
Who has been your favourite artist you have collaborated with so far?
Every artist that I’ve worked with has served an instrumental role in my career. It’s impossible to say who’s my favourite because even the sessions that don’t go so well serve a purpose. I wouldn’t be where I am without the artist, the experiences, and the lessons learned.
What is the most challenging part of writing a new song?
You can’t harness creativity. Some days it’s flowing and you think you have it all figured it out ,and other days it’s just not there. I’ve yet to figure out a solution to this problem, but the closest I’ve come is relying on brilliant and talented collaborators to keep me inspired.
In your opinion, what makes a good song?
A good song is one that evokes strong emotion. Whether that’s uplifting or heartbreaking, a totem of a good song is that it connects. If someone hears that song and sees a bit of themselves in it, that to me fits my personal definition of a good song.
What inspired you to launch the Creative Waves Foundation?
I’ve always wanted to find a way to be of service. My mother, Candace Tamposi, was an educator for over thirty years and the principal of my elementary and middle school. She always made sure that her school provided programs that had an emphasis on the arts. When budget cuts being are made in a school district, arts are often the first go and specifically music programs. At Creative Waves we’ve been working to raise money to build an Enrichment Center in Belle Glade, Florida, where we’re providing musical equipment and resources for kids who wouldn’t otherwise typically have access. I’m excited by the progress we’ve made, although we have a long way to go. The deeper I get into it, the more that I learn about this problem, and the more I want to be involved in the community, giving back, and helping to find a solution.
What are you most looking forward to with the launch of “Song Start”?
I’m looking forward to lifting the veil on the songwriting process and giving aspiring creatives the opportunity to learn directly from industry professionals. If you don’t have the financial support or if you don’t live in an area where the business is very present, it can be incredibly difficult to receive this education. There were so many unknown variables when I moved out to LA and I had to learn a lot of things about the music industry the hard way.
What would you say is the biggest challenge for songwriters wanting to enter the music industry nowadays?
There are a few to put lightly. As monotonous as it may sound, networking is incredibly important. Another is taking as many sessions as you can and going in with the right attitude, which is ready to work and listen to the artist. You never know which session will end up being the chart-topping single, but equally important which one will be a valuable lesson in your career as you navigate this industry. The important thing is to not let these challenges break your spirit or who you are as a writer or creative. You want to develop and continue to learn your craft and refine your technique, but not let it fundamentally change the artist underneath.