Ali Slaight going for gold

Toronto singer-songwriter Ali Slaight, who is set to return to the Berklee College of Music later...

Toronto singer-songwriter Ali Slaight, who is set to return to the Berklee College of Music later this month to complete her degree, is anxiously awaiting reaction to her new six-song EP, Trace The Stars.

-- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 12:13 AM ET

As the Summer Olympics in Beijing were coming to a close, Toronto singer Ali Slaight and her family enjoyed its vacation in the balmy Bahamas.

In fact, one night Slaight was watching the Canadian highlights on a television from a bar called The Rock House, but she couldn't hear the sound.

She certainly would've gotten a surprise had she heard what the accompanying music was: Her own tune, The Story of Your Life, from her EP, Trace The Stars.

"I was just sitting there saying, 'Oh look at all the cool Canadian moments,' " Slaight says, fresh from her third-year finals at Boston's Berklee College of Music. "And there were so many people there but I had no idea that my song was on television because it was on mute. I thought it was kind of funny then I actually realized that we had watched it."

The daughter of media mogul Gary Slaight (of Standard Broadcasting Inc. fame) spent most of past summer working on the six-song effort while getting some help from musicians Simon Wilcox and Tomi Swick.

Slaight, 20, says the experience of writing songs was something new to her.

"It wasn't so much of a challenge as it was a new experience that I wasn't really used to," she says. "But as soon as the ideas started flowing, they helped me with different aspects of songwriting and it got easier and easier."

Slaight, who took a keen interest in music around the age of 14, says Family of Friends is her favourite tune, one about her friends back at the prestigious Boston institute.

Meanwhile, other light pop numbers, such as the title track and Apple of My Eye, bring to mind the likes of British pop darlings Kate Nash and Lily Allen. And The Story of Your Life could be mistaken for something from Amanda Marshall's catalogue.

But the singer says that while her father certainly has some clout in media circles, Slaight says she wouldn't have an EP if she didn't have the pipes or musical chops to back it up.

"If I didn't write songs like this and didn't really know what I was doing, then I don't think it would've happened at all because I would have had to at least have some experience in the music industry," she says. "What I've learned at Berklee over the past three years has taught me how to work my way through the industry a little bit better.

'Pretty harsh'

"I know what makes a good idea and a bad idea in the music industry. It's pretty harsh but knowing certain things has helped me stay on top as well as the support of my father."

As for her schooling, Slaight won't return to class until late January and has one more year left on her degree. She says the experience has been challenging but definitely worthwhile.

"I don't just sing, I have to take conducting classes, harmony classes, ear training classes, music theory -- everything that has anything to do with music," she says. "That's a really, really cool part of it. And the people are incredible and I've made some amazing friends."

As it stands now, Slaight is waiting to see what the reaction is to this current EP before committing to the next step.

"I just want to see where this goes right now," she says. "I haven't been in Toronto for a while so I'm just excited to see how people will react to it and if they like it or not. Right now I just want to focus on finishing school."


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