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Photographed By:
Christina Arza

  “I've always been a risk-taker and I always show up, even when I don't feel my best”. Ali Tamposi talks to Glamoholic about solidifying her place in the music industry, how she would bridge the worlds of music and fashion, and how her foundation, Creative Waves, is helping provide vital funding for underserved, young musicians and artists to pursue the fulfillment of their dreams.
This interview is featured in Glamoholic's 9th Anniversary Special Issue, get your copy HERE.

You’ve written / co-written some of the most successful hits in recent years! How would you describe your writing process? How does it all start?
I am very fortunate to have such an inspiring, collaborative writing team that I work with consistently. The writing process varies based on the direction of the artist we're writing for or writing with, but for the most part, it starts with the musical element: the chords. Then, depending on who the artist is, this directs the topline and the melody. We always aim to accommodate the narrative that the artist wants to portray. 
When was the very first time you’ve written a song and actually realised that this is good enough to be released? 
Definitely "Save the Hero" for Beyoncé. This song was actually supposed to be my first single as an artist, but after Beyoncé heard the record and loved it, I remember thinking, “there must be something good about this one.”
What would you say your biggest sources of inspiration are?
For me, personal life experiences, and the life experiences of the people I love and write with will always provide the best inspiration. 

How did you get to work with some of the biggest stars? What was the “turning point” for you?

For most of my life, I worked really hard with one goal in mind: to solidify my place in the music industry. This process came with a lot of challenges and sacrifices, but I've always been a risk-taker and I always show up, even when I don't feel my best. 
The turning point in my career came when I wrote "Stronger," and Kelly Clarkson connected with the song enough to record it and release it as a single. I remember that being the moment I felt that I could officially call myself a songwriter and feel worthy of the title.
Do you realise that a song will be a hit while you’re writing it? 
I usually write songs based off feeling, so if the song is evoking a strong emotional current throughout the room, it's usually a good sign.
What do music and fashion have in common, in your opinion?
Music and fashion both have the unique ability to be a reflection of individual expression, and they often mirror each other in this way. They are both very special because there are no parameters to what can be created in either sphere.
How would you describe your fashion style? 
My style definitely varies depending on what the day holds. I have a great collection of vintage t-shirts that I'll usually wear to the studio, but when I'm home you can usually find me in a swimsuit or a Pangaia sweatsuit. 
Who is your favorite designer? 
I would have to say Vivienne Westwood - I absolutely love her. 
Would you like to branch into fashion somehow in the future?
If I can somehow bridge the worlds of music and fashion, I definitely would! I would probably tie it into my foundation, Creative Waves, in some way, and make sure that the focus is on environmentally-friendly, sustainable fashion.

Does giving back make success more meaningful? 
100%. Giving back is a primary focus for me, and adds to my life in so many important ways! I feel very lucky that the success I have had is now allowing me to give back.
Earlier this year, you launched your foundation, Creative Waves. What inspired you to launch it?
With so many budget cuts in education, the arts programs are usually targeted first, leaving so many kids without necessary creative outlets. I partnered with my mother, Candace Tamposi, a longtime school administrator to provide vital funding for underserved, young musicians and artists to pursue the fulfillment of their dreams by providing scholarship money to study or purchase equipment. 
I’ve also partnered with my close friend and founder of Nvak, Tamar Kaprelian, to develop a free music education platform called “Song Start.” We’ve gathered Berkeley and Columbia graduates as well as top music industry professionals to help develop the e-learning curriculum. Our mission is to provide access to quality music education to students around the world. Especially in a time when schools lack the funding and proper resources. My Instagram will have all the updates as we prepare to launch some of our initial lessons in the coming weeks. 
What does it mean to you to work on this foundation with your mother? What effect does it have on your relationship?
Working together with my mom is inspirational for both of us. We have a similar love for children and the arts, and we inspire each other every day with new ideas and concepts. My mother is “boots on the ground” with the community, and has the experience with the technical aspects of running a foundation and fundraising, having served for 30 years. I am able to spread our message more globally through my platform. I was the girl who had the opportunity for music, theater, dance, and instruments, and I know the difference that the arts made in my life. It is critically important for me to give back and I look forward to doing this for the rest of my life!
The foundation will offer music lessons via Zoom this fall. How important is it to keep people connected to their creative side and to music in the middle of this pandemic and all of its effects on us?
Music has so many positive effects, and creating music has so many therapeutic qualities. Humans need places to funnel their creative energy, and therefore we need programs in place to keep our minds stimulated, especially when the world outside is so chaotic. Music has been such a positive outlet in my life, and I'm so thankful that we have the current technology to allow others to experience those positive effects as well, even in a pandemic. 
Do you think that this pandemic will have long-lasting side effects on the music industry? 
Definitely. This pandemic has affected every part of the industry but has hit the live sector particularly hard, especially with tours being canceled. Hopefully, when this is all over, it bounces back twice as strong which I have a feeling will happen because people are itching to congregate. Collaboration has changed dramatically as well, as the "Zoom session" is now so popular because it is allowing our industry to keep operating in a different fashion. It has been inspiring to see the world (and the music industry) change and adjust to keep moving.



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