May 28, 2012
New York City Country Girl
What I, Ali Isabella, love most about country music are the stories! Real life experiences and feelings put to music! Everyday I’m inspired by things in my own life and it’s these inspirations that often turn into a song idea. Whether I’m happy or sad, mad at the world or just hopeful, there is always a song in my head just waiting to make its way to my notebook!
I listen to a lot of different artists that have influenced my love of music and songwriting – a lot of country like Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts . . . but I also like pop music, contemporary songwriters like Colbie Caillat and Sara Bareilles and the jazz greats like Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Peggy Lee. In fact, Sinatra’s song “New York, New York,” was practically the first words I learned to sing as a two year old!
I was born in New York City but I really am a country girl deep down inside. I love the music, outdoors, countryside and riding horses through the pastures. I love New York City too and all that it represents, the excitement is awesome, but my greatest happiness is when I’m at the barn around the horses and the animals enjoying the outdoors.
Last Thanksgiving I made my first trip ever to London and I met a wonderful songwriter and musician, Anton Mullan. He traveled by train from Bristol down to London just to meet my family! I’ll never forget the fun afternoon we had together sharing laughs and lots of music. Anton brought along a guitar and really impressed my brother and I with all his skills. He even showed us a few really cool chords to play on the guitar! This was the start of a very dear friendship and a songwriting adventure that became New York City Country Girl!
Soon after I returned home from my London adventure, Anton and I began talking on Skype about writing a song. He said to me, “Ali, how can you be a country girl and live in New York City!!” And I told him that sometimes I feel out of place in New York but it’s in a good way! I love that I am a New Yorker, and I love that I’m country! I love being different!! As a songwriter I want to embrace my differences and write really good songs that people will be able to connect to just as much as I do. I want people to hear the message and make it meaningful in their own lives. The great part about working with Anton was that he understood me and was just as excited as I was to write a fun song that was just a little bit big city yet every bit a part of who I am, country girl!
Anton and I wanted to create an uplifting fun song that captured the big city and country life, as well as appeal to a broad listening audience. New York City is not really a country music center, but we thought it would be really exciting if we could create a song that would appeal to my fellow New Yorkers with a country twist. Kind of like sneaking Nashville in through the back door... So, our work began!
Little by little, the melody and lyrics began to come together into a song which expressed my feelings about the vibe of a big city like New York as well as my love for country music. And it just seemed fitting to put my other favorite city, Nashville, into the lyrics!
We named this wonderful, happy song “New York City Country Girl.” I debuted this song live at Wembley Arena in London on February 26th at the International Festival of Country Music. And Anton was right there with me playing the bass in my band! Even Steve Cherelle, a presenter at BBC and the host of the festival called me the New York City Country Girl!! I was thrilled!
Can you imagine a group of New Yorkers line dancing in Grand Central Station or in Times Square amongst the backdrop of the bright lights in our great city? Could I get a little Nashville country music into the Big Apple? Well I’m certainly going to try, which is why I became a New York City Country Girl!
I recently released “New York City Country Girl” as my second single from my album, Say You’ll Be Mine and it’s now being played on country music radio stations in the US and available on iTunes!! June 26, 2012 will be the official release of my album, Say You’ll Be Mine in the US. I’m looking forward to bringing a little country into your home and my hometown New York City
Ali Isabella, your New York City Country Girl <3