Canadian singer Ali Milner (aka Willa) makes hooky, atmospheric electronic pop. Born in Toronto, Milner grew up in Whistler, British Columbia, where she began taking piano lessons at age 13.
A year later, she released a self-titled album, followed in 2009 by sophomore album I Dare You. Also during this period, she pursued an acting career, appearing on TV shows like Supernatural and When the Heart Calls. Initially influenced by jazz artists, as well as by classic pop singers including Ray Charles
, Sam Cooke
, and Dolly Parton
, Milner became increasingly interested in electronic music. Entering her twenties, she decided to take some time to rethink her creative approach to songwriting, and eventually began collaborating with Mother Mother
's Ryan Guldemond. Together, they developed a densely layered, yet still melodic electronic sound. Inspired by the new direction, Milner decided to make a clean break from her previous work and adopted the stage name Willa. In 2015, she released her debut single as Willa, "Stay the Night." A second single, "Dreamers," followed in 2016. ~ Matt Collar, Rovi