Track of the Week

Alison May – American Boy

10th May 2021

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It’s a Monday, which can only mean one thing… It’s Track of the Week.

Take a listen to this new one from BIMM London’s Alison May, titled “American Boy”, it’s beautifully written, and Alison’s vocals gentle caress the beat to create a sonically impressive hit. Find out more about how the track came about below…

What was your inspiration when you began writing the track?

I had started writing American Boy during the Christmas lockdown. I didn’t manage to make it back home for Christmas and was stuck in London. I wasn’t motivated, but my friend and producer for American Boy, Max, gave me the push I needed to start writing again.

I found three chords on the piano and moved them onto the guitar, as I felt it suited the song’s vibe more. My approach for this song was to be quite obvious about the lyrics and who it was about. I tend to get quite shy when trying to write songs about a specific person as I’m afraid they’ll figure out it is about them, so I definitely got out of my comfort zone for this one.

Are there any artists that inspire you when writing?

I’d say my biggest musical inspirations are Amy Winehouse and Joy Crookes at the moment. Amy’s music is music I’ve grown up on. Her rawness and musicality has always inspired me to become a better musician. I feel Joy Crookes also takes a lot of inspiration from Amy, but she is unique in her own way. She is unapologetic through her lyrics which is something I aspire to be. I feel like they are both powerhouses of women.

What is key to your sound, and how do you make your music stand out?

When creating my music, I have references to sounds or artists with a similar style to mine. But the most important thing to me is just to create and not think about sounding like someone or fitting into a particular genre. My producers George Marsh and Max Chinnock nailed the sound that I was going for in ‘American Boy’, and I plan to continue to release the rest of my music with the same approach.

How does your songwriting process work?

My songwriting process differs throughout the songs I’ve written so far. There will be times where I feel as if the music writes itself. Like I could be sitting on the piano playing chords, and the next thing you know, I’ve written an entire song, the words just fall effortless out of my mouth as if the song already exists. There will also be times when I start a song and don’t finish it but then come back to it a few weeks later, which was the ‘American Boy’ case.

Describe your sound in 3 words…

Ahhh, I would say… Velvety Smooth, Light-Hearted

How has studying at BIMM helped you develop as an artist?

BIMM has been such a big part of my artistry. Before BIMM I used to write songs but was never happy with anything I wrote. Literally, in the first month, I wrote my first ever song I was delighted with and from then on, I just kept writing. I’ve also met some fantastic people through BIMM, my bandmates, my flatmates and just, all in all, some crazy talented people. BIMM opened my eyes to so many different parts of the music industry I never knew existed and helped me become an ever-evolving musician.

What’s next for you?

Being a third-year and nearly done with my degree, this question has been circulating in my head quite a lot ahaha. Working on music is my main priority for the time being. I plan to release more music, do more gigs, and just get myself into the London music community that will also include songwriting with more people, doing session work, and so much more. In addition to that also maybe taking a little break. I feel like this year has been challenging, and we aren’t even halfway through, so I think some time to concentrate on myself and slowly get the creative juices flowing is a must!

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Author

Matt Leppier

Matt Leppier is one of BIMM's newest marketing recruits. Alongside this, he works for Off Licence Magazine as a music editor, writer and photographer, as well as hosting several radio shows on Balamii and Platform B. You can usually find him DJing for hip-hop acts around the UK.