âI went to a Selena Gomez concert with my family when I was 7,â she said. “I remember being there and knowing that I wanted to be up there on that stage.”
By this time, singing had become a fundamental part of his life. Her parents – Sylvia, a graphic designer, and Mitchell, a business owner – had already given her a karaoke machine.
âI would be doing karaoke on my Xbox with my friends,â she said. âIn kindergarten, I joined the choir. I loved it and stayed there for about 10 years. I also started taking singing lessons when I was in fifth grade, and that’s when I had my first singing recital.
When asked if she remembers what went through her head during this experience, she thought for a moment and then said, âIt was super scary. I had a shrill, squeaky little voice and performed Katy Perry’s song “The One that Got Away”. It was a long time ago, but I remember being very nervous and then feeling amazing afterwards. “
Haber was doing a lot of covers back then (and still does; his recent Joni Mitchell “River” is heartbreakingly beautiful.), Many of them due to his father’s musical tastes.
I did a lot of music that my dad introduced me to, âshe said. âLike songs by Billy Joel and Leonard Cohen. The first song I ever recorded a cover of was [Cohenâs] ‘Alleluia.’ But I also did Radiohead’s “Creep”, and I did Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift and a lot of Ariana Grande.
There was also original material from Alli Haber from the start.
âI always had my song notes on my phone,â she said. âWhen I was 7 or 8 years old, I would write songs in my head and type them on my cell phone. And there were random melodies. I didn’t play any instruments at the time, so I mostly wrote lyrics and then sang them to my mom.
Instruments came later, starting with the piano when she was 15.
âThe piano was sort of something that I learned on my own,â she said. âOnce I learned a few chords, I was like, ‘This is so cool! I can sing and I can accompany myself; I don’t need anyone else.
“I play the piano a lot,” she added, “but my voice is still my main instrument.”
And songwriting has become collaborative.
âMy favorite thing is the collaboration,â she said. âWhen people exchange ideas, you can create something special. I love going to the studio with a producer. Usually I go with an idea, maybe a few lines, and take it from there to see where it goes.
That’s exactly what happened with his new single, âYouth on Fire,â an anthemic statement about how to live life to the fullest, sung from a young person’s perspective. The lyrics include the lines “I want to make mistakes, I want to try new things, I have nothing to lose.”
âI wrote it a few months ago,â she said. âIt was during the winter, in my quarantine, when I really couldn’t do anything. It was also when I was about to graduate from high school and, I don’t want to be dramatic, but I was in kind of a crisis. I was like, ‘What’s the point of not doing what I want to do at the exact moment I want to do it? I grow up and have the right to do whatever I want. “
The song was composed with Haber on the East Coast and its producer, Bruce Wiegner, in Los Angeles.
âIt happened very naturally,â she said. âI started talking about it, wrote a few lines and got the title. From there Bruce and I started to create melodies on a track he had. We wrote it. together in about two hours on Zoom. I talked to Bruce about what I wanted to do with the recording, recorded the vocals in Boston, then sent them to Bruce. Then we would reconnect later to talking about the next steps with him. Even though we wrote it in two hours, it took a few months to do it. But I’m really happy with the way it came out.
This is not all that happened during the quarantine. Haber managed to turn this period of time into an even more positive experience.
âI hated my forties, but at first I took the opportunity to work on improving myself as an artist,â she said. âI spent so many hours in singing lessons that I started to learn a bit of guitar. I think as an artist and as a person I’ve changed so much, and I’m super grateful for that time.