Singer, Ali McManus Talks Music, Motivation, and Lindsey’s Kloset
Ali McManus needs you to know that she is more than a girl in a wheelchair.
Born three months early with a 50/50 chance of survival, the 22-year-old metro Detroit native has been making music since she was 7.
“Because of my condition I was stuck in the house a lot, so I gravitated towards the grand piano in my living room,” she says. “Around that time, I joined my school choir, and I sang a solo. Until then, nobody knew I could sing. Afterwards people came up to me with tears in their eyes. And I was like ‘was it that bad?’ ‘No,’ they said, ‘it was amazing!’ When I saw that I could move people with my singing I knew it would be a very important part of my life.”
And move people she does. In addition to her music career, McManus moonlights as a motivational speaker. Her combined passions require frequent travel; she splits her time between Detroit, New York, LA, and other areas where she may be asked to speak to a crowd.
“I have been playing many shows lately,” says McManus. “I recently went to New York City to perform at the T.J. Martell Foundation Family Fun Day at The PlayStation Theater! It was very exciting to play on a big stage with nationally-known acts...I had my album release party on March 21 [at Outs Supply in Ferndale, Michigan]. It was an amazing turnout. The really cool part was that I played with a band! I played for a sold-out crowd! Everything went perfectly.”
McManus released her debut album, “Unbreakable,” under Desert Dreams Records this past February. Famed producer Jack Douglas, who has worked with the likes of John Lennon and Aerosmith, helped bring the young songstress’ vision to life.
“The music on Unbreakable was inspired by all of the hardships that I had to endure in my life,” she explains. “Every song was written during those hardships. It helped me get through the hard times. It was my way of expression, relaxation. It definitely gave me motivation to keep going and to never give up! I hope that the songs on this album will help show the listener that, if they are having a hard time at the moment, it will get better! Depending on your situation, you may have to do something your own unique way, and that’s not a bad thing at all.”
Throughout her career, McManus has also made a name for herself as a style maven. Being wheelchair-bound doesn’t stop her from expressing herself through her clothes. She recently partnered with Lindsey’s Kloset. The store will be styling her for upcoming performances and events.
“I believe my style of music and my personal style are connected because my musical style is more of an acoustic singer/songwriter, Americana, alternative pop, and soft rock,” she says of her personal style. “I feel like my bohemian-with-an edge-style fits that genre of music and my overall personality. My partnership with Lindsey’s Kloset has been amazing so far, I am so happy [Lindsey] asked to style me! The clothes in her store are amazing, unique and one of a kind! I can wait for the future.”
Something tells us McManus has the future at her fingertips.