Interview With Alexandra

alexandra

From Australia comes the musically devoted sound of Alexandra. This is a musician that lives and breathes music, and her passion can be seen, or rather heard, in her hot new single Criminal. The definition of woman power should be in the courage to create music and art in any form, with both a raw honesty and unfiltered passion; both of which Alexandra harnesses in spades.

Your current single Criminal is quite an epic journey. How long did this song take to create?
There are four different versions of the song which actually started out as two separate songs, so it went through many evolutions over a few years but I think it definitely needed that time to completely mature. I wrote the initial demo when I was 17 which was three years ago now. Back then the song told a slightly different story and overall had a lighter, more optimistic tone to it. The basics have stayed the same, but its interesting to hear what it’s morphed into over time. In terms of the current production, once producer Keith Olsen became involved, it took a few months to get the various elements together because they were coming from all over the world from various musicians. However, that’s what made Criminal the epic song it is now, so good things definitely come to those who wait!

What does your song writing process look like?
Chaotic! It’s hard to explain because it confuses me. I definitely don’t understand how my brain works. I rarely write anything down till I’ve actually completed the song because it all just happens in my mind and I have to record it before I forget how I’m hearing it. Often the lyrics will come with a melody and I just build around it. Sometimes I hold on to lyrical ideas for quite a long time before I have the clarity to construct the rest, but if a song is any good it isn’t hard to write because it will just happen. The spontaneity of my writing process is what makes it exciting for me and I think it helps keep my writing unique. However, I also like a certain amount of pressure as it often leads to creative impulses that develop amazing ideas which wouldn’t manifest if you had too much time to think about them. I do put pressure on myself to keep creating, but I try not to overthink the writing process because it can really kill an idea.

Where do you gather inspiration from?
I hate when I hear people say this because so many people do, but it’s true – inspiration is everywhere – in the physical space or people around you, in your life experiences and inner thoughts. In every sound and visual. You just have to be in a state of mind and have the imagination to be able to see it, receive it and take that almost ethereal experience out of thin air and translate it into something real, like a song. Something will just trigger the inspiration to come to me and it takes me along for a ride. Often it’s not till after I write the song that I realize how much it relates to me or something that’s been playing on my subconscious that I need to express, because sometimes I feel like it’s not even me writing the song. I don’t know where it comes from or how it works, which is maybe a good thing.

How long have you been playing music?
Music is how I express myself so it’s always been there. There are tapes of me when I was 4 years old singing my heart out for my mum and stuff. I’ve had music lessons since I started school and there are plenty of my first song writing attempts I did growing up that my mum has kept to laugh at, but I didn’t take it seriously until I was about 13 and received a guitar for my birthday. It’s the one thing that is consistently there for me and if I couldn’t play music I would not be able to function, as my brain is constantly just thinking about music 24/7.

A lot of great musicians have come out of Australia, and there is no denying the rock-attitude that permeates many of them. What is it about Australia that brings the kick-ass rocker out in so many of you?
Australians like to make as much noise as possible, so when given the chance to sing and shout at the top of our lungs surrounded by the heavenly chaos of the guitars and drums, we relish in that and I guess some of us like it so much we try and make a career out of it. It must be something in the air in Australia that makes us all a little wild!

You have a video for Criminal. How long did it take to make, and do you have any interesting stories to tell about the filming?
It took a few weeks from filming through to the editing to be completed. I guess you could say it was unconventional in the way it was made, as all of the footage that is not of me I actually filmed myself. I’ve always filmed random things around me that I find interesting or that I find visually appealing and stimulating, so I happened to already have some footage that fitted the concept of the video. I also filmed some more footage actually in and around the same areas that I heard the gun shot that inspired the song and edited it together with the footage taken of me. There’s a subtle story, but it’s kind of meant to look like an old damaged piece of buried footage or ‘evidence’ that someone has found that tells the story depicted in the song. It’s a little quirky, but I’ve always liked things that are a little quirky.

At this point in your musical career, what are some of your biggest highlights?
Being able to work with producer Keith Olsen is definitely a highlight that stands out for me. His catalogue of work is insane and to be able to have his expertise is definitely something special that not many new artists get to experience. He’s really one of the first people to see something in my music and has really helped my sound develop in a pretty short space of time, so I will forever be grateful to him for that.

Do you have any advice for a new artist looking to make their own music video?
I’d say don’t just think of it as a video, think of it as adding another dimension to the song. Visuals can be so powerful and it can really reinforce the emotion or concept of a song, and it can also be a lot of fun. I’d also say don’t worry about having a really expensive looking video or anything, just don’t make it boring because no-one remembers boring but everyone remembers the unusual videos that wake them up and make them think ‘What the hell was that!’

It was great to have a sample of the album to come. When can we expect the album release?
It’s definitely a work in progress. I have many songs that I’m working on at the moment and can’t wait to get an album together as soon as I can.

If given the chance, who would you like the opportunity to collaborate with on a future project?
In a fantasy world I would have to say Jack White. I especially listened to The White Stripes growing up. I just love his whole way of making music and how dedicated he is to music as an art form. He is a true guitar player and artist and he’s always made me want to work harder and inspired me to think a lot about music in general and the type of music I want to create. His music is diverse and the sounds he creates are what I love to listen to. I admire that he takes risks and doesn’t seem to have any rules when creating, which seems really alluring and exciting to me – so I would have to go with him.

Lastly, thank you for your time. Do you have any other news that you would like to share with your fans?
Not so much news as a thank you for watching the video and commenting on how much they enjoy the sound of the song, because it’s probably quite different from what they usually listen to. I would say to them to stay tuned for more music soon because it is coming, and if they liked criminal – well, they will love the new stuff!

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