Ali is a Pakistani-American artist, based in New York City, debuting his first full-length LP on Friday, October 30. The Last American is an acoustic collage of stories about growing up straddling the Pakistani culture of his family and the American culture of his peers. Any child of an immigrant (or anyone who’s ever felt they don’t quite belong for any reason) will relate.
Listen to the first single “Photocopy” here:
Watch the Lyric Video:
The track was due out on the same day Ruth Bader-Ginsberg passed away, and Ali felt it was better to wait on promoting the music as it seemed insensitive to be pushing a new single when his social feeds were all focused on RBG. “Photocopy” asks whether we are bound to the identities assigned to us or whether we can define ourselves.
“Photocopy was written in frustration, I was surrounded by all of these songwriters and all we could do was write about our grief and our sadness, or love we’ve lost…There’s a place for that, we all have songs like that, but I wanted to write about joy and couldn’t figure out how to write that. Then I realized that the things that used to hurt, don’t have to hurt forever, and I COULD write about that.”
Aslam’s music explores the complex, sometimes contradictory facets of his identity with a curious introspection, the private musings of a person who has spent considerable time alone on the fringes. Ali Aslam calls his signature sound “supersonic folk” — not the booming singalongs of past genre giants like Mumford and Sons or Fleet Foxes, but rather a current and forward-thinking creation that incorporates diverse sonic elements and reaches across cultures, more like Big Thief or Phoebe Bridgers.
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