Ali Sarijlou is the mastermind behind Heart Pharmacy. By his definition the name means, “medicine for one's musical fever”. He describes the sound and genre as acoustic / indie / pop and Sarijlou is not only the vocalist of Heart Pharmacy, but also the bassist, guitar player, percussionist, and sampler / producer! You can check out Heart Pharmacy’s second full-length album coming out in digital stores on May 29, 2012! And if you play Rock Band, you can find Heart Pharmacy’s song, “California” on the video game. When people ask Sarijlou if he’s trying to make it big, he tells them, “I’ve already made it. You just haven’t heard about me yet”.
What has been going on since the last time we caught up with Heart Pharmacy?
Well, the last time I caught up with mindyourmind was in 2008 around the time I released my debut album “Natural Selection”. Since then I’ve pretty much been hard at work touring and promoting that album, as well as writing and recording my second full-length due out May 29th 2012. I also moved from Utah to San Diego California in 2009 so I’ve been trying to build my foundation out here. Not to mention a lot of studying music production and Pro tools.
You recently had one of your songs put on Rock Band, how did that feel? Does exposure like that feel validating for someone trying to make it?
It does feel nice, and yes, validating is a pretty accurate word I would have to say. The best part about it however, would have to be, knowing that I wrote, recorded, engineered and mixed the whole song by myself in my 10x10ft room. But then again, I couldn't have done it without all the musical people who have been an influence on me while growing up in Utah. They know who they are. To completely answer your question though, lots of people ask me that question, “so are you trying to make it?” or “when are you going to make it big”. My answer always is, “I’ve already made it. You just haven’t heard about me yet”.
How do you feel you’ve evolved as an artist since the first time you picked up a guitar?
Well, going into the studio recently to track guitar for this new album, I’ve really noticed how sharp and tight my guitar playing has become, seeing as that I nailed first take on almost all the songs. Other than guitar, my vocals have become strong as well but I’m always trying to work on vocals, that’s the hardest part in my opinion. Other than that, my music production IQ has skyrocketed just from studying and practicing everyday.
Your new album Drive is coming out in the not too distant future, how would you describe it to fans who have heard of your music, as well as people just hearing about you for the first time?
If I were to put the album into a genre, it would probably be acoustic/indie/pop. This album will have a similar foundation from that of my debut but will have a bit more edge. I have been experimenting with a lot of different instruments this time around, so I think you’ll like the new sounds. The new album is scheduled for release on May 29th 2012.
What is a song (whether it be your own or someone else’s) that you would recommend to someone who is going through a tough time and why?
I would have to say the song “Ten” by Jimmy Eat World. Not only does the sound of the song as a whole just put you in a good place mentally but the lyrics are fantastic as well. Just that whole album “Clarity”, is such an inspiring and awesome album. I highly recommend it.
Where is a place that you truly feel comfortable, stress-free, and at home? What is your “happy place”?
Great Question. My happy place would simply have to be my room. In my room I have all my studio gear, instruments, bed of course, couch and bathroom. Most importantly I have decorated it with things that inspire me. This makes it so that I crave coming home to my room everyday and automatically get inspired to work, while staying focused on my music goals, keeps my life organized. I think this is really important for anyone to have. The room thing at least.
Best piece of advice anyone’s ever given you?
I remember reading a Michael Jordan quote one day that stuck with me, it read: “Respect is earned when no one’s looking”. Which to me translates to, don’t think just because people aren’t verbally acknowledging your ethics and hard work that no one is noticing your ethics and hard work. It doesn’t even matter if they are or not. The only person who needs to know is you.
How would you define success?
Happiness. When you can wake up everyday and go to work doing what you love, making a living doing something that you would be doing everyday regardless. Being synced with your heart and mind.