Pop's Next Star: Ali B.

If you want to know who the pop superstars of tomorrow will be there’s three places to find them- kid friendly networks, singing competition TV shows, & YouTube. And 19-year-old Ali Brustofksi has already successfully tackled that trifecta. Her run as the New York finalist on CW’s The Next and her passing the incredible mark of reaching over 25 million views on her YouTube channel are signs that Ali is on pace to make a serious mark in the world of pop music.

Ali has already built a very solid and supportive fanbase online by making popular cover videos of stars like Katy Perry, David Guetta, Rihanna, and the original YouTube-sensation-turned-megastar Justin Beiber. But Ali wasn’t just sitting at home one day and decided to picked up a camera to tape herself singing. She’s been performing professionally since she was 3 years old. At ten she starred as “Brigitta” with a pre-famous Nick Jonas in The Sound of Music, and for five years she was the voice of Nickelodeon’s Piper O’Possum.
In recent years, Ali’s videos have been posted on Ryan Seacrest’s and iHeartRadio’s websites, and her original song “Rewind” has been featured on The Voice and iCarly. She’s already shared a stage with Gym Class Heroes, Karmin, and Mindless Behavior, and she’s been mentored by the legendary “Queen of Latin Pop” Gloria Estefan. The winner of the New York Songwriters Circle “Young Artist Award” (2009) and Z100’s Hometown Hero Contest (2011) is a star in the making, so jump on the bandwagon now and get to know the next pop princess Ali Brustofski.
Ali shining bright on "The Next"

Yohance Kyles: When did you first discover your voice as an artist?

Ali Brustofski: I’ve always been singing, but I started lessons when I was eight. I think I’ve found my “sound” as an artist throughout the years by experimenting and trying different styles of music.

YK: You have a very strong Internet following. How were you able to breakout from other performers on YouTube?

AB: I’ve found that in order to do well on YouTube you have to make the covers you do “your own” and really put your personal style into them. And it’s definitely important to keep consistent and post good quality videos as often as you can. 🙂

YK: How do you decide what songs you choose to cover?

AB: I try to cover songs that I absolutely LOVE before they’re huge hits!

YK: What has been you favorite cover so far?

AB: I can’t possibly choose a favorite cover! All of my covers are so different vocally and in the videos I’ve shot for them, and each was a lot of fun to create in it’s own way.

Ali and crew behind the scenes at the video shoot for "Part of Me"

YK: What inspires you when you’re writing your own songs?

AB: Everything inspires me really. I write about my life and experiences, and I constantly jot down random thoughts and ideas throughout the day.

I absolutely LOVE doing [voice-overs]. It’s so fun to be able to create different characters with your voice that you could never actually play based on your look.

YK: You often hear that voice-over work is a lot harder than it seems. How was your experience as a voice-over performer at Nickelodeon?

AB: Voice-overs are definitely a lot of work, but I absolutely LOVE doing them. It’s so fun to be able to create different characters with your voice that you could never actually play based on your look. I had a lot of fun working with Nickelodeon as the voice of Piper O’Possum, and I’m really glad I had that experience.

YK: What was your initial reaction when you found out you were chosen as a contestant on The Next?

AB: It was all on the show! Honestly, they kept us out of the loop until the moment Gloria Estefan walked into the nail salon and surprised me as my mentor. It was unbelievable and totally amazing!

YK: What was one of the most memorable things to happened to you during your time filming the show?

AB: Every part of it was memorable! The 72 hours I spent with Gloria was a lot of fun because I got to experience what it’s like to film a reality TV show, and we got to do a bunch of fun things together. The live shows were absolutely amazing too! I loved being able to perform for such an energetic crowd and get great advice from the mentors. My favorite part of The Next was getting to know all of the contestants, mentors, and everyone involved in production. We really were a family, and I know I’ll keep those relationships forever!

Ali with fellow The Next contestants Cori Yarckin, Kyrstle Cruz, & Ashley Kimbrae

YK: What was the best piece of advise you received from Gloria Estefan?

AB: Gloria Estefan really helped me learn how to be myself on stage. I don’t feel like I have to hide behind a microphone stand anymore, and I’ve definitely gained a lot of confidence in myself as a performer because of her.

YK: About ten years ago you worked with Nick Jonas in a rendition of The Sound of Music, and Joe Jonas was one of the mentors on The Next. It seems like you have some kind of cosmic connection with the Jonas Brothers. Can we expect a duet with Kevin or an Ali B. appearance on Married to Jonas in the near future?

AB: It’s definitely a small world! Haha. It was great working with Nick, and more recently Joe. The whole Jonas family is one of the nicest groups of people I’ve ever met, and I’d definitely love to work with them again in the future! Don’t have anything planned yet though. 🙂

Joe Jonas has a great view of a shooting star; photo courtesy of poptower.com

YK: If you could choose any superstar to do a song with who would it be?

AB: Either Katy Perry, Demi Lovato, or Taylor Swift. They’re all so unique as artists, and I really admire them as people too.

YK: You often collaborate with other rising artists who are very popular on YouTube. Is there a sense of community amongst YouTube stars?

AB: There’s definitely a sense of community with Youtubers. It’s like a little family, and it’s really nice to have a bunch of people that know what you’re going through and want to support you on your journey.

YK: Besides you own, what were the last three songs you listened to today?

AB: Does all of Taylor Swift’s new album count as three songs? Haha, I’ve had her new album RED on repeat since I got it.

Everyone has a dream, and it’s important for people to know that dreams do come true if you work hard enough at them.

YK: You call your fanbase the “Dream Team”. Why did you decide to use that name?

AB: I’ve always had my own personal motto, “Dream Big.” It’s something that reminds me it’s never wrong to reach for the stars and really go after what I want in life. Everyone has a dream, and it’s important for people to know that dreams do come true if you work hard enough at them. “Dream Team” basically means that together we can make our dreams realities if we never give up. 🙂

YK: What’s next for Ali Brustofski?

AB: A lot of awesome stuff in the works! I’m writing original music with a bunch of really talented people, and working towards an EP! I promise that 2013 will be the year that I release my first original music video! Of course I’ll still be doing covers on YouTube all the time. 🙂

All uncredited photos courtesy of Ali Brustofski

For more info about Ali Brustofski click it

To connect with Ali follow her @AliBrustofski

Check out video of Ali performing on The Next & her NEW COVER VIDEO for “Diamonds”:

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