The Ashland Beacon
When Alison Webb’s friend, Hoffa, who was signed with “Get Money, Get Fresh,” asked her to collaborate with him on a song, she excitedly agreed. Webb was asked to come up “with a chorus and a verse” and Hoffa would do the rest around “what I came up with.” That chorus and verse launched Webb into her own single and a dream of a record deal of her own under her new performing name “Sis Ali,” pulling together that Hoffa calls her his sister and shortening Alison down to Ali.
Before going into dental hygiene, Webb had first majored in English because “I love words.” She said that with her English background, she understood “meter, rhyme, and rhythm so I just started writing. I got in the booth and I laid it down one day.” She was really surprised when Hoffa looked at her and said, “girl, you got a single.” She said “that is literally how it happened, totally by accident.”
Webb, who is also a Zumba instructor at the YMCA (currently donating her time for the “love of the people” who take her classes,) said that she used her own background of barely surviving a car wreck 17 years ago, her joy in the life she has built, her love of Zumba and fitness, and some other personal things that she is experiencing in her life right now to write her lyrics. She references her car wreck and her fight to get active again without relying on painkillers for the rest of her life when she raps out “I felt the pain, I kept it real, I give a sting, I’m living still.” She also mentions that she is into fitness referencing her work as a YMCA fitness instructor. The lyrics “body hard, going strong, all day long counting victims” is also in reference to her YMCA classes because when Webb comes to the front of a class, she jokingly says “Somebody gonna die tonight.”
Webb said that “I want to be true to myself but also get something out there that kids can listen to.” Webb’s single “Wannabe” is “completely clean content. It’s a good message.” The video for the song was filmed in Miami on the beach. Webb let us in on a little secret; there is a “champagne” bottle in the video but she had to “turn the bottle around so the label didn’t show because it’s actually just sparkling grape juice.”
Webb said that “everything is so real to what I’m doing.” She said that someone asked her why she wants to keep it clean. “It’s all I know,” she shared. “I don’t know guns. I don’t know drugs. I don’t know violence.” She said “I know the YMCA. I know bullying on the internet. I know the things that I see in the media and the racism that’s going crazy in America.” She said that is where the line “education, integration, serving it like food” comes in. Webb doesn’t want to say that she has a bigger mission in her single other than just “being something fresh, being something new” because she is not trying to sound like anyone else.
When filming the video in Miami, the producers kept trying to get her to use some of her Zumba moves but Webb says that it was “a million degrees” and that she “could not walk” on the beach. She said that she discovered that she “cannot Zumba on sand.”
Webb is hoping that things don’t shut back down so that she can start doing some live performances. She said that she is already working on her next single which will focus on how “people are just so mean.”
What “Sis Ali” hopes that the public gets out of her song, “Wannabe” is to “never sell yourself short because you don’t know what you can do until you do it. She said that the line “you don’t know what I’m packing” actually refers to the “baggage” that people mentally carry around with them and the fact that you never know what someone else is going through. “Despite all the bad things that you go through, you’ve got to live your life for you and you can’t be a victim.”
“All of the best things in my life happened by accident,” Webb explained. “I don’t feel like I’m all that that,” but when Hoffa told her to approach it as more of a “what can’t you do?” because of everything that she has done in her life, “Wannabe” was born because her answer was “Nothing, I guess.”
“Wannabe” was released last week on every platform except Apple. The video is available on YouTube.