Artist on Cover: Ali Shah. (@notalishah). Photography by: Neal Ganguli (@nealkg)

Introducing Toronto based Indie-Pop singer-songwriter Ali Shah. Ali Shah debuted on May 18th, 2021 with the single “Kiss Somebody”. Since his debut in May 2021, he released his first EP No Man’s Land on August 13th, 2021, followed by the singles; “Uncharted Territory”, “Maybe Maybe”, “Jinx It” and “Spoiler Alert”.

On September 1st, Ali Shah unveiled his second EP The Talking Stage which features all four of those singles plus “Every Crowd” and “Happy For You, I Guess”. In this exclusive interview, Behind The Beat had the opportunity to talk to Ali Shah to discuss the meaning behind his new EP, his musical journey, his future plans and more.

Watch the interview here:


Hey, Ali. Thank you for joining us today at Behind the Beat. Can you go ahead and introduce yourself?

Ali Shah: I’m Ali Shah. I’m a 20 year old pop musician from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. And I have a brand new EP coming out called The Talking Stage. And again, it’s synth pop. It’s really dreamy. It’s about my stories of failed situationships. It’s kind of all compiled into one and as a perfect little package for everyone who likes it. So, yeah.

How did your musical journey begin?

Ali Shah: Well, I’ve always been like surrounded by music, I think my entire life, like my dad’s a singer, my mom is an actress like I was just always surrounded by entertainment and everything. And actually, English is not my first language. So, when I learned English, it was through, like, Disney Channel TV shows and stuff. I started idolizing, you know, all the X acts like; the Selena’s and the Miley’s and, you know, everyone. Um, and then, when I saw that, oh, they can sing and they all have music careers, I was like, “I want that, that would be crazy.” You know what I mean? So when I was eight, I just started writing really, really bad songs, not good songs at all. And then eventually they became kind of good. And yeah, here we are.


I love that. That's so cool that your dad's a singer and your mom's an actress. That's really interesting and I love that. Um, so yeah, so congrats on the release of your second album. Can you describe the overall theme and the meaning of, The Talking Stage?

Ali Shah: Yeah. So, I would say the talking stage, like I said, is a compilation of all my failed situationships and these real stories kind of pulled together to kind of tell one story. I would say it’s definitely pop, that’s like a requirement to be an Ali album right now. I just wanted it to tell like a cohesive story. So if you listen all the way through, it’s very like you meet someone, things go well, things kind of don’t go well, and then they leave and then you have to deal with that. It’s kind of like a direct follow up, like you said, this is my second [EP], so it’s kind of a direct follow up to my first EP, which is more about, you know, self love and having the fight between someone wanting to love you and you wanting to love yourself, and which is more important, and this one is kind of the direct follow up of that, um, kind of a grown up version. But as you can tell, I’m still struggling. But yeah, the best way to describe it is just, you know, a pop EP that is kind of me as an artist right now. You know, it’s really me to my core right now.

Right, and I love that it's kind of a follow up to your first album. And kind of with that in mind, like, what emotions are you hoping the listeners to feel when they listen to this album?

Ali Shah: I want them to feel, like, I think relatable. Relatability is a really important one because I feel like I write music, subconsciously and also consciously wanting to connect with people. Um, and I feel like a lot of the topics that I have in this EP, you know, of, again, the failed talking stages, plus just feeling like you’re being led on and struggling with like, “am I crazy?” “Am I okay?” “No, I’m not”, you know, like all these are just really common things that a lot of people go through um, and especially people like me who like, you know are kind of destined for failure in this sector of their life. So it’s like, no, I mean, not failure forever, but you know, certain situations. This sounds so cringe, but the feeling of belonging, I don’t know, like I want people to kind of see themselves in my music and be able to connect to it so much to where they’re like, “oh, this is the song I want to listen to when I go through XYZ”. For example, when I meet someone I want to listen to “Maybe Maybe” because I’m like, “oh, it’s so nice and it makes me feel like we’re gonna be great.” Or when I need an empowerment anthem to leave the bad person in my life, I need to listen to “Spoiler Alert”, you know what I mean, it’s like these anthems for certain [situations]. I feel like I want to make those staple songs like that.

Yeah. No, I definitely feel that just listening to “Jinx It” like I could kind of relate to the lyrics of it and I love that song, so I can't wait to hear the rest of the album!  And this is kind of a Behind The Beat specific question, but can you describe the EP using a colour and why you chose that colour?

Ali Shah: Okay, pink. Um, for a long time, it was orange. I actually, I had a playlist on my, okay, I use Apple Music, by the way, so don’t kill me, Spotify people, okay? Um, but on my Apple Music, I had a playlist and I made the cover, because obviously there was no cover at that point, it would be the playlist I put all the new demos into, and it was just the orange colour. I thought orange was just such, like, you know, the colour for this EP. But when it was coming together, and when we finally finished, I decided on pink. Only because I just thought it was prettier and also because pink, it’s just, I don’t know, it’s just such a… How do I describe it? It’s just such a… first of all, it’s trending, so like, period, you know, gotta get that trending check. Second of all, it’s like, it’s just such a delicate colour. It’s such a feminine colour, I feel like that the EP in itself is more feminine, you know, it’s kind of like all over the place. You know what I mean? It shows so much of my personality. I feel like there’s not a lot like a distinct colour except for pink. Pink is just the feeling you just have to like get it.

But I would also say, every single song to me has a different colour too and I think that’s evident. I don’t know if you’ve seen my single covers, but in the single covers like; “Maybe Maybe” to me is so purple, “Uncharted Territory” is so red, you know “Spoiler Alert” to me is yellow and “Jinx It” to me is white, right? It’s like pink is the EP, even the newer songs like I would say “Happy For You” I guess is like, um, orange to me and like “Every Crowd” is blue. So like I just think very colour based, you know, and for the EP, I would say definitely pink.

Yeah, no, I definitely got the vibe of like either pink or like purple kind of like sunset vibe. That's what I was getting. Kind of the last question about the EP, but what is your favourite song on the EP if you had to choose one?

Ali Shah: I don’t know if I can, okay. They’re all like, it’s like asking like, who’s your favourite kid? You know?

I think all the songs on the EP are beautiful and great and fantastic. Um, but I would say, I could split it up in different sectors. I feel like my best written song is probably “Happy For You”, I guess. And I’m really proud of what I wrote there. It’s a five minute song, so it’s a long, long one, but I had a lot to say when I was writing it. So that one I would say is my best written song.

I think my favourite production… it’s probably “Spoiler Alert”. I just think it’s such a banger. Um, and I also think “Spoiler Alert” is probably my best, Ali song. It is just like a perfect package of a pop song to me. So, I would say maybe “Spoiler Alert” is like the song for me. I don’t know. What do you think?

Brenessa: Um, I mean, I personally, I still love “Jinx It”. That’s like one of my top songs so far. Um, but I think each of your songs, like not even just on this EP, but in general, all of your songs have a different kind of message and feeling to it. And I’m just a big fan of like the indie pop kind of genre, so I’m kind of biased, but I love all your songs, so.

Ali Shah: Okay, period, period. I mean, “Jinx It”, listen, a lot of people love “Jinx It”, I get it. It’s like a fan fave, I understand.

Brenessa: Yeah, I can like picture a whole like movie, like sync license with it, like everything…

Ali Shah: I’ve been trying, I’ve been trying. If anyone wants to help me, hit me up, Instagram, please, I’ve been trying. ‘Cause literally that was like the image we were trying to paint when we were making this song. We were like, “Jinx It” has to be a rom com [song] at the end of a coming of age film. Like, it’s just like when two characters are about to finally kiss after, that’s what we wanted it to feel like. So, yeah.

Brenessa: Yeah, I see it. Hopefully, one day, we’re manifesting this.

Ali Shah: Manifesting, yeah.


Um, and kind of speaking of manifestations and goals for the future, what do you have planned for the rest of the year and in general for your music career?

Ali Shah: As we’re recording this, I have the EP coming out in three days and I have a show for the EP in two days. So, this is like a release party of sorts. It’s something I’ve, I actually never thought it was going to happen. I was just kind of thinking about it when I was working on this EP for like two years, so, when I was working on it, even last year, I was like, “oh, I should do a show when it like happens”, but then I kind of forgot about it. And then I think it was actually Liam, who is my producer and is my friend, we were at a show or something and then I was like, “I wish I could put on a show like this, like when my EP drops”, and he’s like, “do it”. My first headline show is happening and that’s like a major thing for me because I don’t know for a while like, I mean, I always love playing shows before a while I was like, you know, shows are not really my specialty, it’s not something I excel at fully, and I want to take my time until I have like a big headline show, and it’s here and it’s crazy that it’s here and I literally after this interview I’m going into rehearsal so, I’m not even digesting the fact that in a few days from now, I’ll be on stage in front of people who want to be there for my music.

When the EP is done and the show is done, I definitely want to take a second to just kind of be happy with where I am, you know, and not have to like work, um, to do something else because, you know, I don’t know about you, but in the industry, I feel like everyone’s always going like 100%. It’s hard to stop. So, I want to take a, not a long second, but like a quick little, maybe like a week or two to like chill. Um, and then after that, I feel like I want to do a music video because I haven’t had a music video in a while and I feel like we got a lot of songs to make a video from. So I don’t know, maybe that maybe something else and definitely more writing because I’m getting inspired again, new things happening in life, you know.

Brenessa: Yeah, no, that’s all very exciting. And I just wanted to say congratulations on your headline show. That’s very exciting. And yeah, looking forward to everything that you have planned for your music career, kind of like watched you grow a little bit. So it’s been really exciting.

The Talking Stage EP by Ali Shah is now available on all digital streaming platforms so, make sure to listen here.

Special thanks to Ali Shah for taking the time to do this interview with us.

Listen to The Talking Stage by Ali Shah on Spotify:

Check out Ali Shah on Instagram: @notalishah

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