Ali Spagnola’s recording career started while she was studying visual art at Carnegie Mellon University. She wrote a song to accompany her first 3D animation short, “Robots For Everyone”.
The song caught the attention of the Senior VP of Mobile at Google and he included it as a default ringtone on Android devices. “Robots for Everyone”, along with 10 more tracks became Ali’s Self Titled Album.
While in college, Ali started playing unconventional live shows known as “drinking game concerts”. She created a performance where people could play a drinking game with her music. It was based on a “Power Hour” where the players take a shot of beer every minute for one hour. Ali wrote 60 one-minute party songs and performed them live. The audience would play along by drinking a shot of beer every time she started a new song.
While performing her Power Hour Concerts, Ali also started writing dance music and choreographed a number to her song titled “Programmatic”.
That song became one of the tracks on Ali’s next album when 5LMNT LLC heard it and hired Ali to create songs for the Free of Style Dance Convention 2007 in Pittsburgh. The result was the album titled Free of Style. The second track from Free of Style, “Radiation”, was also acquired by Android to be included as a default ringtone on their devices.
For her fourth album, The Ego, Ali took the catchy pop melodies from her self titled album and mixed them with the hip hop/dance sound from Free of Style. The result was a 6-Track EP of “smart dance music that embraces fun” [Pittsburgh City Paper]. The third track from the album, “What’s Your Name”, was included with the featured songs in the initial download of Google’s Music software. Just as Ali was finishing work on The Ego, she was served with a cease and desist order from Power Hour LLC. They claimed to own the trademark of the term “Power Hour” and wanted Ali to take down her Power Hour website and stop performing her drinking game concerts. Ali started a company called Binge Responsibly, LLC and began a legal battle with Power Hour LLC in attempt to gain free use of the term “Power Hour” for everyone. After 3 years of fighting, the court ruled in Ali’s favor! Power Hour is free! You can read more about the story here.
Because Ali was spending so much time, energy and money on freeing “Power Hour,” she decided to capitalize on the term and her newly formed company. She spent almost two years recording her 60 one-minute party songs to create The Power Hour Album.
During the album development, Ali also invented, patented and manufactured a new music/media product known as the “Shot Glass USB”. It’s a reusable USB drive that’s also a shot glass. It comes on a removable lanyard so Power Hour players can wear it during the game. In September 2011, The Power Hour Album was released, loaded on the new Shot Glass USB. When Ali isn’t working on her personal music, she’s at a Pittsburgh game studio writing music for their video games and animations.
You can find a more extensive biography of Ali Spagnola’s music and visual work here.