Interview: Alli Simpson

by Ceylan Kumbarji
Taylor Magazine Minimalist guide to life

We’re sure you know who Alli Simpson is. Whether you’ve heard her Radio Disney show, seen her gracing the Young Hollywood scene or heard some of her singles, she’s one of our favourite young people around. What we love most about Alli is her positivity and her warm, welcoming persona. Although she’s a newcomer, she’s more than a triple-threat as a radio host, singer, model and swimmer and she’s been working hard since she moved to LA from Australia five years ago. Alli explains it wasn’t always easy for her.

“People in LA were different to my Australian friends. I had a really solid group of friends at home so the move was really hard for me because I had to leave them. I knew no-one. It’s been five years and I don’t have the biggest group of friends yet, but I’ll say that now I’ve made a pretty great group of friends.”

She’s now been given a new role at Radio Disney as Youth Engagement Officer, which she says is about bringing teens together. At just 17, Alli is the youngest nationally syndicated radio host ever reaching over 20 million listeners a week for “The Alli Simpson Show.”

“That was a really cool title to receive. It empowers everyone to follow their dreams and do what they love. For me, it’s just all about empowering young teenagers and pre-teens to do what they love and shoot for their goals.”

Although she’s already interviewed Justin Bieber and Nick Jonas, she said Gwen Stefani and Selena Gomez were two of her favourites. As far as dream guests go, she’d love to have Taylor Swift on the show.

“One of my favourite interviews was Selena Gomez mainly because the conversation felt like a friendship and it didn’t feel like it was an interview. It was just a fluent conversation between two girls. I love my Gwen Stefani interview as too because she’s also very strong and inspiring so I learned a lot from that interview. Honestly, I’ve had so many great people on the show, I’ve enjoyed everyone. Each interview has had it’s own special moments. I’d love to interview Taylor. She’s fun, she’s all about girl power, has an amazing attitude and a really positive vibe. She would just be a great fit for what my show is.”

Her social media following continues to grow and she’s gaining a loyal following but she says it’s still weird to her.

“I think that it always will be surreal when you can just say something online and get a huge response from hundreds of people. It’s definitely exciting having a great following but it’s also a little scary because everybody’s always going to have an opinion of you. As soon as you put something online you’re going to get feedback from everyone and people have their own opinions of things. It’s so cool and I couldn’t be more grateful for the fans and the followers I do have.”

Taylor Magazine: Could you tell us a bit about what you’ve been working on recently?

Alli Simpson: I’m actually really busy with my radio show. Each week I have amazing guests coming in. It’s on Radio Disney every Friday night and I’ve been working to make it really personal to me. It’s a great platform for me and it’s a really good way for me to connect with my fans. It’s a way for them to get to know me and hear what I have to say each week because I have a couple of different segments – I talk about music, fashion and advice, so it’s a little bit of everything. It’s just an inside scoop into my life. We have some pretty exciting guests coming up. I’ve had some amazing people already but we do have a good line up.

Taylor Magazine: Your first year hosting Radio Disney, you got a lot of positive feedback and it seemed like people were really engaging with it. How does it feel to have gotten such a good response?

Alli Simpson: That was the most surreal part for me. When I see people actually really connecting with the show, it makes me want to keep doing it more and making it bigger and better because I see the difference I’m making in people’s lives. I want to continue doing it. It definitely inspires me to keep going.


Taylor Magazine: Was having your own radio show something you always wanted to do?

Alli Simpson: Honestly? It wasn’t something I’ve always wanted. It wasn’t something I had even thought about until the opportunity came around and then it fell into place naturally. It was just something that I really connected to. I’m a positive person and really wanted a way to voice my opinion and be able to help others. Once that idea came about, it felt like it was the right thing. When I started radio I didn’t have any experience in it at all and I just started from the beginning and learned from the ground up. It’s been an amazing experience and I’ve learned a lot from it.

Taylor Magazine: Are you hoping to put out an album? What’s the plan for your music?

Alli Simpson: I’ve got a couple of things out on iTunes right now. It’s all so fun. In the beginning, my brother inspired me to have fun with it and I realised how much I loved it. It was never something I really did seriously but the more time I’ve been spending around people that make music, it’s inspired me to keep going. I’m finding my voice and my sound. It’s definitely something I’ve decided I want to throw my self into. First it’s just going to be a couple of singles and then possibly an album by next year.

Taylor Magazine: What did you think about as a potential career when you younger?

Alli Simpson: It’s funny because I moved to LA from Australia about 5 years ago and we moved over here for my brothers music. I honestly had no idea what I wanted to do because at home in Australia I was a competitive swimmer, so when I was young my goal was to go to the Olympics for swimming. I was super into sport. I never would have found what I’m doing right now so what I learned from moving was to try new things. If we hadn’t moved here, I never would have known that this is what I truly love to do. Acting is definitely something that I would like to do, especially when I get older. It’s all connected with the stuff I do now and I’m taking a bunch of acting classes.

Taylor Magazine: What’s your favourite thing about your career?

Alli Simpson: It’s just finding the confidence. I’ve never been the most confident person. At school I didn’t have hundreds of friends and I was always the person that kept to myself and held back. Then I met all these amazing people doing amazing things and throwing themselves out there and for me the biggest thing I’ve learned is not to care what people think. My favourite part is just being able to meet so many amazing and inspiring people and learn from everyone along the way.

Taylor Magazine: You were quite shy when it came to performing when you were younger. What advice would you give to someone that feels that way?

Alli Simpson: I still get nervous, I think we all do in some parts of our lives. With the performing live thing, it was a huge fear of mine but once I had done it I absolutely loved it and I couldn’t wait to get on stage again. The biggest thing I tell people is to just give it a go and if you hate it then you don’t have to do it again but you’ll never know if you don’t try.

Taylor Magazine: What would be your ideal way to spend a day off?

Alli Simpson: My favourite thing is to be with my friends. I’m so busy all day every day that when I do get to have a day to myself, I really appreciate spending time with them. Whether it’s just going to the beach or going shopping or just sitting in my room and hanging out, that’s the biggest thing for me.

Taylor Magazine: If you’re having a day where you don’t feel great or you feel a bit stressed out, what would you do to pick yourself up?

Alli Simpson: For me a big one is being with my family, or spending time alone and listening to music or reading a book. Just doing things that take my mind off what I’m stressed about. A big one is jumping in the ocean or going to yoga with my brother.

Taylor Magazine: Tell us something random about you?

Alli Simpson: That’s a good question. The biggest thing for me would be that I honestly couldn’t care what anyone else thinks of me. I’m not afraid to just go crazy and do weird stuff and not feel judged. A lot of my friends talk to me about it and say, ‘How are you so confident?’ I’m always doing ridiculous things. A lot of people don’t know that about me. I like to let lose and have fun. 


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