This week we are joined "On The Porch" by country music artist Alli Walker. We love Alli and really enjoyed getting to know her more.
We talked about being an expert and putting in your 10,000 hours. We also learned that her favourite instrument is the bagpipes ... and she's REALLY good at playing them.
Check out her playing "My Heart Is A Bar" by Old Dominion on the bagpipes on TikTok.
We could have talked to Alli all day. She has a new single out called "Maybe I'm Still Drunk" and it's available on all streaming platforms.
Stream "Maybe I'm Still Drunk".
Follow Alli Walker on Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram
We're so glad that you decided to check this episode out. If you liked it, we'd really appreciate if you subscribed to the pod and share it with your network. And if you could rate and review that would be amazing. It really helps us.
Grab a drink, pull up a chair, and join us On The Front Porch, every other Tuesday.
On The Porch with Front Porch Music is a Front Porch Production and hosted by Logan Miller and Jenna Weishar.
The theme song for this podcast was written, produced, and performed by Owen Riegling.
Alli Walker 00:00
It was on my bed, and I knew I wanted to go to Toronto and be a country singer. And I was like, why isn't Dean Brody just calling me up? I've literally never played a show in my life, never put a song I'm like, I don't get it. How does he not know about me? I was 18, and that's how oblivious I was to how hard it is to get into this industry. And so when I moved to Toronto when I was 19 and I met my husband and he was like, you have the one ingredient that you really need, and that's like passion and hard work and everything else is going to come with a lot of experience in work and getting your feet wet. So Thankfully, I had him to put my head on my shoulders and tell me that I needed to really get better.
Jenna Weishar 00:55
Welcome back to another installment of on the Porch with Front Porch Music cohosted by Logan Miller and Me Jenna Weishar. This week we're diving deep with our guest on topics around cutting your teeth in the music industry, the importance of clocking your 10,000 hours and more. She's a Front Porch 2022 artist watch and a 2020 CMAO rising star nominee. Her latest single, Maybe I'm Still Drunk, was released last Wednesday and is available anywhere you get your music. We're excited to welcome singersongwriter, multi instrumentalist and Pei native Alli Walker.
Logan Miller 01:26
So pull up a chair and join us on the Porch for our conversation.
Alli Walker 01:35
Thanks for having me. I'm excited about your guys'new podcast.
Logan Miller 01:39
Thanks. So Are we!
Alli Walker 01:40
Jenna Weishar 01:41
Welcome to on the Porch.
Logan Miller 01:42
On the Porch.
Alli Walker 01:43
Jenna Weishar 01:46
There's no context for that for you, but it's funny.
Alli Walker 01:49
Logan Miller 01:49
That's our theme song, but it's not me singing it.
Alli Walker 01:52
It's me. Yeah.
Jenna Weishar 01:56
We're super excited to chat about your new song today that you have coming up. We want to dig into career stuff a little bit with you. One thing we know from speaking with you previously and seeing some of your publicist work is that you've spent ten years grinding and working and learning. And we really want to dig into that with you today because I think sometimes people get super ahead of like, I want to be a star and I want to put music out right now, and there's a lot to learn still. So we really want to dive into that with you as well.
Alli Walker 02:26
My twelve years ago, I was like, yeah, it'll take like three months and I'll make it, and here I am, like, 100 years later.
Logan Miller 02:35
It probably feels that way.
Alli Walker 02:37
Yeah, it does.
Logan Miller 02:38
Yeah. But before we get into that, why don't you tell us a bit about yourself? Where are you from?
Alli Walker 02:44
I'm from Prince Edward Island. Yes. It's very small. And I moved off that island when I was 19 to Toronto to have more opportunities in music because as many live venues there are in Pei, it just wasn't going to cut it. So I came here, and I met my husband within a year, and he had been in the industry forever. He was touring around, and he saw that I had potential, but that I needed a lot of work. And so he kind of took me under his wing, and we made a cover band, and he just contacted me with anybody he knew, whether it was in Nashville or Ontario to write songs or just get my feet wet, like in the studio or live. So we definitely grinded it for the ten years like, you were talking about, just doing as much as possible to get myself a little less green. And then we put an album out together two and a half years ago where he produced it all, and I wrote it all. And that was my first. Like, hey, by the way, I've been working on this thing for ten years, and here's Ally Walker. And then I spent two years in Pandemic writing towards my next project, which is what's coming up.
Logan Miller 04:01
That is the, like, the nicest story.
Jenna Weishar 04:03
Tell Logan you already told me this, but tell Logan, how are you? And Eric Man is cute.
Alli Walker 04:09
We met at a Rascal Flat concert at what was Bud Stage. And I'm wearing a Budweiser T shirt right now. Not for any purpose, but no, it was Molten Amphithic Theater. Now it's Bud Stage, just at a Rastafla concert. I was working at a restaurant downtown Toronto called Gracelm Allies, and I got a free ticket with a regular, and he was there with friends, and we were just introduced as like, hey, Ali is new to town, and she knows absolutely no one, and she needs a lot of help. And we started writing songs together, and we're just writing love songs, and we fell so cute. Oh, my God.
Logan Miller 04:48
Your whole relationship started with music. Like, music is like everything about you.
Alli Walker 04:53
Oh, yeah. I can totally get why people want people that are opposite the track type thing. But for me, we are the same people, and we obviously have music in common, and he helps me with my career. And I couldn't imagine not being with somebody that was in the music industry because it's so hard to understand, especially if you're an up and coming artist and you're in the middle of the grind. There's a lot of times where I was like, should I really continue doing this? How long can I do the grind? It was him that was like, no, you've been doing this for so long, and you're getting so much better every single day. He was the one that was pushing me to keep going.
Logan Miller 05:34
That's a really great support system. This industry is nuts. You do need someone to kind of spitball things off, even from our side, like, the business side of it. My friends and family don't get it. They always are like, well, I'll vent to them, and they're like, I don't know what this means. It sounds stupid. Oh, yeah, whatever. Jenna, Hi.
Alli Walker 05:55
I know it took really, my friends and family a long time to get behind me because they didn't see the work that I was doing and playing at bars and all that stuff. They were like, okay, cool. No one cares. There's, like, five people in the audience. But it wasn't until you get the few interviews or you get the few things online where they're like, oh, cool. Yeah, that's my friend.
Logan Miller 06:18
Oh, this is serious. Did it take a long time for your family and friends to be like, oh, this isn't just a hobby.
Alli Walker 06:24
Yes. Well, they knew I came here for that, so they knew I was in it. And that was all I wanted to do because I left with, like, I was 1000 there when I left, so I had $1,000 in my bank account. I was 19, and I was like, well, see you. I'm doing this. But it was a long time until they were like, oh, okay, she is half decent, but ten years.
Jenna Weishar 06:51
You really great over the fact that you were 19 years old and we're just like, I'm moving to Toronto. That's terrifying.
Alli Walker 06:56
Logan Miller 06:56
Was that like a huge culture shock?
Alli Walker 06:59
No. Because in my mind, I was always, like, a big city Gal. I would always watch all of the shows that were in New York City or Hollywood or La, and I just wanted that life so bad. And I couldn't obviously get a visa at that time. So I was like, well, Toronto is the New York City of Canada. So I was just so fearless. And, like, I can't imagine being that fearless now. I don't know what I was thinking, but Thankfully I was thinking correctly because obviously I have my whole life here now. So what was I going to say? I forgot. Anyway, I was very fearless, and I could not have been fearless. Now.
Jenna Weishar 07:33
Alli Walker 07:34
Logan Miller 07:34
That takes a lot of guts to just kind of up and leave, especially not knowing. Did you know anyone in Toronto?
Alli Walker 07:39
I knew one person, so I slept on her floor of her Bachelor apartment. She lived, like, one street up from Young and done. It was right in the middle of everything. I slept on her Bachelor floor for, like, two nights, and she was like, Great to have you too small. Get out. Literally. I walked from Lake Shore to Edrington on Young Street and just went to every apartment building along Young Street thing like, hey, I need someone to live within two days. Do you have any vacancies? It was probably September 29 or something. And I finally found a place at Davisville, which was like, basically right before I linked him, but I couldn't sign a lease by myself because I was 19 and obviously didn't have a job.
Logan Miller 08:24
Yeah, you're only 1000 air.
Alli Walker 08:29
So that's not even the first of last month's rent. So I had to Courier back and forth papers to my parents for them to sign. So obviously if I never paid rent, they would be on the hook. But, yeah, I was so fearless. It was crazy. But there was a lot of things that happened at home that made me be fearless. Because I was in University for one year, I did not enjoy it. I had a lot of issues with my roommates and friends where I was like, I need to leave. So it really pushed me.
Logan Miller 08:59
It's funny what our bodies can do when we're pushed like that resilience and just kind of getting in there and getting shit done.
Alli Walker 09:08
Oh, yeah. Like you're on the brink. You can do anything. That's true.
Jenna Weishar 09:13
Alli Walker 09:14
I know. I don't know if you know.
Jenna Weishar 09:15
But Ali's favorite instrument is the bagpipes.
Logan Miller 09:20
Alli Walker 09:25
If you're saying oh, no, that means you've only heard like, terrible backpacks.
Logan Miller 09:29
Yes. And I'll tell you exactly why. So where I grew up in Ottawa, we grew up on the Rita River on the water, which is awesome. But my neighbor two doors down, he was an old man, military. And every morning at like 06:00 A.m., on the last crack of dawn, he'd go on to his dock, raise a flag, up the pool, and just.
Alli Walker 09:58
What the hell, really?
Logan Miller 10:00
Yeah. The bagpipes to me are a little triggering.
Alli Walker 10:05
I can understand that. And that's why when people have a sour reaction to bagpipes, I know that they've had a bad experience. However, I swear I was half decent and I started when I was twelve and I was just for some reason good at it right away. So I was like, sure, I'm going to keep doing this. And I competed in a bunch of different levels that kept going up. And my band went to wait.
Logan Miller 10:31
There's bagpipe competitions in banks.
Alli Walker 10:34
Oh, my God. Yeah. You've probably heard of Piling games before.
Logan Miller 10:38
Alli Walker 10:39
So there's like a Highland dancing and they throw the things like wood. But a big part of that is bang type competition. So there's tons of different types. You know, in music, how there's like 68 music, like Waltz's or there's fast music. It's the same in bagpipe place. There's like Strath Bay's, reels, marches, pebras, which are like ten minute long songs. Anyways, you go as a solo person and you compete. And literally, if you mess up one little baby chirp, you're like, done. So it's a very meticulous like, you practice for 365 days to play this one, three minutes all. It's crazy, but it teaches you a lot of discipline. But then on your solo stuff, you also have your band stuff. So your band might have like 15 to 30 people in it. And same thing. One person messes up your song like something that you've been practicing for for an entire year is messed up. So we went to the North American Championships, which was Ontario, which was very big for Pei band, and we were terrible for all of the years before. So we made this bet with this benefactor who was someone that paid for everybody's lessons at this place that I went to call the College of Piping. And we met him. We were like, if we win this, you have to pay for us to go to Scotland to go to the World Championships. And he's like, well, you guys are terrible for the last few years, for sure. And we went and we won first place at the North American Championship.
Logan Miller 12:14
Oh, my God.
Alli Walker 12:15
So he had to pay for us to go.
Logan Miller 12:17
Did he make good on it?
Alli Walker 12:18
Oh, yeah. He's like, literally the biggest supporter ever. And we went to Ireland as, like, a pre warm up. We did a competition there. I don't think we did very well. And then we went to Scotland. We got fourth in the world.
Logan Miller 12:32
Cool in the world for our level. How old are you at that point?
Alli Walker 12:37
Ish, like, 1716.
Logan Miller 12:39
That would have been really cool to be in Scotland and Ireland.
Alli Walker 12:43
But I was underage, too, and there was, like, some people that were of age, and they were drinking beers and Guinness and stuff. So I kind of felt a little left out, but it was super fun. I was there with all my best friends. I know you probably think I'm the most nerdy person ever, but Impi, literally bagpiping is not nerdy. Or maybe I was just oblivious.
Logan Miller 13:06
Do you still have bagpipes? And do you play ever?
Alli Walker 13:08
I have bagpipes. I don't play because I live in a condo right now, but I have electric bag place that you can plug in mini to. Like, I can literally plug it into the computer right now.
Logan Miller 13:20
Can you bring it out on stage sometime?
Jenna Weishar 13:24
Bagpiping solo in a song? That would be amazing.
Alli Walker 13:29
I think I totally will in the future. I did this bagpiping cover of Old Dominions. Like, My Heart is a Bar and I'm closing it down. I played bagpipes in it. It's on my TikTok.
Logan Miller 13:43
This needs to be on TikTok.
Alli Walker 13:45
It is. But I didn't really have any followers there. And honestly, no one gets a bagpipe. So every time I would pull it out at, like, a cover gig show, I would do, like, a whole five minute little set of bagpipes songs because there's, like, an AC DC song. There's a few different songs that have bagpipes in it, and people just didn't get it.
Logan Miller 14:06
You know what I'd actually enjoy? I think I would enjoy that.
Jenna Weishar 14:09
When I said Ali's favorite instrument is a bagpipe, I didn't expect this conversation to open up. I thought he'd be like.
Alli Walker 14:18
No, sorry. I've been talking about it for the last 15 minutes.
Logan Miller 14:26
I'm going to go down a bagpipe wormhole, I think, on YouTube later and try to appreciate it and try to get this.
Alli Walker 14:32
And you know what? I made really good money playing bagpipes. I was like, what happened? Because my mom worked at it's called College of Piping. But it wasn't actually College, just a facility. And she was the accountant there, and she's the one that got me into it. And she would be the one that would book me or put a good word in. And I would play every funeral, every wedding. People like to be marched into meetings or things. So I would March people into things. Oh, yeah, like government meetings or whatever. And three times a week, I would go to this, the end of a cliff. And I would play at the end of the cliff while a tour bus of, like, usually Quebec people would cut, like, old people would come in and they'd be like, oh, my God, there's just a bagpiper here at the end of the cliff on Prince Edward Island. How cool.
Logan Miller 15:30
I honestly would have never guessed that anyone could make money doing Bank Piping. I guess that makes sense.
Alli Walker 15:37
Like, no matter what, if you want me to come out for, like, one song, it was probably, like, $150 to $300.
Logan Miller 15:43
I'm picking up the bagpipes.
Alli Walker 15:46
But I knew I couldn't do it for, like, an actual career. Like, you can't make a full living at it. But I did get a full scholarship to the University of Arkansas for bagpipes, but I didn't take it.
Logan Miller 15:57
Just blowing my mind in the best way possible.
Alli Walker 16:02
Pretty weird. I wish I could actually use it for a career, but here I am, a country singer now.
Logan Miller 16:06
I'm just doing regular music. Yeah, I'll settle for the guitar.
Alli Walker 16:12
Settle for something that could actually make me money someday in life.
Logan Miller 16:15
Well, before we go on, let's take a quick peek. You've done very well in TikTok.
Alli Walker 16:30
Well, you know what? I'm trying. I haven't posted in a while, actually. It's, like, literally on my calendar. Made TikToks today now that I have make up on. But it's an effort. And I'm sure you guys know that, like, just to even get on the right algorithm was hard because I've seen people be country singers, but then they'll post something completely different, like they're doing a DIY project or something, and you literally have to stay within your algorithm because as soon as maybe something pops up, that's not what you want it to be. Your account is just, like, pigeonholed to that. So I said right off the Gecko, I'm only going to post my original music demos, stay within the country vein so I can just, like, hammer out that country music audience. And it seemed to have worked.
Logan Miller 17:18
I would say so. I mean, your videos have gone reached very far.
Alli Walker 17:22
Yeah, I feel like it's harder now. It's even, like, Instagram back in the day. Like, it was easier to get Instagram followers, and now it's hard to get Instagram followers. I think TikTok is taking that turn where they're not sending so many random videos viral you really have to put effort into your videos. I feel like now to create that and you can even see it now. So many people got signed record deals like a year ago. But I think labels are saying, okay, maybe just one viral video isn't worthy of like a full shebang just because you have one. And a lot of times maybe it is like there's tons of artists that are killing it more than just having one song. But there is a lot of artists I've seen that have already trickled off because they're realizing, oh, shit, I really need to follow up.
Logan Miller 18:10
Well, and even just like having one song, but then there's nothing to follow up follow up with. It's month where there's almost silence.
Alli Walker 18:17
Oh, yeah. And what I did is the usual like, hey, what do you guys think of this song? And a lot of times when people do that, it's like a demo, but they already have the fully recorded song done, ready to go. And that's more of like a pre save campaign that they do where it's like, here's the song, what do you think? Okay, guys, it's coming out next week, pre save it. And then they really get that instant gratification like the audience does. But for me, I was doing that to literally have opinions of like a large audience decide which songs were going to be on my album because you guys know it's not cheap to record an album. And a lot of times I don't know what an audience will like. So I just threw a bunch of demos out at people last year and whatever ones did somewhat well, those are the ones that I invested in and recorded, but the ones that did really well, people are like, hey, we want this now. I get messages every day about songs that aren't out yet but that are like in the queue.
Logan Miller 19:22
How many of them are from Jenna?
Alli Walker 19:26
But it's like I feel terrible. I can't reply to every single person, but I also don't want people to go away and not be interested anymore. And I was worried about that because my first single that I put out from that whole TikTok thing was my first song, country music, and it had been like eight months since it kind of popped off on TikTok. And I was worried that they were going to be gone, but they ended up being really well. Like, the pre save campaign went awesome. I gave away a Yamaha guitar, which I think helps because people were going to potentially win a guitar, which was awesome. But they stuck around. And my next song is a song that they haven't heard.
Jenna Weishar 20:07
I'm going to say that I don't think that was on TikTok.
Alli Walker 20:10
No, because I didn't write this next song. So I don't know the whole like, am I allowed to do that when I haven't released it yet? You know what I mean? So I didn't want to do the whole and this is the first song that I'm going to release that I've never written, and I've always been open to it, but I didn't think that I actually would or that I would like a song. There's so many good songs and songwriters out there. I don't know why I wouldn't think that, but this song came along from my producer, Danny Dupel, and he was like, this song is so fun, and I think it would just really add to your album. I think that's the whole point of recording songs that are songs that you haven't written is like, just add in the things that maybe you don't know how to write or just different vibes and stuff. So I've got two songs on my album that people have not heard, which I think is a good thing because TikTok has heard everything and TikTok isn't necessarily like my whole audience. So Thankfully, I'm not giving everything away to everybody. But there's a song called Hometown Home, and I literally get like 100 messages a day saying when the house is coming out.
Jenna Weishar 21:17
I've never messaged you about that song, but I actually am excited because I've seen it. You've played it live a few times, and I'm like, I love that song.
Alli Walker 21:23
Yeah, I love it too. But it's like a summer song. So I'm waiting for summerish to be able to do, like, the video content for it, but I might actually, like, go to California or something, depending on Cobbin, to try and just bang out that video.
Jenna Weishar 21:39
Alli Walker 21:39
You need some help? We'll see. How the budget?
Jenna Weishar 21:43
I'm happy to pick along. No problem.
Alli Walker 21:46
Because I want obviously, summer vibes in the video, and that's not going to be Canada until June. Yeah, that's true.
Jenna Weishar 21:53
Let's talk about maybe I'm still drunk because it's out this week or last week.
Alli Walker 21:58
Jenna Weishar 21:58
So tell us about it. You didn't write it, but you love it anyways.
Alli Walker 22:03
No, I love it, honestly. Hannah Ellis, who's an artist in Nashville, she co wrote it. She's so good. And Alex Masters, who's a songwriter, they sent it to me, and the demo was so good, I was like, I don't even know if I can do this justice. But, you know, Danny obviously did an awesome job, and I'm Super excited to put it out. And it's about waking up hungover, which I like to say I have quite a bit of experience, never experienced it, no less than the writer. And literally this is also what I do going through. What the heck happened last night or what did I do? I had a lot of extra liquid courage. Who did I talk to? And it's about talking and cooking back up with your ex. But sometimes that's a bad thing. Sometimes that's a good thing for me. Liquid courage gives me a little extra personality, and I sometimes do some great things with liquid courage, but sometimes I do some questionable things with liquid courage. So I think this is just such a fun, light song that literally everybody can relate to.
Logan Miller 23:16
That's awesome. I can't wait for the world to hear it. It's good.
Alli Walker 23:21
And I did a video for it, and it's coming out like a week or two after, and I just love it. It's so cool. I'm doing all of my video. I have a video for every single song coming out, and I have all the video banked up already for the next few songs. And I just like, I can't wait for everybody to see them all.
Logan Miller 23:39
That must be so I don't know what the word is, exciting. And also like, so you must be anxious to just get that stuff out there since it's like it's already done. It's ready to go.
Alli Walker 23:50
Yeah. And especially, like, I was talking about how people on TikTok are like, Where's this song? It's been forever? Well, there's a song that I know is coming up with my album, which is in probably fall, which seems forever away, but I'm like it's coming, but really not for another nine months. Do you know what I mean? I've never been this prepared where I have a whole year of releases in the bank, the videos, everything done. But I was lucky enough to get a grant through Factor, which is, like, so hard to get.
Logan Miller 24:22
That's a huge deal. Congrats.
Alli Walker 24:25
Oh, thanks. It took me three times to get it, and I was obviously devastated the first two times I didn't get it because it's a huge help. But there's no better time that I could have got it than for this project. So for something like that, you have to have your full shebang ready. Like, marketing plans, tell them the songs, why these are the songs. And it was like a 65 page application.
Logan Miller 24:49
Yeah, they're crazy.
Jenna Weishar 24:51
I didn't realize they were that big.
Alli Walker 24:53
Yeah, well, you can do what you want, basically. Like, you want to obviously put your best foot forward. But because we had such a big marketing plan, an idea for this whole project, I think obviously that's the reason we got it. And it just made me super prepared for this entire year of releasing songs and then also recording everything in advance. I just love having that in my back pocket because when you don't have music coming out and you kind of just feel like, what am I doing? Or it's hard just working towards something but not really having a goal of putting anything out.
Logan Miller 25:27
It kind of feels like you're always in catch up mode.
Alli Walker 25:29
Yes. So I'm even thinking of what's after the album next year.
Jenna Weishar 25:35
How do you think some of this might have been different if not for the pandemic and having extra time? Because I'm sure you spent tons of time writing over the pandemic, too. Right.
Alli Walker 25:44
I know it feels terrible to say this, but I'm grateful for obviously, for reasons. I'm not grateful I did my parents for two years go through that thing. But for me to be off of having to work and get having to do anything. Like I just had so much time and I wasn't going to apply for a Factor grant again because I was so down about not getting it. And I was like, no, I'm not going to get it. I had the time because of COVID, and that's the only reason why I applied for it. So because of COVID, I got that grant and because of Covet, I got to write with a bunch of people and I got to work with my producer and have the time to do all this stuff. And I joined TikTok because I had time. Yeah, I'm grateful.
Logan Miller 26:35
That's kind of the way that I feel about the pandemic to professionally. It's been great in a lot of ways, but personally it's been a Gong Show. But professionally with Front Porch, we really took the last year or two to connect with as many people as possible and just kind of understand what we want to do and how we want to grow. And that's how this podcast came to be as well. Yeah. There's really weird mixed emotions with this pandemic.
Jenna Weishar 27:03
It's like always bittersweet. I feel like that's a common theme. There's obviously the horrible things that are happening, but there's always like something that we've been able to do. And I mean, we're also all in positions of like a privilege where our jobs were able to thrive.
Alli Walker 27:17
There are people who obviously haven't.
Jenna Weishar 27:18
So that's obviously tough, too. But I think because we're in these positions where we can dedicate our free time to continuing to work, that's been really helpful.
Alli Walker 27:28
Oh, gosh, yeah. And like praise government assistance during this time for the music industry that has obviously helped and some live gigs and then some. It was obviously tough walk on us financially, but I'm grateful and I was putting it off forever, writing songs with people on Zoom prior to this. And even for the first few months, I'm like, no, I'm not doing it. There's a lag. You can't play guitar together or anything. And then I was like, well, it seems like this is not going away, so let's just write songs together. And then I met so many people I wouldn't normally have met, so I'm grateful for that. And I connected with some of my main songwriters on this. Dustin Bird and Brian John Harwood through the pandemic, really, because they did a song called Together We're Strong, and it was like a pandemic song and had a bunch of people on it and it had me on it, even though they didn't know who I was. And we just hit it off. And I asked them to come over during the pandemic, which I don't know, but they did and it was all safe. And they stayed over for two weekends and we just wrote, like, a ton of songs together, and we just connected. And I really needed that. I needed people who understood what I wanted to do for this project. I'm a big tomboy, and I knew I wanted kind of, like, guy energy on this album. I love writing with females, too, don't get me wrong. But I just knew that I wanted some guys to understand what I wanted. I love Thomas Rhett and Hardy and Morgan. Wellen, if I'm allowed to say that I love his songs, so I wanted that by. But, like, girl.
Logan Miller 29:16
Dustin Bird and Brian John Harwood, they collaborate so well together. So the three of you are like the three Amigos. The content that you three have been putting out the last twelve months have been really cool to see.
Alli Walker 29:29
Yeah, thanks. And Dustin's obviously popping off, which was so cool to see him go from where I am now, to see him get the record deal, seeing him do more and more things, it's been really cool. See your little buddies get a record deal. I have something with Brian coming out in a few months, too, which is so fun.
Logan Miller 29:50
You heard it here first, folks.
Alli Walker 29:54
We shot, like, a tiny bit of the music video.
Jenna Weishar 29:56
You just give me more ammo to be like, hey, can I hear this now instead of.
Alli Walker 30:03
Hey, I'm cool with that.
Logan Miller 30:06
Nothing makes Jenna happier than being the first to hear something.
Jenna Weishar 30:08
Hearing unreleased music is my favorite thing.
Alli Walker 30:10
You just feel a little bit of empowerment that you know, something no one else knows.
Jenna Weishar 30:14
I'm in on secret.
Logan Miller 30:16
Yeah, total hipster.
Alli Walker 30:19
I love it.
Jenna Weishar 30:20
I wanted to talk a little bit about. Yeah, yeah. You put your 10,000 hours in, which for those who don't know, technically, it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in something.
Logan Miller 30:31
Just listen to Dan and Shay.
Jenna Weishar 30:37
I didn't even connect the dots on that specific thing. I was a psych students. We literally went through the 10,000 hours study.
Alli Walker 30:46
Oh, my God.
Jenna Weishar 30:47
When I do 10,000 hours, I'm like, you want to become an expert in something?
Alli Walker 30:51
Jenna Weishar 30:51
That's so funny. Anyways, I digress. But being dedicated to learning and wanting to be good before just being like, hey, here I am, right? And the skills that you built and the toolbox of skills that you came to working on your actual music you've released with and how did you decide? Like, okay, I've got it.
Alli Walker 31:12
And I'm ready to do this. Well, when I was in University, I was on my bed and I knew I wanted to go to Toronto and be a country singer. And I was like, why isn't Dean Brody just calling me up? I've literally never played a show in my life. Never put a song out. I'm like, I don't get it. Like, how does he not know about me? I was 18, and that's how oblivious I was to how hard it is to get into this industry when I moved to Toronto and I was 19 and I met my husband and he was like, you have the one ingredient that you really need, and that's like passion and hard work and everything else is going to come with a lot of experience and work and getting your feet wet. So Thankfully, I had him to put my head on my shoulders and tell me that I needed to really get better. And it was something I normally quit things once I get bored of them because this is terrible. This sounds bad, but I'm usually good at things, like, right off the bat, like sports. I know it sounds so lame, but growing up, I did so many things. I did all the dances, all the music, and I picked it up quick. And then as soon as I became, like, a certain level, I was like, Cambod. It's not hard for me anymore. I want to move on. But for singing and music, it was like playing guitar and everything, it was hard. So it was something finally that I could work on and see progress slowly. And a lot of times you think that you're not getting better, but then you look back at, like, a video where you were singing and it was totally out of tune. So to me, that was like something I could grasp on to and get better at every year. And I just literally played all the bars and a lot of it is mental to where it was like, I'm not good enough, and then you have to work through it. Like, am I just not prepared enough or do I really need to get better at this or that? So I took singing lessons from a bunch of different people. I took performance lessons. I took guitar lessons. I went to Nashville, wrote a ton of songs with different people. I went in the studio. I learned, like, recording, how to record stuff myself, and I edit all my own vocals. And I can record everything, mostly myself. Obviously, my husband helps me as well. I learned how to edit videos. I learned how to do photography and videography, graphic design.
Logan Miller 33:44
Alli Walker 33:45
Learning everything on your own can also give you great perspective on once you can hire people, like, what you want and how to verbalize it to them. And the fact that I played, like, drums and guitar and bass. I can now have a band. I don't necessarily want to be the band leader, but I can at least kind of talk to people properly of knowing how things work. And again, with the graphic design and the website and all that stuff in the video, I'm at a point now where I can finally hire people because I don't want to do everything myself anymore. But I think it's a good thing for artists to know every side of their business.
Logan Miller 34:26
I think you have to.
Alli Walker 34:28
Yeah, it should be a part of your 10,000 hours. And I'm so glad that I did. I never became an expert in any of those things, but I am glad that I at least got my feet wet. And it's like the business side, too, like knowing how to do bookkeeping and I don't know how to do taxes, but my mom knows how to do my just like going to all of the Canadian music weeks and the CCMA weeks and stuff. It's like that all adds in your 10,000 hours. And I'm glad that I did all of that.
Logan Miller 34:57
I think people have to do that because this industry, especially with independent artists, it's notorious for people kind of screwing with artists. Like saying, I'll do this for you, I've got your marketing plan. Don't worry about it. But then if you don't have at least some understanding of what goes into it and what you're expecting, then you have no idea what those people are doing. And there are so many, unfortunately, so many people who take advantage of that.
Alli Walker 35:24
Yeah. Because I'm looking to obviously grow my team over time. And I have a marketing team and PR and video now and photography. And obviously I want to get to the point where I'm having a record label and management and booking agent, but I now know exactly what I'm looking for. And the Canadian music industry is so small that I know what I'm not looking for because I've been in the industry for so long. I know that this person worked with this person and it didn't work out for them. But maybe it was a good thing, but maybe it was a bad thing and that it is so small in this industry that I do know exactly what I'm looking for now.
Jenna Weishar 36:00
I think it has to be rewarding, too, knowing that you have figured it out yourself. And if you have to, you can do all of this yourself, right? You're handing things over because it's time to grow your team. It's not because you're like, what the fuck am I doing anymore, right? That's pretty cool.
Alli Walker 36:16
That's so true. Yeah. And I do see a lot of artists doing, like, the opposite. As I can tell, they haven't been around for a long time. And sometimes those people slip through the cracks and they do great and they just hand everything over to their team. They played like literally one show in their life, but for some reason, they're way better than I ever was after ten years. And that hurts sometimes to watch seeing people get those opportunities that you've been literally working for forever. But you also have to realize maybe the deal they did was terrible and they're making one sense. Whereas if I have the upper hand, I have a whole album done and I'm shopping around or whatever I'm doing, trying to get a deal. Like, I have a better hand at getting a better deal because you have this leverage and I like to kind of compare myself to artists that are on labels and see if I can get these certain opportunities by myself. Whether that's like the cover of a playlist, let me try and get that myself. They're brand new signs of this label. I feel like I can compare myself, but they do have that team, but I'm going to try and get it without a team.
Jenna Weishar 37:23
That's also a key of success, too, is always comparing upward. Because when you're comparing to people who when you're like, oh, this is an independent artist at my level, and I'm doing better than them, you're never going to get better if you have nothing to like.
Alli Walker 37:33
Jenna Weishar 37:34
If you're not looking for what you can do or what you should be looking forward to and always looking upward, then you're not progressing either, right?
Alli Walker 37:42
Logan Miller 37:43
Comparing can be a little tricky, though, too.
Alli Walker 37:45
Logan Miller 37:46
Because you can go down a path, like an unhealthy path of like, why isn't this happening? And just getting into self pity, literally daily life.
Alli Walker 37:56
Yeah, I also do that.
Logan Miller 37:59
Me too. It's hard to find that healthy balance because you do always have to have inspiration and goals of looking upwards, but it's really tricky for it to not turn into a downward spiral.
Alli Walker 38:13
I find that the most difficult balance. Why do I want this? Is it really going to change my life or my career? Do I just want it because this other person got it? And then, yeah, you see these tiny milestones that you did really want. Like, I have a whole Excel spreadsheet vision board. I have my actual vision board, but I actually have what I want in the next year, what I want in the next five years. And when I see other artists get that, like, we were saying that I feel like maybe got handed it because they knew this person or that person. It was just like, sometimes you see people that get things that you feel that they aren't ready for, but you wish that you could have. And you're like, oh, man, that hurts my soul a little bit. But it's like, screw it. Then you compare.
Logan Miller 38:57
Yeah. And then there's even things where, like, this person got this thing, but like, I'm jealous or I wish I got that, but you're like, wait, that's not something I even wanted. Why am I comparing myself to that?
Alli Walker 39:06
Yeah, same thing. It's such a balance of like, why do I want this? Am I really jealous? Who cares? Them getting it also doesn't change a single thing.
Logan Miller 39:15
Yeah. There's room for everybody.
Jenna Weishar 39:18
Alli Walker 39:19
It's so true. And sometimes that's hard to wrap your head around because you're like, especially as female, and you're like, oh, they got this opportunity. That means there's not a lot of room for another female to get that opportunity because it's mostly males to get this opportunity.
Logan Miller 39:30
Oh, that's such bullshit. I hate that. So much.
Alli Walker 39:34
It's true. Like you think, oh, this record label has one female. Oh, that's all they're probably going to have, so they don't have any more room for a female. So you're like, okay, well, that record label is off my list.
Logan Miller 39:43
Yeah. That part of this industry just drives me nuts.
Alli Walker 39:46
Yeah. But they'll sign like two or three guys that sound the exact same.
Logan Miller 39:56
I don't want to get canceled.
Alli Walker 39:59
No, it's all good. It's just the way it is. And it's like stuff like that. But you also need to put in your 10,000 hours that you need to learn. My favorite quote that I learned was from my producer when I worked with him, like, ten years ago. He said, you only get one first impression. And I was going to Nashville when I was like 1920 and when I was terrible, and I could have moved there, played around, but I would have been known as Ally Walker then, and people might remember me as terrible. And it's so hard to get that back. So I knew that once I came out, I needed it to be like, Allywalker 5.0.
Logan Miller 40:40
That's really good advice, actually. I really like that.
Alli Walker 40:43
Yeah. I see a lot of people, like, put a ton of money. They go to radio with their first single that they've ever put out and, like, going to radio is like four or five grand. And it's just not worth it if you are completely unknown.
Logan Miller 40:55
Yeah. Because radio also has their biases as well. And their ridiculousness. Unless you're signed, the chances of you getting regular airplay is pretty low.
Alli Walker 41:06
Oh, very low. So it's not even on my radar unless I have a good plan and a team that can actually bring it to radio properly.
Logan Miller 41:15
So we're sort of coming to the end here. But we know you have new music coming up soon.
Alli Walker 41:20
Yeah, I've got basically songs coming out, like, every six to eight weeks throughout the year. Thank you.
Jenna Weishar 41:26
Can I just say thank you?
Logan Miller 41:27
You just make a mistake.
Alli Walker 41:29
I think I'll take, like a little break here and there or whatever. Like summer. People don't, like, listen as much. So it'll be like from now until summer, every eight weeks. And then the album in the fall basically gave me my whole plan.
Jenna Weishar 41:46
I'm looking forward to it. Every six to eight weeks.
Logan Miller 41:49
She'Ll be in your DMs every six weeks. How about now?
Jenna Weishar 41:52
No, it'll be every like five weeks. Can I have that one now?
Logan Miller 41:56
Alli Walker 41:56
Are you kidding? I'm just kidding.
Jenna Weishar 41:58
The other day, though, I was like, Pickles, her dog. Pickles told me he wants you to send me your new song.
Alli Walker 42:04
She's like, okay, I believe it. That little Rascal always gets in my BMW.
Logan Miller 42:18
Where can people find you?
Alli Walker 42:20
Ally Walker music on Instagram and TikTok and Facebook and YouTube and Ali Walker on Twitter. Alli.
Logan Miller 42:27
And you can also find Ali.
Alli Walker 42:29
I guess people want to listen to the music. You can listen to it on Apple and Amazon and all the things I can find my musician not a bag Bucker you might want to go.
Logan Miller 42:41
Well and you can also find ally all over from porchmusic. Ca thank you.
Alli Walker 42:47
Thank you so much for making the nine artists to watch in 2022. How could we not?
Logan Miller 42:54
Alli Walker 42:55
Well, I appreciate it. I want to let you go for you. All I can do is put music out, try my hardest and a lot of the times it's up to the fairies at Apple and Spotify and Amazon to put your music on things pick you or like you guys actually give a crap and have a chat with me or put me on your website so a lot of it is like literally up in the air you just as an artist can try your hardest and put your music out and hope people like you.
Logan Miller 43:26
Well Ali we like you.
Alli Walker 43:28
Thank you. I like you too.
Logan Miller 43:31
Thanks so much for joining us on the porch with from Porch music. I love talking to artists and digging deep into the world of Canadian country music and I'm so excited you joined. If you liked this episode, please write, review and subscribe to this podcast. That's the easiest way for you to support this show. You may even get a shout out. Will see you in a couple of weeks next time on the porch. On the porch with Farm Porch music is hosted by me, Logan Miller and Jenna Wiser. The theme song was written, produced and performed by Owen wriggling.