Ally Marks is an acoustic singer-songwriter from Brisbane Australia and is our latest StarNow feature artist competition winner. We were honoured when Ally agreed to complete a full in-depth feature interview for Song Revelation. Read the full interview below to discover, amongst other things, how Ally became interested in music growing up, how she puts down her musical ideas (wherever she may be) and what she does to relax.
Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?
A passionate singer/songwriter with a powerful, engaging voice whose story-telling through song takes her audience on a captivating journey everytime.
Q: What is your musical background?
I began learning piano as a small child and was constantly singing and performing anywhere, anytime for anyone that would listen! Through school I learnt the saxophone and trumpet and played in concert and stage bands, sang in choirs and various choral productions, and then as a teenager began singing and playing in rock/pop groups. I went on to earn Bachelor degrees in Music and Education and taught in secondary schools – directing musicals, conducting choral groups and bands – all the while still performing every chance I got. After falling ill, I had to give up performing for a few years but kept writing, finding much inspiration from my hospital bed. After a number of surgeries, I was on the road to recovery again, and began singing again. I then re-commenced performing covers – solo, duo and band – and continued writing. Late last year I was given the opportunity to record my debut album…and here it is!
Q: How was 2010 for you?
2010 saw the commencement of recording my debut album ‘Take Control’. This was a major turning point for me as I stepped from covers into the professional singer/songwriter world.
Q: Who inspires you musically?
My Dad, he taught me my first song on piano ‘Beautiful Isle of Somewhere’. My Auntie Jean, singer, violinist, always pushing me to work harder at my music, and always my biggest fan! And John Farnham, his amazing vocal ability and longevity of career
Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?
Pink – full productions, Kelly Clarkson, Missy Higgins
Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?
John Farnham, Missy Higgins, Jon Stevens.
Q: What songs are on your ipod at the moment?
Ally Marks ‘Take Control’ debut album! And, wide variety of genres – classical to dance pop
Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?
Most importantly…always have a pen and paper or voice recorder EVERYWHERE I go!
Thoughts and melodies pop into my head and I try and get them down on paper or recorded onto my phone, then I go back and flesh them out.
Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?
While the lyrics mean more to me, the music is just as important to help tell the story
Q: Where are you based?
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
Very cruisy little country town, everyone knows everyone, lots of support and encouragement
Q: What are you currently working on?
My second album
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
The release of my Debut Album ‘Take Control’
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?
Label and management representation; radio play; tv, radio, print promotion; lots of live performances; recognition of the album
Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?
Many, many, many – gig guide easier?
Q: What do you do to relax?
A scotch on the deck with my mates
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
The wonderful people who helped make my album so good…
Producer – Josh Travers
Studio – Alchemix Recording Studios, Brisbane Qld
Performers – Ben Eaton (guitars); Scott Smith (drums); Chris Gilbert (bass); Geoff Donohue (bass); Jonathan Garcia (piano)
CD Manufacturer – James Chang – Music Media
Editor’s Note: Ally Marks music appears effortless as song after song floats along. An enjoyable experience from start to finish.
If you’d like to contact or check out more of Ally Marks’ music just follow the links below:
twitter link: http://twitter.com/#!/AllyMarksMusic
facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ally-Marks/186563731365229
myspace link: http://www.myspace.com/allymarks
web page link: http://allymarks.com.au/
soundcloud link: http://soundcloud.com/ally-marks
reverbnation link: http://www.reverbnation.com/allymarks