Alli Simpson has made her comeback with two amazing new songs! One of them made her brother Cody cry when he first heard it, and the other might just be about Charlie Puth.
“I wanted it to feel very sultry and like a superficial world,” Alli Simpson, 19, tells us of her captivating new music video for “Material Boy,” which dropped on Dec. 6. “I wanted it to be a little weird, where people ask, ‘What’s going on here?’ When you’re with someone superficial, there’s nothing more than that, and I think that comes across.” It does, and you can consider us hooked. Below, you can check out the rest of our Q&A with the Aussie songstress.
Okay, take us behind “Material Boy.”
I wanted the video to be empowering to women, to show you’re in control of the man and sort of stand up to him, because that’s what the song is about, too. It’s also one of the first songs I wrote — when I went in to the studio to write it, I felt so connected to it immediately, and I’m really happy with the way it turned out!
Is it really about Charlie Puth? I saw that going around.
[Laughs] This rumor started because I went to a radio station. Charlie and I are in a good place. I saw his name on the wall and I mentioned it — off-air — to the host. They said he was coming in the next day and I said, “Oh, cool, tell him I say ‘hi.'”
He does inspire me musically as well. “Material Boy” is not necessarily about him, but I do get inspiration from everywhere! It’s [more] about another guy I was seeing at the time. But I highly respect Charlie and I think he’s great.
With “Material Boy” and “I Won’t Remember You Tomorrow,” is this the start of a new era for you musically?
I feel like it’s a debut, part two! I had songs a couple of years ago but that was all in fun. I was doing it because people around me said, you should try music. Which was awesome! But it’s really cool that I’m finding my own sound and writing my own music and finding my passion for it now.
How did that feel to get in the studio again, but this time as a songwriter?
It was totally scary! My first session, I was put in the room with some pretty well-established songwriters and producers who had worked with Katy Perry and Britney Spears. I’m walking in here, like, “I’ve never written a song in my life!” But if you don’t step out of your comfort zone, you’ll never know, and I had a story that I wanted to tell. I knew I could sing and I knew the sound I wanted to hear, which is how it all works. It ended up going amazing and every session gets better.
Where’s your brother Cody Simpson’s place these days?
When it comes to my professional career, he loves that I’m thriving on my own. As soon as I finish a song, I’ll send it to him and he’ll give his thoughts. It’s cool to have a bouncing board, especially in the music industry. He FaceTimed me crying when he heard “I Won’t Remember You Tomorrow,” and it was amazing to get that reaction from him. We’re each other’s biggest fans. It’s nice.
Any plans to tour?
Totally. Performing live is new to me as well, with these new songs, so that’s a learning experience, but as 2018 comes, I’ll be doing lots more.
Who would you love to go out on the road with?
It’d be fun to tour with Fifth Harmony. I love seeing a bunch of women get together and sing and dance, so if I could support them or a group like Little Mix, that would be so empowering.
How about a collaboration?
I would like to work with Charlie, actually! I’m a big fan of his melodies and lyrics. DJs like The Chainsmokers or Kygo. That’s a goal for next year.
Selena Gomez wrote a song for you, too…
Yes! My song “Roll ‘Em Up” with Jack & Jack, Cody and Selena wrote it. They were originally going to release it together as a song called “Short Shorts,” and they recorded it. It was ready to go — I have the [uncut demo], it’s this gold in my phone! They loved it but musically weren’t in the right place in their careers to release it, so one day I just asked him, because I was obsessed with it. I listened to it on the daily! He was like, “You can have it, I’ll just ask Sel.” He calls her and it was all cool, she was down for it. It worked out perfectly.
Well, if you wanted to hop on a duet with Selena, I’d support that.
Oh, I would support that as well. That’s definitely something I’m down for. She’s amazing!
You’ve been in the game for a while now, but has anyone ever made you starstruck?
Leonardo DiCaprio! It was at a party at Coachella and it was the best thing ever. That was a surreal moment for me.
How’s it going on the friendship front with Noah Cyrus and Gigi Hadid?
Noah is doing really well at the moment. When I worked with her on the Mudd campaign, she wasn’t doing music yet, and we were talking about it to each other. We just started doing it, she was going to studio sessions and she was nervous. She didn’t know what her sound was going to be and it was cool to see it unfold and her success. She’s so humble and sweet. That whole family, they’re amazing.
Gigi — I don’t speak to her a lot anymore obviously because she and Cody aren’t together. So it’s been a while, but we’re still really close with the family and Gigi’s always been so sweet, an older sister to me. She’s doing awesome. She’s my ultimate style goals! I remember going into her closet and being like, “Can I please borrow everything?”
I want to touch on your involvement with the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. How did that come about?
That was an organic thing. I went and visited a children’s hospital one day with my family, about a year or two ago. It was really sweet and completely touched my heart. I met some of the heads of the hospital and I asked how I could get more involved and do it all the time. I ended up becoming the teen ambassador and I’ve visited hospitals all over the country now! It makes me so happy to make kids smile, knowing what they’re going through — to take their minds off it for just a small time.
Anything else in the pipeline?
I have a couple other songs that I’ve finished that I’m excited about. Each song is like a child. I want to continue to release music. My game plan is to keep it coming. Possibly an EP early next year!