Ali Stone
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A Few Minutes with Ali Stone and ZENOLOGY

Ali Stone's new single "Crudo," featuring ZENOLOGY, refers to a love that's pure, sincere, and gets better with time. Header Photo Courtesy of the Artist

4 mins read

Says Colombia’s Ali Stone about her latest single “Crudo,” “I wrote, produced and engineered, mixed, and mastered this song, which came to life during quarantine.”

The name has a few meanings, she explains. “The song’s title means ‘raw’ in Spanish. It basically refers to a love that’s raw, hence it’s pure, fresh, sincere, and gets better with time.”

Still, the single is anything but unrefined. In fact, the only thing raw about Stone’s musical output is her talent. This breezy slice of sunkissed electropop is yet another example of the singer/producer/songwriter’s evolving skills. The video, shot between Santa Monica and Malibu, is pure California dreaming. The fact that Stone filmed it during a pandemic detracts nothing from its laconic mood.  

Ali Stone
Photo Courtesy of the Artist
Lyrical Sustenance

“The lyrics make several analogies between love and food,” Stone reveals, “so I decided to incorporate elements related to food and the kitchen into the production of the song.”

This resulted in some non-traditional musical tools. “For example, the snare sound was made by cutting a lime on a wood board, the shakers are some chai tea pods I shook, the hi-hats are the sound of a spoon moving inside my coffee cup, and so on.”

Stone says, “It’s the most experimental song I’ve released.” Yet “Crudo” is not a total departure from Ali Stone’s back catalog. She elaborates: “It stays with the chill pop vibes and contains my signature vocal harmonies, which are present across all my songs.”

Plus, there are electronic elements including a mix of analog synths like the Prophet ‘08 and Moog Minitaur. Finally, according to Stone, one digital synth “played a very important part.”

"The song's title means 'raw' in Spanish. It basically refers to a love that's raw, hence it's pure, fresh, sincere, and gets better with time."

Pure ZENOLOGY

Roland’s ZEN-Core virtual synthesizer was a key piece of the “Crudo” production palette. “ZENOLOGY added to this song right from the main bassline synth in the first verse. It’s from the AX Collection,” she says. “On the choruses and hooks, I added more layers of ZENOLOGY with sounds like ‘Rubber Bass,’ ‘Fat Analog Bs,’ and ‘Jazz Doos.'”

It’s not the first time she’s used Roland Cloud instruments. They appear on many tracks in her discography. However, even for a virtual synth veteran like Stone, the results from ZENOLOGY were inspiring. “I got to add different complementary textures that have the same sound as analog, all from the same plug-in.”

She has thoughts about ZENOLOGY’s usefulness to other musicians as well. “For any artists looking to use ZENOLOGY in their music, I’d totally recommend it,” Stone shares. “The synths sound big and it’s all in the same plug-in.”

"I think the main point is not to interrupt the creative flow."

Having so many sounds in one instrument is helpful. “I like being able to just change the sounds from the same plug-in and go from a soft pad to a fat bass or a piano is so comfortable, practical, and time-saving.”

In the end, it all comes down to staying in the moment in the studio. “I think the main point is not to interrupt the creative flow.”

Ari Rosenschein

Ari is Global Editorial Content Manager for Roland. He lives in Seattle with his wife and dog and enjoys the woods, rain, and coffee of his region.