Check out our latest Writer’s Block interview with Alija.
“You’re Taken” – Trey Songz
“Your Love” – Diddy Dirty Money
HHW: What songs have you written?
ALIJA: I wrote “You’re Taken” for Trey Songz and I co-wrote “You Love” for Diddy Dirty Money. I’ve written some other stuff as well that hasn’t come out yet. I did some stuff for Missy Elliot’s artists, I did some songs on the Willow Smith project, I did a song for a new artist over at Def Jam, her name is Miranda; just a bunch of new artists as well on the labels that are about to drop. I do all genres. I work with anybody with talent. I did something with the New Boys featuring Charlie Wilson.
How did you first get into music?
I’m an artist as well, so that really kinda sparked the interest in music, and I’ve always loved music as a kid; especially Pop music, because I love the melodies and it’s very, very catchy. A lotta times, when you say Pop, [people sometimes] don’t understand that Pop means popular, so it’s really about popular melodies. So, when I write songs, that is, I guess, my forte: coming up with a crazy dope melody.
How did you start writing for people?
I basically got out there and got my feet dirty. I was background dancing for Reggae artist Sean Paul. And first I was kinda unsure about writing for other people because I was like, I wanna save this song for myself, but you know, in this industry, producers and writers are a hot commodity. You need writers and you need producers. So that’s when the demand for your talent goes up, so it’s a plus to be an artist and a writer.
Which one do you prefer more? Being an artist or a writer?
I definitely prefer being an artist, just because I have the opportunity to be myself and really write from the heart.
How’d you write for the song for Trey?
Polow Da Don and Jimmy Iovine, they flew me out to L.A. You know, we started working on a joint, trying to get a joint for Jamie Foxx’s – not this album but the one before it – and his album kinda closed or whatever, or we missed the deadline. Polow always thought the song was a hit; it was a dope concept, so I know R. Kelly recorded it as well, and T-Pain also wanted to do the record as well, so you know, next thing I know, Polow gives me a call like, “Trey Songz is gonna to do the record, and its about to come out next week on the Step Up 3 soundtrack.”
What should people look out for from you?
I have a single out right now on iTunes that’s called “Prettiest Girl,” and also I have a video dropping for that in the summer. I just dropped a mixtape, and I’m ‘bout to take over the world!
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