‘Music started out as a pastime for me’: Ali Robertson Interview

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Glasgow University’s very own Ali Robertson played a brilliant set on the Thursday night of Fresher’s Week before Model Aeroplanes and Nina Nesbitt took the stage. We managed to have a quick chat with him after his set.

G-You: So you just played the GUU, how does that feel?

Ali Robertson: It was class; the sound was amazing [in the Debates Chamber]. Having seen a couple of acts there myself it was a really good experience to play there, and to also have a decent number of people in the crowd – it was a really good turn out and it was a great experience.

G-You: Where is your dream venue to play?

Ali: King Tuts, I played there in the summer and I feel that if you’re from around the Glasgow area that it’s one of the places to play. The Barrowlands is also one of those iconic venues, last gig I went to there was Enter Shakari and it was incredible.

G-You: So you are a student at Glasgow, how do you find balancing Uni and your music?

Ali: It’s hard, very hard. I try to use good time management but time management is difficult when you want to be creative because it doesn’t happen when you want it to. You can go to the library from 9-5 and do your uni work, but it’s not like that when you want to work on music. This year will definitely be more of a challenge [Ali is going into his 4th Year of university] but I’m trying my best to do it. I do think this year will be harder ,and I hope it does get harder. I hope that if my music gets harder that hopefully means I’m getting more gigs and doing more music related stuff.  I’m prepared for it because that means things are going well.

G-You: Did music start out as a pastime for you and then grow into what it is now?

Ali: Yeah, it was something that I did and I didn’t really think about it. So when I started writing songs they were a bit rubbish at first and then they started getting a bit better and then a bit better and so on – it was a process.

 G-You: What was the first gig you ever went to/ what inspired you to get into music?

Ali: The Proclaimers with my family at Perth Concert hall, I think. But the gig/ gigs that made me want to do were the ones that I went to when I started my first band. When I started writing music, I felt that I needed a band so I started one. I’m from Fife but I was really involved with the Dundee music scene when I first started out with my band in high school, Model Aeroplanes also started out in Dundee so they really inspired me. They’re really blowing up, having signed to Island etc., so they are a real inspiration cause they started out playing the places that I played; they showed that it could happen. There is also this band called Waiting on Jack, they have also inspired me. So it was bands that were making it coming from my background that really inspired me.

G-You: Final question, can you recommend any artists for our readers to listen to?

Ali: I’d recommend Seramic, he has this EP called Found which has a song called Waiting on it that really good, it’s quite new soul. Also, Tom Misch has this great song called Crazy Dream that I’ve been listening to a lot. I’d also recommend Sohn, I’ve been going on Spotify, hitting play and just listening to all of his stuff.

Caitlin Young and Amy McShane

 -Photograph by Elsa Brotchie

 

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