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3 August 1980 (age 38)
Tripoli, Ţarābulus, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
Nadia Ali was born in Libya to Pakistani parents in 1980. The family relocated to Queens, New York City, when she was still a small child, and has remained there until this day.
Ali has stated in interviews that the music that most influenced her growing up includes Stevie Nicks, Sade, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, U2, Madonna, Led Zeppelin, Carole King, Carly Simon and The Beatles.
While 17 years old, Ali was working in the New York offices of Versace, and aspiring to start a music career, when a co-worker introduced her to producer Markus Moser, who was looking for a female singer to collaborate on some of his original dance music production. The two teamed up and started a group that was originally named "Vaiio," named after the Sony laptop Nadia was working on. They later dropped the "va" to avoid causing problems in the future with Sony.
As with any great era of music, there are always a handful of tracks that can be considered genre defining. For dance music -from the late 90's to the new millennium - there were only a select few tracks that caught fire around the world. Most of these tracks came from the godfather's of the recent dance music explosion: We're talking about tracks like Underworld's "Born Slippy," and The Chemical Brother's "Block Rockin' Beats." However, there was one track in particular that emerged from the underground and caught everyone off guard. At first, people knew Iio's "Rapture" by the catchy "la, la, la" chorus as sung by a beautiful voice. As the track emerged from the underground and blew up in the mainstream, "Rapture" became a true tour de force. Remixes from Creamer & K, Deep Dish and Armin van Buuren would follow and the track sold into the millions. Still, at the heart of what made "Rapture" so beautiful was that voice. That voice - and voice of a new generation in house music - belongs to Nadia Ali.
Nadia Ali was born in the Mediterranean and grew up in Queens, New York City. In her teens, Nadia listened to a huge variety of music - anything from Reggae, Hip Hop, Latin house and from Motown to alternative rock. However, Nadia considers classic rock and Indian music to be her biggest genre influences. Artistically, the three performers having the most influence on her are Stevie Nicks, "because of her haunting vocals and songwriting;" Sade, "because she has such a distinctive sound;" and Madonna, "For being such an intense performer." She has also been heavily influenced by artists ranging from U2, Led Zeppelin, Jim Morrison, Carole King, Depeche Mode and eastern icon, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, among others.
Nadia's voice is astonishingly pure and rich despite the fact that she never once had vocal training. Earlier in her life she looked at singing as a hobby (she wrote her first song at 16) and instead went to college for academic purposes rather than pursue a career in music. But life sometimes has other ideas for us. While working in the NYC Versace office - trying to balance full time employment with college - a colleague (who had heard her singing in the office) introduced Nadia to a producer named Markus Moser. The first song Nadia sang for Markus was Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams" and it blew him away - He knew Nadia had something special. At Markus' suggestion Nadia soon quit college to focus exclusively on singing and songwriting, a period that soon yielded dozens of songs.
One such track was the mighty "Rapture," a song in which the lyrics were written by Nadia in a mere 30 minutes. Together, Markus and Nadia would formally release "Rapture," a second single "At The End" and the album Poetica under the stage name Iio.
"At the time I had no idea how big the song was gonna become. I don't think anybody knew how massive it was gonna become. I started hearing all these strange names like oh "Sander, Pete Tong, Seb Fontaine, are all playing Rapture" I remembered how crazy it was when I first heard it on the radio. I freaked. I mean growing up in NY, since I was 14 I had gone to clubs like the Tunnel, the Palladium, Roxy and Limelight and really only knew a handful of names the likes of Tenaglia, Deep Dish, Sasha & Digweed. I had no idea that all these names would eventually go on to playing my record, I mean I remember my first 2 dance (Cassette Tapes!) being Danny Tenaglia's "Tourism" and a Junior Vasquez mix compilation. It was all surreal," Nadia says
What does the future hold in store for Nadia Ali? Well, the future is now! Nadia recently collaborated with Armin Van Buuren on a track called "Who is Watching." Much different that the high energy trance Van Buuren is known for, the track is very minimal, complete with an acoustic guitar. Remixes of "Who is Watching" is being played out at clubs now and the original version is available on Van Buuren's new CD "Shivers." Nadia also collaborated with producers John Creamer & Stephane K and male vocalist/singer/songwriter Rosko on the duet "Something To Lose."
"I chose working with Armin Van Buuren (well known for his melodic trance productions) and John Creamer & Stephane K (known for their sexy deep progressive house) because I wanted to do two records very different from each other. The Van Buuren record is very emotional and melodic and the record with Creamer and K has a lot of energy and attitude. It's also really interesting to work with them because both Armin Van Buuren and Creamer and K remixed "Rapture" and I always wanted to work with them," says Nadia.
Nadia has performed in all parts of the world, from Texas to Taipei, Bucharest to Melbourne, and Moscow to Istanbul. She brings a unique passion and intensity to each of her performances, the result of a true connection to each track she sings. Nadia continues to 100% exclusively write and sing her own lyrics in order to bring across that true emotion to her fans. She is at the heart of what makes dance music young, fresh, exciting and new.
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