Alison Wonderland writes her own tale
THERE'S no eating cake to get big in the music business.
But a good dose of hard work has done the job for Sydney DJ and producer Alison Wonderland.
Classically trained and growing up with indie-music running through her veins, Wonderland says she has no idea how she ended up as a DJ. "I never really planned any of this to happen," she says. "It just organically unfolded, in a very weird way."
Wonderland played at last year's Grammys after party, managed a breakfast date with Billy Corgan while he was in Byron Bay for Splendour in the Grass and this week announced she'll be playing at SXSW in Austin, Texas, next month.
Which event does she hold in higher regard?
"I think they are all pretty cool in their own ways," Wonderland says. "To be part of the Grammys celebrations last year was something I've wanted to do since I was a kid.
"Meeting one of my musical heroes and getting to ask him all the questions I've ever wanted to ask him was really special.
"And having the opportunity to showcase my music at SXSW gets me really nervous and excited just thinking about it. I can't really choose one."
After signing a global deal with EMI, Wonderland released her first album, Welcome To Wonderland. Her first outing was a compilation which she says gave people an idea of what they might hear at her shows, but she's in the process of recording her debut album now.
"It's been such an amazing process," she says. "I have learnt so much from this. I've been making those songs in my bedroom for a long time now and to be able to release them all through EMI is crazy.
"It's scary and amazing to think that all these babies you made will soon be released into the world."
Wonderland has been in the studio, with Chris Colonna (of The Bumblebeez fame) in the producer hot seat.
"He really challenged me to think about my songs and pushed me outside my comfort zone," she says. "I love learning how other artists' minds work. I think you can always take something away from that for your own creative process."
While some producers take a back seat, Wonderland says Colonna really had impact on the process.
"He definitely took my songs and polished them off for me," she says. "I had been listening to some of them for so long it was hard for me to hear them properly. He helped me take them out of the full electronic world and pushed me to put more diverse sounds into the music. I am now playing my cello on a track."
Wonderland also sings on the album, but remains tight-lipped about who she has collaborated with, though she did mention a rapper from New York is involved.
Playing Sunday Safari alongside Flosstradamus and Surecut Kids, Wonderland says she'll be sticking to remixes this time round.
She may have lost the originals down the rabbit hole for now, but not for long.
Alison Wonderland plays Sunday Safari at the Beach Hotel, on Sunday, 7.30pm. Tickets $23.50, moshtix or from the venue (bottleshop). Or have a go at winning a double pass by sending your full name and contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org