Ali Barter on her new music, the #metoo movement, and reflections on her musical successes so far.
On a phone call from Melbourne, just days out before Christmas last year, Ali Barter was jetlagged but content. After a stint in South America, Ali came home for the holidays and ready to continue her incredible successes of 2017 into the new year.
"Two really amazing tours.... long-listed for the Australian Music Prize," she recounts a couple of highlights off the back of the release of her first full length album A Suitable Girl which was warmly received by fans and critics alike.
When asked did she know back in 2016 when recording the LP that things would pan out like this, Ali is philosophical. "Music is so ego driven, you're so insecure but you have to rely on your ego so much. It goes from one thing to another. I'm the best thing in the world, to, I'm a piece of sh**." Ali says that she just wanted people to simply like it, and not necessarily blow anyone's minds. "I'm very proud and happy with how it went."
And heading into 2018, fans will be delighted to know that Ali has been writing more material. Popular music today is filled with songs with multiple writers and collaboration is undoubtedly the word that sums up the artistic zeitgeist. And while she collaborated with other songwriters for the songs on A Suitable Girl, Ali tells Music Love that she has been writing alone. "I'm spending time alone to write by myself because I feel more confident in myself as a songwriter. I'm in a nice position to put out another record now and for people to hear it, and I feel like I'm on the right path."
Some fans have already heard a few new tunes, and Ali will be showing her band even more of her work to try out live. She has a couple of shows coming up, one of which is no less than supporting Tina Arena at the Women's Tennis Final at the Australian Open on 27 January.
Ali has also been booked to open for rock band The Preatures at Zoo Twilights at Melbourne Zoo. "[Lead singer Isabella Manfredi] is incredible. I'm a huge fan, and she's a pretty bad arse kind of woman so it will be super fun."
Ali has used her music and the study there of to open up a discussion about women in music with her now famous essay referencing the many women who have been under represented and not celebrated enough when it comes to music history. (The piece originally published on her university's Facebook site and taken down at the request of the university staff was then uploaded to Junkee and retweeted by Yoko Ono - more about that here). So how does she feel in the light of the #metoo movement? "It's really good that people are speaking up and calling out the bullsh** basically. It's a great time because we accept things less and we have the courage and the platform. And we are listening to people and saying, 'Hey that's not right.' But eventually I hope we can start talking about men, and look at why these things can happen. Society stuffs up women and it stuffs up men, and we need to look at both."
Ali Barter plays Zoo Twilights at Melbourne Zoo with The Preatures on 9 February, 2018. Tickets via zootwilights.org.au