Hardbody Interview: Recording Artist Ali Lee – Keep It Right There

I met Ali Lee at the 2011 LA Fit Expo and she definitely looked the part of a fitness model but so do hundreds of other women. Looks will only take someone so far but anyone who has met Ali knows she has the “it factor”. You may not be able to put your finger on exactly what “it” is right away but you know there’s more than meets the eyes. Little did I know, Ali has already accomplished more in 22 years than some people do in a life time. She’s a classically trainer singer, dancer and has a single (“Keep It Right There“) that’s climbing the charts and showing up on MTV.

I caught up with Ali to learn more about her and what she’s doing to stay in shape while traveling non-stop. She was kind enough to do this interview and shared some valuable nuggets of wisdom along the way. My favorite is when Ali shared, “If you feel it and you work for it, you can achieve what you want.” That’s living in a hardbody state of mind. Enjoy…

Born in:
Tallahassee, Florida

Currently live in:
I’m currently between homes in Georgia, Kentucky, and Florida.

Do you have siblings?
I have six cousins that I love like siblings. Some of us are only children and we are all pretty much around the same age so we are very close. Our family is big on making time to spend with each other.

Were you a trouble maker growing up or the good kid?
I was the instigator growing up, or at least I always got blamed for whatever we were in trouble for. At school I really didn’t try to be a troublemaker but I was kind of odd so I felt like “why should I try to fit in anyway?”

Any pets?
I am a major dog lover. I have five pets. Four dogs and a neighborhood cat (but I love her like my own).

What would be the coolest animal to have as a pet?
This will sound like an exaggeration but MY pets are the coolest pets to have! Every pet I’ve ever owned has been great! Except for my fish that died.

Afraid of…?
I’m not afraid of jack squat! I’m not really squeamish and I don’t have any phobias.

What did you want to be when you “grew up”?
I wanted to be a lot of things: a gymnast, a ballerina, a singer, an astronaut… My mom always told me I could be anything I wanted so I wanted to be everything!

How old were you when you started singing?
I would say three.

What was your favorite song to sing?
“Johnny B Goode” was one of my favorites. My mom always listened to 50’s and 60’s music when I was growing up so I have a lot of old favorites.

You mentioned Whitney Houston was an inspiration on your blog. What’s your favorite Whitney song to sing?
Thanks for reading my blog! I actually quoted one of my favorite Whitney songs, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” My favorite Whitney song to sing is “Saving all my Love for You”

Photo Courtesy of Ali Lee

Any other artist that you looked to or look to today as inspiration?
I’d love to meet or work with the artists who inspire me! Bruno Mars, Jason Derulo, Jennifer Lopez, and David Guetta are all amazing entertainers that I really love

Favorite genre of music to listen to?
I have different favorites for every activity. I work out to dance/rock music. I love to listen to musicals and Broadway songs. I listen to whoever is on the radio when I drive in the car. I like reggae or anything chill when I’m at the beach.

Can you REALLY sing Opera?
I was trained in a classical style, which is fortunate because it’s the basis of all music. Working with Bret Manning has taught me how to use that style and make my voice have more of a “pop artist” sound.

So you don’t have to be an um “husky” lady to belt out opera?
I think that’s a myth. I know plenty of thin people that have beautiful voices.

I read you were part of an all-girl group, how long were you in Blaze Blah?
A very jam packed year. It was a few other girls and me. It was just another experience that I am able to look back at see that I learned a lot from that time in my life.

What’s the advantage of being out on your own as an artist?
I play well with others but having creative control make the process a lot more fun. I get to wake up and only make songs that I want to make. At the end of the day I own the win or the loss and it’s cool getting to put everything I imagine into action because, believe it or not, it’s hard to get taken seriously as a 22-year-old woman.

Your single is climbing the charts. Do you have plans for a full album or is there one?
I have plans to do a lot of things this year. I don’t know if creating an album will be one of them but I definitely have other songs in the works.

As people can see from your photos and your video, you rock a hardbody. Were you always in shape and into fitness?
Frankly, no. I just got to a point in my life where I wanted to be the best I could be and that’s part of it. Looking at all the amazing fitness models you’ve interviewed makes me want to hit the gym even harder!

The video for your single shows you dancing and rock’n it. What inspired the dance room?
We wanted to show where “Ali Lee” really is in her head. That’s where it is: sweating, working, making mistakes, trying again, and accomplishing a goal in an empty room with some music.

How did you get into dancing?
I quit gymnastics and picked up ballet and I was hooked.

Were you into sports growing up?

Don’t laugh because that is a sport. We go hard!

Do you write songs as well?
I co-wrote my next single with my producer Keith Thomas. I also write short narratives and poems for myself.

You’re obviously super busy, what’s the key to staying in the shape you do?
I always find a time or place to work out. If I eat what I want for the day, I make sure to spend that extra time in the gym to make up for it. It’s a lot about balancing your decisions.

What’s a day of eating like for you?
My family and friends make fun of me because I always get so much food and then end up eating only half of it. My eyes are way bigger than my stomach. I eat pretty much what I want and when I want unless I’m working to get in super shape.

Ever carried a gallon jug of water?
Yeah, all the time. It’s the best way to get your water. Plus a gallon jug is heavy.

What type of weight training do you do, or do you hit the weights?
The weights hit me. I do light weights in high reps in a circuit to keep my heart rate up.

Do you take any supplements, if so what’s in your arsenal?
I drink a lot of water. I’ve tried a few different things but at the end of the day water has been the thing that has kept me feeling good and looking healthy. I also take in a lot of protein.

What’s the best advice someone has given you in regards to fitness?
When you feel tired, that’s when your workout starts.

What advice could you tell other women who are struggling to stay in shape or get into shape?
Just go consecutively for two weeks. Make that your initial goal instead of going with the goal of losing five pounds in two weeks. If you do that, you are creating a long-term habit so it’s helpful in the long run.

Photo Courtesy of Ali Lee

What question do you find you get asked the most while doing appearances?
“Will you marry me?” I usually say, “No thank you, not this time, but maybe next time.” 🙂

You’re getting married though, right? How important is it to have a supportive partner?
I haven’t tied the knot yet but life is good.

I read you started a couple companies – can you share what those are?
Kyra Fox Records came about after having the fortunate opportunity to work with several small labels, none of which were offering me anything that fit me, in particular. It got to a point where I knew that in order to be happy as an artist I would need to branch out and attempt it as an independent artist. Or die trying. But by no means am I doing it alone, though. I have an amazing team with me.

Any advice you’d give women for building their own brand and image?
Get it, girl! Take yourself seriously at all costs. If you feel it and you work for it, you can achieve what you want. It has nothing to do with anyone else.

Anything you’ve done along the way that you wish you hadn’t or wish someone would have warned you about?
Plenty, I wish people could have warned me about. But I feel like every step I took played into the person I’ve become and the artist I’ve grown into.

You’ve done some modeling as well… Do you enjoy it?
I enjoy anything where I get to do my craft. Anytime I get to do something fun is a good day!

What’s on the horizon for Ali Lee – any new ventures?
A whole lot! We have a lot of things planned. 2012 will be very very busy!

Where can people find more info on you?
My website, ali-lee.com or my fan page, alisarmy.com. They can always ask, if they are my friends on my Real Ali Lee Facebook page or follow me on Twitter @TheRealAliLee! I try to respond to everyone who asks a legitimate question.

Where can they hear more of your music?
“Keep it Right There” is available on iTunes, Amazon, everywhere, and is now on the radio! I’m excited about the next single, which will be out soon.

Thanks for your time Ali and all the best in the future.

Disclaimer: Reader discretion advised, please consult your physician before beginning any exercise or diet program.