What part does living in Liverpool play in inspiring you?
I’ve been more inspired by the people than the place. I’m not really a patriotic person, but that’s no reflection on my feelings towards Liverpool. I could just literally be anywhere on earth and as long as there were interesting and creative people, I could be happy and inspired. Saying that, I do have a lot of friends and family in Liverpool, so there will always be a piece of me here.
How did the songwriting go before you got to put your debut EP together? When exactly did you know it was time for your music to be made public?
I guess it’s a slow natural thing. I wrote a couple of songs, played them to friends, and then built on it. I think I felt ready a long time ago but I definitely wasn’t. I’m still at the age were I’m constantly improving too, so I always look back and think what I’m doing at the present time is much better. But I was always really into writing. It was just my thing, you know? I found something I was good at and ran with it.
I must not be the first person to resemble old Country/Folk musicians in your voice quality, was any of them any influence to you? And what other influences you would say have shaped the music you play today?
I definitely have an American twang and that is purely down to the people who inspired me: Bob Dylan, Jeff Buckley. Van Morrison sings with that American twang too, even though he’s Irish. David Gray too! I taught myself to sing listening to these people, so they definitely rubbed off on me. Saying that, there’s a lot of amazing British artists too that inspired me, but I could go on all day naming them.
About the female presence in both EPs, was it intentional to involve Kathryn Williams and Meghann Cheetham in your albums from the beginning? How did it really click?
Coincidently I met both Kathryn and Meghann on separate writing retreats. I was a huge fan of both ladies as soon as I heard them sing. So I wrote with them, and the songs were the result of that. I would never usually take the duet route but I think it worked. Empty House is one of my proudest pieces of music, and I literally melt at the sound of Meghann’s voice. It has definitely opened me up to the whole duet thing and it will be something I will revisit in the future.
Your lyrics reflect wisdom and attentiveness to what goes on around us. To what extent are they a reflection of your own life experiences and views of the world?
Thank you! That’s a very sweet thing to say. They are 95 percent personal and factual about my life and the things going on around me. I think any good writer has to embellish the truth a little, but that’s part of the fun. I guess it’s like I always say, I’m not trying to save the world or make any strong political statements. My music is just the ramblings of an attention seeking kid who never quite grew up.
Fans seem to dig your music videos. Did you partake in the making of any them?
Yes, I write and create all my own videos. It’s something I take great pleasure in. Almost as much as music in fact, I’ve always had a great love for films. I wrote Tornado (my first video) and my friend filmed and edited it. After that it looked like something I wanted to try and do myself so I have ever since.
What did it feel like being the Liverpool Male Artist of 2012? It must have boosted your energy and urge to accomplish more- but did it, in any way, affect your standards, hence choices afterwards?
Wow! It seems like a lifetime ago now. It really was amazing, I know everyone says it but I honestly did not think I even stood a chance of winning. It was a very proud moment and gave me a little bit of leverage for friends and family to take me more seriously. Not that they aren’t amazing and supportive because they are, but this was just a small token to show that the hard work was paying off. But I wouldn’t say it has affected my standards too much, but then I’ve always had high standards, ha! I’m a nightmare to work with.
You met with Chris Difford of Squeeze at his writer’s week in Devon and he put in a good word for you, what did you learn from the time spent with him?
Chris is just the loveliest man. I’ve been brought up as a huge Squeeze fan, so just to meet him was a life goal. But yeah I got a lot of experience from writing with different people and it really opened me up to the world of co-writing. I never would have written with anyone before it. Plus, there was amazing food, wonderful accommodation; it’s like a songwriters dream holiday.
Artists at your age usually attract audience of youngsters, is that case with you?
I find I get a real mix, like literally all ages. It’s weird. I’ve played gigs were half a room is full of teenagers and the half middle-ages. But I like it. I’d never want to single anyone out. It was always part of the plan to make music that everyone can listen to. Whether I have achieved that or not is too early to tell.
Does 2014 bring Ali Ingle’s fans some good news?
I hope so. Ha! But yeah I have a new double, a side single coming out that I’m yet to announce and some new videos. The rest you will just have to wait and see but like I say every year: “This time next year we’ll be millionaires”
Interviewed by: Nada K. Ahmed
Photos by: Dave Turley Photography