Alexandra is an amazingly talented Pop/Rock singer-songwriter from NSW Australia who is carving her path in the music industry on her own terms. She just released a very DOPE single and video entitled 'Criminal', for which we enjoyed so much, that we named it our "Song of the Week" seven days ago. We connected with the songstress to find out how she initially became interested in music and songwriting. We also inquired about which Australian artists influenced her as well as how she and producer Keith Olsen came together to take her 'Criminal' demo to the next level and much more. After reading our exclusive interview with Alexandra, be sure to stream/download 'Criminal' here -- iTunes Spotify Amazon
How did you first become interested in music, songwriting specifically?
I often find it hard to concentrate or remain interested in anything for very long, but I've never had that problem with music. Music is the one thing that just clicked with me. When I was little I was quite shy, so I was always in my own little world of music that not many knew about. I just understood it and it sparked something in me that I've never had with anything else, so the interest or borderline obsession stayed. Like most of us it was the music my parents, sisters and brother listened to that first began to intrigue me. I loved singing along to what they would play on long car trips or just around the house, and when just listening to other artists didn't satisfy me anymore, I naturally progressed to wanting to create my own songs. I remember thinking 'I can do that, I need to do that', so I gave it a go. I started learning to play guitar (that I'm still only fairly basic at playing ) but it was with writing melodies and lyrics at which I kept getting better, so I started recording them.
Australia has a great history of creating very influential musicians over the years; who are some Australian artists who have influenced you?
AC/DC and INXS are a couple of Australian bands that instantly come to mind. When I think of hearing them when I was younger I remember my mum saying 'These guys are from Australia you know.'. I remember realizing then that maybe singing and writing songs as a career wasn't completely out of the realm of possibility for someone like me. More recently it would be Australian artists like Sia that influence me. I still remember listening to Sia when she was just starting out in Australia and its amazing to hear her music now. Not only do I admire their music and how they cannot be challenged with the originality of their sound and presence, but I also find them inspiring as an example of how an Australian artist or band can achieve international success and can really get to a high quality of music that is still remembered and listened to with admiration today, and I find that inspiring in itself.
How did you connect with Keith Olsen and what did he bring to your 'Criminal' demo that wasn't present before?
Keith Olsen was one of the first producers to really hear something in my music and he understood what I was trying to do. He heard Criminal online and knew straight away that he could really polish the song and make it shine. He breathed life into it, he modernized it and made it something that people can't quite put their finger on as they haven't heard anything like it before, which is extremely hard to do these days and still have people love it. What I love most is that he didn't try to completely change it. A few producers previously didn't want to use any guitars and wanted to make it pure pop and more hip/hop, which would have made the sound really generic, boring and forgettable, words that you could never use to describe the song now!
What are some of your goals musically for the remainder of 2016?
I would love to release more music for everyone who is eager to hear more, as I am just as eager to release more songs for them as they are to hear them. Its amazing to hear that there are people who want more music from me! I'm always writing songs, some of which are getting into the next stages of production now. Sometimes though it takes time to get them where you want them to be, and I'm still just getting my feet off the ground - so hang in there as they will be worth the wait, just like Criminal was, and they will be coming so please keep an eye out!
Do you have any artists or producers with whom you'd love to work with?
James Bay is a great guitar player and he has a lot of strength behind his voice. He has a blues, old soul, rock and roll vibe that I have always loved, so I think he would be really fun to work with. Also Lana Del Rey is just someone special, not just her music but her videos and the visuals she uses. Someone like her is rare in popular music today, and working with her is an ultimate fantasy of mine as she is an example to me of how you can deviate from the norm and still be a popular artist. She is a genius at finding that line between the two so yes, I'd love to work with her.
How would you describe your music to a stranger who has never heard you before?
It doesn't mess around. It's loud, aggressive and it will absorb you. Raw with substance, it will leave you satisfied but fascinated and wanting more as it's unlike anything you've heard before. It's a cohesive blend of every shade of music from pop to punk rock, making it indefinable. You won't understand it until you listen to it and you should!