Moleskine Presents: Allison Ponthier
Moleskine Presents:

Allison Ponthier

Presenting Allison Ponthier, a Dallas born-Brooklyn based singer and songwriter that uses her own identity and experiences as subject matter for her music.

Growing up, Allison found comfort and an outlet of self-expression in the arts. Whether it was through songwriting, painting, or sculpting, Allison was always creating. Inspired by movie musicals and B-Side films, her love for campy visuals runs deep within her identity and art.

On her journey of writing her debut EP, “Faking My Own Death,” she drew from her life and her own experiences as inspiration. Her notebooks have been a container for her identity and creation process along the way.

“Moleskine Presents” is a series created in partnership with Interscope Records. Once a month, we will bring you a musician’s personal story, closely looking at their songwriting, personality, and ideation process.

1. What does being a musician mean to you, and how has this profession helped you develop into the person you are today?

Allison: Being a musical artist is the best job in the world for me, because I get to use all of the little skills and creative interests I accumulated growing up. Being a musician means connecting with people through music, but being an artist has helped me connect with them in so many additional ways as well. This job kind of forces you to look at yourself and talk to yourself as you would with a friend, and I'm grateful for that. It's taught me that I can do so much more and push myself out of my comfort zone. If there's one thing that has helped my self-esteem as someone who really struggled with it, it's doing this project.

2. What are the messages you weave into your work, and what impact would you like your music to generate?

Allison: A lot of the messages I weave into my work were for myself, but ended up being applicable to a lot of my fans. My songs on "Faking My Own Death" have a few things such as self-esteem, mental health, running from your hometown, and coming out. Mental health and my relationship with myself has always been my biggest hurdle to climb, so it just felt natural to write about it. I don't think I really realized other people would hear these songs until it was too late, probably for the best, haha.

3. How are notebooks beneficial to developing your ideas? How does that effect your creative process?

Allison: Not to brag, but I've always had a moleskine on me since I was around 15 or 16. That's ten years. I think writing things down helps me slow down a lot. I have a tendency to move really quickly and forget what I was thinking while I'm thinking it. A journal is multi-use, so for someone like me it's perfect. I can write, draw, compose, or just jot down to-dos if I need to. And for me, it's much easier to remember. My creative process always starts on paper first, especially with songs. I don't know why, but it feels right to me.

4. Why is writing by hand such an important part of your songwriting process?

Allison: I kind of answered this before, but it really helps me slow down. Also, I'm horrible with technology. I'm always afraid I'll lose record of my work on my phone, so having it in a book kind of technology-proofs it. I've lost recordings and songs before to phones breaking, but I have my songs from 6 years ago in my moleskine collection.

5. What would you say to encourage those of us who are struggling to find their inner voice?

Allison: Anything that is difficult takes practice. If you're struggling to find your inner voice, you can't force it. A big part of my journey to being an artist was just giving myself permission to like things or express myself in a different way than I saw others do it. I regularly talk to myself and I don't put a cap on daydreaming. I think it's important to move through the world holding your own hand, and giving yourself time.

6. Is there a mantra, a phrase, or thought you carry with you at all times?

Allison: I don't have one specific mantra, but I'm constantly telling myself to accept the things I cannot change. I used to be really jealous or self conscious about how I stacked up to other artists or people in general, and focusing on my own work and surrounding myself with people that care about me has helped me so much. It's easier said than done, but it's just something that you learn over time and have to practice.

Allison Ponthier
Allison Ponthier