- Michelle Khachatryan
Unraveling Her Life, Allison Ponthier: The Reign of Visuals and Honest Songwriting
Allison Ponthier begins by deep diving into what made her who she is today. From “Bible-Belt” Texas to the immense city of Brooklyn, she took her experiences with her on this journey of self-discovery, yearning for an environment that's more inclusive and safe for LGBTQ members. Well, Ponthier chose the right spot, as New York City had a lot to offer as it affected her life positively, being surrounded by queer people and changing the label on what she calls home. Ponthier describes her first moments becoming encapsulated by power in her social media managing job at the Natural History Museum of New York. She found comfort in creating further promotions for the exhibitions on Snapchat and Instagram and wanting a workspace that resembles calmness in a city so robust and distracting. Ponthier describes how her ADHD has affected how she makes music and rebrands it as a superpower; she simply would not change anything about herself because these aspects make her art and that ADHD has helped her find that art she connects with herself. “The best songs come from true feelings and the energy behind going through something,” as she explains how she calculated her EP. As someone who dives head first into writing music with no limits or a set idea on how to end, the ever-flowing talent that goes into making her music allows room for depth. This ride into a happier self is expressed through her queer identity and cherishing her southern and country roots.
Reminiscing on her childhood and how she viewed herself at a young age, she would time travel back to her younger self, just to tell her that life will throw many unique opportunities in your way. She explains “that this life is not the bubble you are stuck in,” as her view of the world becomes heavily impacted by the prejudices and closed-mindedness of her hometown. This version of herself transformed into the influential and magnificent person she is today, connecting many with the eloquent music she makes that can cater to any audience. This becomes evident within her songwriting, as she mentions that taking risks and creating art through feelings that are hard to convey brought growth to her life. Representing love and loss have become essential elements within her 2022 EP, Shaking Hands with Elvis, and how these contrasting beautiful elements bring resemblance into her life experiences and journeys.
From album cover art to the coloring process in her music videos, Ponthier emphasizes what “camp” means to her and how she portrays elements that are theatrical, colorful, exaggerated elements, and most importantly what it means to transcend her music into various forms of herself through visuals—it simply becomes refreshing to hear and watch as an audience. Like love and loss, afterlife elements such as death become prominent aspects within her music after the passing of a close friend. She mentions how she can feel connected with artists who have passed away with the concurrent examples of Elvis Presley. This man embodies camp elements within her music video for “Hollywood Forever Cemetery” and especially with female artists like Marilyn Monroe, who have both been objectified and exploited for their art, the process of not separating celebrity from a person. We also see elements of herself in the delicate and intricate creations and her expression of incorporating details within her songwriting. Ponthier describes herself as “very into visuals, and storytelling with my music,” as music videos should be outlets for artists' self-expression. Yet, this artist implements those hometown southern elements within her music videos, becoming what becomes considered never been done before. And with her adoration of making “mini-movies” as a pathway to music video creation, she expresses how regardless of the background information, details can also provide emotion for specific situations that have impacted her life experiences. In her lens, life imitates her music, and being the most authentic version of yourself is when imagination turns into musical reality.
Listen to their latest music: Shaking Hands With Elvis