As human beings, we are all entitled to the personal quest of "finding ourselves," whether success is defined by an ultimate career path, a committed relationship, or jet-setting with three models in tow. For Nadia Ali, the road to peace and triumph was paved with a wide range of sounds - from debuting as a Euro-pop duo, to becoming big room house royalty, to ultimately, finding an apropos haven with her latest project, HYLLS.
Today, Ones To Watch is honored to present fans of the Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter with the second taste of her carefully-crafted, years-in-the-making, new & true sound. HYLLS is Nadia Ali's collaboration with a team of fellow Grammy-nominees (who have chosen to keep their identities anonymous for now) to present a contemporary cover of "Linger" by The Cranberries. The song choice was born from Ali's deep-rooted connection with the 1993 original and was recorded a year before the passing of legendary front woman Dolores O'Riordan. Staying true to the timeless magic of the melancholic love song, The HYLLS' rendition pays proper homage while incorporating an innovative and modern sonic twist.
Nadia Ali shared some insight into HYLLS' creative process,
"One of the songs that I used to listen to on repeat as a teenager was 'Linger' by the Cranberries. It had this bittersweet feeling to it and it resonated so much with me. When we were in the middle of writing songs for HYLLS, we decided to take a little break from the original songs and try a cover version of 'Linger'. When we were done, it sounded great, but I wanted to do something a little different with the vocal melody. The original was so sacred to me that I felt like I couldn’t use the same melody, as no one could do it justice. So I went back in the booth and did one last take and the result was an eastern influenced minor scaled melody using the same lyrics and flow. For me, the whole idea of doing a cover is about paying respect to an artist that influenced you and who you admire. This cover was recorded a year before the tragic passing of Dolores O'Riordan, and releasing it is my way to honor her legacy and thank her for her beautiful musical contribution to my life and the lives of so many other people."
After topping Billboard dance charts and performing at nightclubs and festivals for over a decade, Nadia Ali took a necessary step back to explore uncharted musical landscapes. "Linger" is the follow-up to "All Over The Place," released on Jan. 26 along with the promise of one new song every month. The new project successfully retains the emotional lyrical imagery that initially drew fans to Ali, but it introduces a more indie, organic texture to her traditionally electronic sound.
She expanded on the inspiration behind HYLLS,
"HYLLS was started as a true passion project with several other musicians that I've worked with on and off throughout my career. I had been touring relentlessly in nightclubs for almost a decade and I decided to take a break for the first time in my life. I moved into a new home and began writing songs with my friends without the pressure of a label or a specific box for the music to fit. HYLLS feels different to me because it really is the sound of me outside of a genre. I've always loved electronic music, and there is plenty about this project that is electronic, but I didn't want to feel like I had to make music for a club, which is where my previous music has always lived. I wanted this music to be completely free and see what would come of it."
Your exclusive stream of HYLLS' "Linger" cover is below and be sure to follow HYLLS for more.