Peruvian singer/songwriter and actress Ali Morris has let go of her alter ego Zophy Oh and is now releasing music under her own name. She starts this new chapter with EP 333 - we caught up with her to find out more.
333 is a journey back to the person you really are, but somehow you forgot. And that is what it represents to me, releasing it was a way to connect with my heart again and let go of any mental blockage that was limiting me.
First up, tell us about yourself - what got you into music?
I think music was always within me. I have been very creative since I was a little kid. I was very lucky my parents were creative people and they encouraged me to expand my creativity. But I don’t come from a “music family” at all. I got into writing since I was 7. I remember writing poems and stories and somehow it just developed into songwriting. It was very organic for me. I figured that words and music complemented themselves in a beautiful way and I found that it was easier for me to express myself that way.
Were there any particular bands or artists you took inspiration from?
I take everything around me as inspiration, music, modern art, spaces, numbers, words etc. For this EP, I was really into harmonies and making big ‘‘choirs’’ to create an ethereal ambient. Bands like Florence and the machine, Ry X, Mø, play with that sort of ethereal feel and layering of harmonies. I think it’s super fun to do it, probably one of my favourite things to do when I’m at the studio.
My style is eclectic, and I naturally mix everything. I am not afraid to experiment with sound and to crossover genres. I am from Peru, I grew up with a lot of influences from many different cultures, and I think that somehow this is shown in my music. The multicultural aspect of my upbringing is a part of me.
How would you describe your musical style?
If you could collaborate with any living artist, who would it be?
This always changes, there are so many I would love to collab with. But currently, I think it would be really interesting to collab with Glass Animals, James Blake, Daniel Ceasar and Alicia Keys.
Tell us about your new EP 333. What’s the inspiration behind it?
This EP is a journey of remembering who you are by transcending the fear and pain and connecting with your true essence. 333 is a journey back to the person you really are, but somehow you forgot. And that is what it represents to me, releasing it was a way to connect with my heart again and let go of any mental blockage that was limiting me.
In a way, I’ve always felt I just channel the songs and the songs themselves decide what they are gonna be somehow, it’s like they guide the way. The 333 EP takes its name from the power of three, a number which constantly came up in my life while creating this project. There were a series of synchronicities around it that led me to put the songs as an EP.
When did you write it and where did you record it?
The timing of the songs was very different for each of them. They mark different moments/states of mind in my life, and together they create a journey to connect with your essence. I wrote them a while back, I used to play them live all the time and even in the same order that they have on the EP. I think organically they tell a story.
I recorded them in part in London at Metropolis Studios London with Ben Collier and also in Southampton with Luke Targett. It’s was a very easy process to record the songs because I had produced other stuff with Ben and Luke before so I felt very comfortable to do the production with them.
How does 333 represent your style?
Making and releasing this EP took me back to my essence. By connecting better with yourself you are able to connect better with others. That’s what music is about, that’s what my music is about. To be able to connect with our true self.
Also, I am not afraid to experiment, innovate with sound, or to step into new music grounds. I am really paying attention to what my heart feels like doing, and that gives me some sort of freedom and versatility when creating music. That is probably why each song of the EP is very different but at the same time, they follow a path that connects them.
Can you talk us through each track?
‘Courage’: It’s about embracing your vulnerabilities to find the strength to overcome hardship. It’s about recognising the pain but to transcend it.
‘Colours’: I wrote it when I was feeling nostalgic, which is ironic cause it’s a ‘‘happy’’ song. But I use songs to alchemise emotions. ‘‘Colours’’ talks about human connections and explores the nature of soulmates and personal growth in connection with others. I love the concept of soulmates, cause I feel that when you think about it, it automatically connects you with the hope of meaningful love and the healing that can come through love. We need more of that these days.
‘Cuando’: I love to write in English and Spanish, each language it’s like a different palette of colours and textures. Music is universal and sometimes even if songs are in other languages you can sense the meaning behind it. ‘‘Cuando’’ is about realising that you got lost and you decide to reconnect with who you are. It’s like remembering when you were a child and thought everything was possible, remembering your heart desire and your essence.
What are your hopes for 333?
My hopes are that it helps people to get in contact with their own essence and let go of their fears and limitations, just the way it helped me to do so while creating this EP.
How’s the rest of 2020 looking in what’s becoming a crazy year?
We can probably all agree that this year is bringing a lot of transformation. A year with a lot of realisations and changes. But the tone of change depends on how you look at change. It’s about perspective and I’m hopeful that it is bringing more empathy and kindness to the world. Music wise, I am just super excited to continue to write music, connect with what I love and share it. Also, there is even more new music coming soon too!
Finally, if you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, when would it be and what would you say?
“GO WITH THE FLOW!” - I still have to remind myself of this all the time. Always learning :)
Listen to 333 on SoundCloud below. For the latest, visit the Ali Morris Facebook page.
Images by Valeria Morris.