An avid writer, Ali has always kept a journal. She was inspired to learn the guitar because of her brother, David. She lived in Paris in 2007 and started performing at Irish Pubs. By 2014, she returned to Le Galway in Saint-Michel in the heart of Paris as a featured performer and finally had her first paid, professional gig.
Her faith, love of music, and the desire to write lyrics has been the only thing that has seen her through tough times. Life was light until the tragic death of her best friend and brother, David, in 2011. Her debut album, 'brainfrzz', was produced by her childhood friend and music producer, Scott Siegel, as a labor of love and healing. Her pain can be heard in her voice, like the cry of the Bean sidhe. She is currently working on a musical and will be until she gets one written and produced. Her second album, Punkmuffin, is in the works.
Here is what Ali had to say:
What Musical Genre Do You Feel Best Describes Your Music And How Would You Describe Your Sound?
My genre cannot be pinpointed because my influences cast a wide net that is too saturated to fit any. I have coined a new genre called 'Juxtaposition Rock'. It is an attempt to create a new space for collaboration for many different influences and for the exploration of music and sound freely, not by structure or rule. A mix of Rock, Pop, Country, and Folk with an Irish influence, I have heard my sound described as Irish-Rock, which makes sense, due to my love of Irish music and Celtic ballads.
My sound is a combination of the music I have grown loving, singing and living ranging from musical theater to rap. Playing LIVE versus a recording, 'brainfrzz', both have a different sound. My songs have a unique personality which stems from real-life experiences. The mood determines the sound. I appreciate folk music for its storytelling aspects. A good song is a gift that keeps on giving.
How Did You Get Your Name? Is There A Story?
Ali Marriner is my name and the signature on my art. My art is inspired by my life so my name is the same. The title of my album 'brainfrzz' is no title at all, rather the recipient of the contents. It comes from my brother David's AOL handle from dial-up days. The one and only reason this album has been released is that hopefully, by sharing it with the world, David will be able to hear it from Heaven.
What Are or Have Been Your Musical Influences?
I have always loved performing and being the center of attention at all of my family functions. My birthday parties were family affairs taking turns lip-syncing into wooden spoons while videotaping. One summer night, I discovered Grease and spent the rest of the night rewinding and fast-forwarding the VHS to my favorite songs. I played "Summer Lovin'" on a serious repeat, determined to learn all the words to every song. This allowed me the ability to perform on cue, as I did in a talent show with my favorite, "Beauty School Drop Out". This later influenced my actually going to beauty school and graduating, thus altering the course of song. We hold the best Open Mic night in my parents' kitchen and take turns unless it's an all-skate. sk8.
Some of my favorite artists include Elvis Presley, James Taylor, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Bonnie Tyler, Social Distortion, Sublime, Garth Brooks, Christy Moore, Hozier, and Lana Del Rey.
David played the trombone in the marching band from middle school through The Spirit of Troy USC Marching Band. Like any little sister looking up to her brother, I joined in 6th grade through 9th, learning and playing the clarinet and bass clarinet. You will hear trombone in the tracks of "Tall Drink of Water", "Fight On!", and "David" played by USC Alum and Fellow Spirit of Troy band member, Mark Santos. Mark is the Band and Orchestra Director of Godinez Fundamental HS in Santa Ana, California.
What Are You Working On Now? Any Future Collaborations We Can Look Forward To?
I have the seedlings of a musical that ribbon-dances throughout my mind. One day it will be finished. I am constantly writing notes, ideas or lyrics on scraps of paper, napkins and sometimes my wrist. My second album is on the way. All I can say is, Punkmuffin. I have collaborated with Scott Siegel Productions and look forward to recording more under Scott's direction. Mark Santos laid down the beautiful bass trombone tracks on "Tall Drink of Water", the USC-inspired anthem "Fight On!" and most significant on my brother's title song, "David". You will hear more of Mark's trombone skills as well as other marching band instruments in future arrangements. I most recently recorded my newest single, "How Do You Say Goodbye" with the Tahoe Production House in South Lake Tahoe, CA. I am so pleased with the finished product, I'm inspired to explore a more unplugged sound in production.
What Is Your Ultimate Goal In The Music Industry? What Is Your Plan Of Action?
My ultimate goal is to be recognized as a musician, singer, songwriter and lyricist while earning a living wage. I plan on continuing to capture the moments of inspiration as often as possible and with that, produce as much music and as many lyrics as long as I live. My plans also include Social Media @alimarriner in an effort to expand my exposure. Radio has always been an interest of mine and I would love to be able to pump some new blood into the airwaves. I dabble in iMovie and make my own music videos, but hope of one day having professional insight. I will never stop putting as much energy into my dream as I possibly can each day.
I go through cycles in my art. If I'm performing, then I'm not writing. If I'm writing, then I'm not performing. If I'm not sharing, then I am experiencing. I'm rationing out my resources and I manage to feed my dreams enough to keep them alive.
What Is Your Favorite Track To Perform Live and Why?
"Spooky September" is my favorite track to perform live. The reason is that there is a wolf howl involved instigating a huge release for the howler. The dream is that everyone joins in and howls together. I used to leave voicemails on my brother's phone of my latest songs and eagerly await his response. The last song of mine he ever heard was "Spooky September". He died tragically the following January. Spooky September expressed pain and grief I didn't even fully feel at the time of writing it, just a feeling I wanted to capture, not understanding where it came from. 4 months later, that song took on an entirely different meaning and was prophetic in my life.
What Has Been The Biggest Challenge In Your Career Thus Far?
I've always felt like Peter Pan and music is my shadow. I am self-taught. I was pursuing a different line of education, but music found me. In an Irish Pub in Paris, it started to call my name, and it always seemed to be in the corner everywhere I go.The guitar found me at 18 years old and through it, I realized I had been writing the lyrics of my life since my first diary. I'm curious to see where my shadow's going to take me before I wrangle it to the ground, and finally grow up. The music industry has always confused me as to which path to take. The more struggles and blocks I find, the more avenues. It may not even exist on the material plane yet, but I will never grow up and fuck you. Chase that shadow till the end!
What’s Your Typical Songwriting Process?
I jot things down and when I feel the need to express, I start writing. I have a very superstitious way of songwriting. It's like seeing a ghost out of the corner of your eye and you know it's there because you can feel it, but if you acknowledge it or look at it directly, it will dissipate. Throughout my day, I keep a journal close by. My process involves a lot of spontaneous jotting until something formulates from my jots. Once the messages builds, I fiddle with chords while constructing the words and record a rough draft on my iPhone. I allow at least 6 months to a year before I can even listen to the song without hating it, and then I begin to fine tune once the original emotion has died down.
How Has Social Media Influenced Your Career As An Artist?
Social Media has been something I have watched develop throughout my life. I am still trying to figure the ins-and-outs to utilize it to my advantage. Right now, I feel like, without being embarrassing or sexually enticing, it's hard to get shared or noticed. I understand that Social Media has tendencies to allow for anonymous criticism, and cruelty without cause, as a result, I am very cautious of my online presence. I am sharing authentic emotions and real events from my life and I hope for compassionate feedback as well as constructive criticism. I'm sharing my life experiences from a place of honesty without any opinion or agenda to promote other than my need to share my story.
What Are Some Tracks and Artists Currently On Your Playlist?
I don't have a particular playlist. I have a love of all music, whether it's instrumental to gritty, rock ballads. I cannot clearly define who I listen to because the list would go on for days.
What Did You Do Before You Started Making Music?
I was pursuing my degree in Political Science in Paris and I would spend my free time at Le Galway, an Irish pub. It was there I met a friend who played the guitar and taught me about live performance and encouraged the art that has always been inside me. Going to Le Galway and singing helped me feel more at home in a foreign country. From that point on, I knew that music would always be my emotional security blanket in life. I am a stylist by trade and a musician by passion. If I can find a balance where music can pay my bills and it still is bringing me joy, then I will feel that I have succeeded in the Music Industry.
Any Advice For Young People (Men or Women) That Want To Succeed In The Music World?
My advice to young people is to not view their success by other people's measurements, but by the good feelings of the small accomplishments they have achieved. Keep the faith, look for inner kindness, please your sensations, fill your senses, play from the heart, eat the pizza, smell, taste, hear, see, feel.
What Would You Change In The Music Industry If You Were A Top Music Executive?:
I would like to change the expectation of superficiality in the mainstream. Depth, authenticity and vulnerability deserve more reverence than I feel is happening right now. There seems to be an age cap on female performers, and it makes me sad to think that there is little respect for the aging process.
How Do You Feel About Originality?
Originality is controversial behavior. To be original, you have to go against the status quo, which usually results in martyrdom. It threatens the architecture of mainstream, so true originality is met with an abrasive response. Originality is the space that allows for the unusual. It is extremely important but also extremely terrifying. Expressing originality is scary. It is reading your diary aloud and baring a piece of your soul. It can be a curse because it is a lifelong battle with struggling to be who you are in an environment that can be hostile.
Is There Anything Else We Should Know About You Or That You Would Like to Add?
I express myself through many forms of art such as painting, sketching, crocheting, sculpting, hair and makeup design, interior design and making accessories. In 2014, I started Brother David Jewelry with the goal of making colorful, clay cut-outs of Lake Tahoe and making them into pins and earrings as tangible memories of David. It started out as a message of Pride and remembrance of David. Brother David Jewelry can be found in several souvenir shops in South Lake Tahoe, California. I have the best family in the world, my parents have been extremely loving and supportive of my dreams. My mom was the first person to inspire me with the English language and gave me my first journal that got me all the way through high school graduation. Every lyric I jot down I have my mom to thank. My dad, Big Wave Dave, is a creative mind who appreciates fine art and has always fostered my artistic ability. I have recently taken a hiatus from my outlets to honeymoon after marrying the love of my life who has been under my nose since 5th grade. We just adopted a puppy named Yamathan and couldn't be happier.
Websites or Social Media Pages:
FB: Brainfrzz Ali Marriner
IG: @alimarriner, @everettstyles, @brotherdavidjewelry