We got to sit down with TerraNobody local Seattle duo and we were astonishingly refreshed!
Ali: Growing up in a family that didn’t have a lot of money and being bi-racial, attending school in predominantly suburban white neighborhoods birthed an identity crisis that I carried around with me like a weight well into my young adult years. Because of that, I definitely always felt like the odd one out in school, even in my own friend circles. I think my existence felt foreign because I bought into the idea that I wanted to be like everyone else around me, when really I should have embraced who I was. I was never meant to fit into a basic, suburban box.
My dad loved basketball and I really wanted to make him happy, so I started playing when I was like 11 or 12. I was definitely a people pleaser when I was young. What I truly wanted to be was a singer. But in our household, singing was an unrealistic dream. Both of my parents grew up poor so they pushed my brother and I to stick to sports and go for scholarships. I can’t be mad at them for wanting more for us than they had growing up.
I was bullied in high school by my own teammates. There were these girls that were just awful to me and I went through some pretty traumatizing, formative experiences that definitely inspired early writings for songs. But, I also met Brett in high school, so it wasn’t ALL bad lol. He was honestly my one saving grace. From the moment we met there was an automatic connection. He lived an hour away and he would drive down every weekend to see me.
I ended up getting a partial scholarship to play at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco- which meant being so much further away from Brett. That was a really difficult time for us both. Drawing was something I had always loved doing so I studied illustration. But it still wasn’t the right fit. The pressure of not wanting to disappoint my parents, or anyone really, totally crushed my dream. College was an absolute rollercoaster, but after 5 years I finally graduated. After college, I decided that I was never going to let anyone decide my future for me.
Brett: I grew up in a house where both parents were teachers. They fostered a great love of education in both science and arts, reading and drawing. We moved all over the PNW as finding steady teaching jobs in the late 90’s and early 00’s was not possible. I was born in Portland, but grew up in the forests of small towns on both sides of the Columbia river. By middle school, we landed in a forgotten town laden with every shade of green imaginable and a massive river cutting through 30,000 year old volcanic rock. It was filled with hicks and farmers in the hills, blue collar workers with white picket fences to the west of the railroad tracks, cook houses and crack dens to the east. I have deep love for those mossy groves and vibrantly green untouched woods my friends and I played in, but by the end of high school, the small town became suffocating. My restless little group of artist friends and weirdos weren’t enough to counterbalance the oppressive normalcy and commonplace racism, sexism, and homophobia that, as I went through high school, I saw surrounding us.
I met Ali late in high school. She randomly came to my awful high school band’s (coffeeshop) gig in Vancouver, WA. She was a friend of our drummer’s friend and totally missed our performance (thank god) but was enthralled with us nonetheless. We all got pizza afterwards, she and I exchanged numbers, and the rest is history.
While Ali was away at college, Brett studied film and got a 2 year degree and Mt. Hood Community College. Through this he even got to work on Portlandia and The Real World: Portland. This taste of the TV industry really wasn’t what he was hoping it would be. After The Real World wrapped production, he found work at a fun company that made software plugins for Premiere and After Effects, but he only really worked for the not fun side… 9-5 customer service.
Together: After college, Ali got a 9-5 job working as a receptionist at the biggest hospital in Portland, OR and moved in with Brett, who had already been living and working in the city while she was going to school. After all the years of basketball, torment from bullies, isolation from friends and family and her parents divorcing, Ali needed to do something that was utterly and entirely decided by her. She needed to be free.
Brett had already realized he didn’t care to climb the ladder of traditional TV or Film. Then, after 2 years of demoralizing customer service work, he was absolutely ready for a massive change.
Travel was the answer. We both worked and saved for a year while living together (Brett had been saving since 2013) and in 2016, we quit our jobs to travel the world. This honestly changed the course of our lives. Since taking that leap, we’ve traveled around the world, backpacking through Europe, Morocco, and parts of America filming our journey the whole way. We returned 6 months later with little savings and even less prospects for work. Brett worked in restaurants and Ali went back to medical reception. Not long after, freelance work started coming in and we formed our business, The Miles We Share.
Brett and Ali together and individually traveled around America, constantly working for one travel client while Brett sometimes got work for the Portland Trail Blazers and a couple other Portland clients. We did this for 3 years and in 2019, had saved up enough money for another trip, this time to Asia, we traveled through Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia, but in March 2020, the pandemic was officially announced. With major airports shutting down around us and Malaysia announcing it was closing its borders, we fled home.
Get to know this dynamic duo “TerraNobody” and see them perform at High Dive 1/27/2022
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