Recent Posts

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Through the Photographers Lens

“You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore”
- Christopher Columbus

With beauty, brains and a voice to make you breathless, Alexandra Alexis has graced stages in Europe, Asia and America and this sexy siren doesn’t have any plans to stop now. WhyBlueMatters was lucky enough to catch her in New York for a one on one conversation about her new project “May Cause Shortness of Breath” and touring in Europe.

Tell me a little of about some of the projects that are working on?

We’ll basically we’re trying to wrap up the album called” May Cause Shortness of Breath.” It is an electro pop album. It’s kind of a new genre for me, I’ve always liked pop music and I know people always say that they’ve always wanted to try something new but very honestly, I really wanted to try something new. So we set out to find producers that reflected the type of sound that I liked. We found a couple of really amazing guys, like this guy Nicholas Wright who, had done work for Jordan Sparxx and he’s done you name it in the commercial world. He’s British and has a funky little flair that is great and this KANYE WEST type sound that is really good. I also work with this guy, KENNY LLOYD, who is also great and he’s done things with Alicia keys. So the whole dance/electronic thing came together when I started working with those guys. I started working with them about eight months ago, and we are knocking out some really great songs and we are about two songs away from completing the album and we’re already releasing the first single. It’s been a really good time.

I’ve been traveling a lot and promoting the project. I was just in China for two weeks, I’ll be in Thailand for a few weeks, then I'm going to Finland and then it’s off to Helsinki. We’re trying to promote as much as possible and keep in mind that I have a strong following at home [Finland] that I want to keep strong because they are the ones that kind of pushed me to where I am now. And that’s really important to me as well.

You’ve always been heavy on the international scene, am I correct?

For sure, that’s really how I started. I did “Hair Spray” in Europe for about 2 years, and I was meeting a ton of people and that opened a lot of doors. I didn’t expect to be doing a musical but I knew a bunch of people that were already involved in the production and recommended me so the producers gave me a call and I came out and auditioned. This came at a point where I was just starting to figure out who I was as an artist and now I had this opportunity to do a musical and I was glad for the opportunity because it taught me so much. There’s so much you don’t know when you do a big musical like that. Like you’re combining dancing and singing and stage presence and so many other elements. There are no brakes and there are no cuts and you’re on stage for 2 ½ hours and you’re just on it for the whole time. So there’s training process with learning all of these dances, though I'm not a natural dancer, I had to learn. So it was this incredible college experience for me, and I learned so much that has really helped me during the musical was great and I'm really glad for the experience.

I traveled a lot and met a lot of nice people everywhere like bookers and promoters and DJs that started booking me to perform. So after doing the show I would do a quick change and run out to the club and start performing one of the singles I was working on. And I kept track of all those people, so when I moved back to New York and I was off tour those same people would call and say hey let’s keep performing and booking shows and that really help me build a presence in Europe. For example in Finland, I'm half F INISH I don’t know if you knew that, I have a strong fan base there and you can say my name and people know who I am. I’ve been on every major TV show and performed at every major venue so travel has been very important to my career.

You said you were half Finnish, what is the other half?

My dad’s from Guadalupe and my mom is from Finland so there’s a crazy mesh up of European, French, Caribbean and American. I’m literary like half white, half black and it’s so crazy to have all these nationalities. I actually have three passports, an American passport, a French passport and a Finnish passport.

What does music mean to you?

I think music is something that inspires people. I know that’s probably a cheesy answer but there are some days where I feel like total shit and there are just no words for it. I just don’t want to do anything or I just feel frustrated. You work so hard in this industry and there are no days off and there are no minutes off in your day. Even the other day when I was having a complete panic attack over my computer dying and losing years of work, I just came home and I put on this new song that I discovered by this band call “Florence and the Machine.” The song is called “The dog days are over,” and I found it that day just before the computer crashed and I came home and I put it on and started listening to it and as awful as I felt and as heart wrenching as it was, I was crying and it was terrible but in the span of like 2 minutes I was listening to the song and listening to lyrics and I was listening to the sound of it and I just felt so good suddenly. I thought WOW, things happen in life and it’s not that big a deal as long as you had your health and are happy things are OK. Everything else is just a bump in the road. But it’s funny how I spoke to all my friends and that didn’t help but I put on one song and I felt great! And it’s weird how music can do that and how it’s so incredibly tied in with emotion and how you can listen to certain songs when you travel or when you’re breaking up or with your friends when you’re hanging out. It’s kinda like I can put on a song and remember an incredible birthday that I shared with my friends and that’s what’s really great about music. Being able to bring you back to the moment.

That was definitely the musical universe aligning itself for you that on that day because there’s no way you should have found a song like that right before your computer died. There’s just no other reason for you to have found that song right before your laptop went belly up like that.

Absolutely! I am a huge believer in the universe. I believe that things aren’t random and everything you put out there you get back. That’s kinda one of those things that I would do, go back to at the end of the day and try to go into my head and try to understand why things happen for you and why things don’t happen for you. It’s also, constantly being aware of where you are in life, space and in time. Its funny how many artists don’t understand that. They think what am I doing wrong, I'm a great singer, great dancer and so talented but nobody’s helping me. And a lot of times they don’t realize that it’s all about them and that the only person stopping them is them. And until you understand that you really can’t move forward.

Over the years, you know everyone has their preconceptions of what it’s going to be like to be an artist in the arts and entertainment industry. Right up until you answer that question, how has being an artist change for you over the years? From your earliest preconceptions until today?

You grow throughout the years, and it’s all a learning process. Every year that you grow you try different things and I think when you’re starting out, for instance when I started out doing “Hair Spray” when I was 19 going on 20, and I'm 23 now, and I think about the ideas that I had for my music and my album and it’s not to say oh my God what was I thinking, because I always found great producers and great writers to work with. I don’t think I really made any bad demos, nor did I do anything that I didn’t want to do or anything that wasn’t marketable or professional enough because I'm kind of a perfectionist. But I think your style changes because you’re growing and are learning constantly new things about yourself. So that does affect your sound. But for me now I feel I have reached a point where I know what I want and I know where I'm going and I'm still growing and learning things and of course my style will probably change over the years. The more you do music the more you discover through the music because music changes and are so many things that you can do with it with new styles and whatnot. I think right now I'm at that place where I had to go through all these motions and get to now. Because now I think I'm where Alexandra should be now and this is a style that it should be. And every time I perform I'm completely ecstatic to be performing the songs I’m singing.

Who or what inspires you?

I'm so inspired by so many things. I think traveling and meeting people mostly. Most recently I was in China and staying at a guest house. A friend of mine who travels even more than I do said you have to try the whole guest house experience. It’s the authentic Chinese experience. They have them all over Asia basically, and the idea is these Asian families that have these estates have guest houses or rooms that they rent out for like $5.00 a day. And it’s a cool place for travelers to meet other travelers and to share their experiences. I went to this place that she recommended and I couldn’t believe it was only $5.00 a night. And all I could think was this place is going to be nuts and you know I never had that much fun in my life. Staying at the guest house and being picked up by these motorcycle taxis to go to these grand events in heels and dresses and just living this incredibly authentic Chinese way for once which I’ve never done. It was something that really woke me up, because I’d work so much and I rarely ever get to travel for me and I always have to travel for work and for shows and for business which I love. But it kind of brought me to this place where I thought oh my God I need to travel more from me and to see more things. And I get to travel and experience different cultures and meeting these incredible people and learning things, it’s so inspirational and it makes you want to know more about life. I'm writing music and writing lyrics and thinking about all these experiences that I have and the emotions that they cause. That’s what inspires me the most.

I know you said you write your own compositions but who else helps write your compositions or helps you produce your music?

Will I have producers that basically make all the beats like Nicholas Wright and Kenny Lloyd who are just incredible. And they make these great beats for all sorts of people and I'm glad to work with them and I have two other guys that help write the songs. Sometimes we’ll have a major session with like three or four people in a room and just break the songs down because a lot of times someone will have just a really great idea and we’ll be like OK well how do we make this more amazing? And with the songs that we don’t use will send them to the labels for other artists. So songwriting is definitely something I'm interested in. A single that I started with and it was a single that I really liked but we weren’t sure if it was really right for the album and we actually sold it to a big German artist whose album is coming out in June. So we thought you know what she really wanted it, it was really relevant for her so let’s let that one go and we’ll do something different. It’s constantly this process of making songs and seeing what sticks. And sometimes will make something that’s absolutely incredible but just not for me.

What’s next for Alexandra?

Next is an incredible push in every direction. I'm always thinking OK what can I do next. It’s like if I'm not traveling for shows, then I wake up and what do I want to do and who should I be connecting with. It’s kind of like making connections with people and befriending all my favorite DJs so they’ll play my material and booking new shows and promoting the singles and album. I constantly have to think about two markets. I wanna stay in the states and realistically here in New York but I also live in Finland and Scandinavia and I'm also thinking about Asia because those are all open doors for me as well. And it becomes a juggling system of what’ll I do now? I'm going to Finland, Berlin and Stockholm in the next two days, and then in November I’m going to Japan for Japan music week where I’m performing performing. So then automatically you think well since I'm going to be in Asia, where else can I go? Every day is scheduling and planning and walking things in and that’s what I do. Even the last time I was lucky enough to be in Helsinki I ran into “Jus Blaze” and I know him from here from events and stuff. We actually ended up becoming friends because he was there by himself and I was there by myself so we thought, let’s just hang out. So I have these fun experiences when I travel but like I said it’s constantly work and the clock never stops but I really love it. So honestly there is no concrete next step so much as there are several steps in several different directions of promotion and meeting people and all that.

The grind!

Yeah the grind!

Last question and this is the big one. Do you have a web site where our readers can find out more about you, see your calendar, listen to and download your music?

Yes! It's

· iTunes

· MySpace

· Facebook

· YouTube

Alexandra, thank you for your time and for being another reason WhyBlueMatters!!!

Thank you and God bless.


Post a Comment