What is your name?
What is your genre of music?
Give us a little bio about you.
I am a California-born and raised singer, songwriter and creative. Although not from a musical background, I have been involved in music and art my whole life. I write and sing for both myself and other artists and have deep rooted influences from a wide range of genres and artists as well as the culture of growing up in the bay area. I was raised around the old 60s rock star era heads and bay area hyphy movement hip hop icons. I grew up on a mountain surrounded by trees and have a profound appreciation for nature. After moving to LA after high school, I began to learn how the music industry maneuverered. Experiencing life inside writing sessions, recording studios and meetings, I tried to absorb as much as I could. I learned what seemed to work and what didn’t and began my own trial and error. I began developing my artistry, song writing, and home studio, and in 2017, my partner and I founded our independent record label, AF Records and have been creating and releasing music ever since.
What made you get into music?
I think the driving factor of me going into music was the fact that I was such a music fan. And what was behind the music fascinated me. I wanted to be able to create what my favourite artists had created and I thought if they could do it so can I. I think music connected with me most out of anything I ever attempted. I can’t explain how hard I related to other creatives. I’ve always wanted to do music, for me I never even thought about doing anything else. What made me legitimately believe I was capable of success, therefore creating my tunnel vision, was a contest I took part in that I ended up winning. I got to record at a nice recording studio in San Francisco and from there on I had no doubts it was what I wanted to do.
Are you signed?
I release under my own record label and publishing company, so technically I am signed to myself.
You have your latest single out now ‘Good’, tell us more about it.
“Good” is a special song to me. I wrote it with NEZZA and Paul Sikoral in our apartment home studio in LA. NEZZA and I chatted and she told me about a period of growth she was experiencing. Her ex had written a song about her. Surprisingly, it made her realize she was over him and was shocked that she had actually, genuinely moved on. I related heavily to this. There have been a few relationships in my life that have ended, whether with old significant others or once close friends, and although sometimes it took a while, I am on good terms with them. I definitely am not in any of their lives but have no issues with any of them and genuinely wish them the best. It can be hard not to harbor negative feelings sometimes. Especially if the way a relationship ended was painful or messy because of something they or you did that wasn’t great, it can be hard to wish someone well or not be affected by it. I feel it’s best to acknowledge where it went wrong and use it as a lesson, that we are all human and move on. This song is an acknowledgment and a hope that the other person knows you guys are cool on your end. NEZZA bringing this therapeutic topic up made me think more about things I have and haven’t moved on from and why that was. I think it’s a really important conversation to have with yourself about wishing well on people. Talking it through and turning it into a song was smooth and easy, we wrote it in about an hour.
You are set to release your new Album ‘Feel Better,’ tell us more about the album.
This album represents the transformation I went through. The appreciation of an old chapter that I left behind to welcome in a new mood and version of Alix. I feel as if I not only found my sound over the course creating this project, but I got to step back and relax and realize the creative I wanted to be. I wanted songs to represent some of my personality and styles of songs I love to write. I wanted sounds that represent the various genres that have influenced me and my sound. When representing who I am, I needed to bring to life the feeling of California with colourful instruments, unique lyrics and melodies and groovy basslines. I wanted to show the different sides of me as a songwriter and vocalist. With songs like “Easy Living,” “Dreams,” and “Golden,” I wanted to capture my feeling of home from Northern to Southern California. I wanted to convey this in the stylings of my neo-soul/pop, singer/songwriter influences. Incorporating feel good, warm guitars and honest lyrics. With “Satisfied,” “Can’t Get Enough” and “Spoiled,” I really wanted to bring to life my R&B/Soul obsession with seductive melodies, hypnotizing beats and lyrics that make you go back and listen twice. “Young” and “Let’s Leave” touch on my strong alternative influences. “Lucky” is one of my favourite’s, the stripped track showcases a singer/songwriter feel and captures the theme of my transformation perfectly. The acknowledgment of something or someone teaching you to love yourself in ways you haven’t before and therefore causing you to love others in ways you haven’t before either. Each song’s lyrics give the listener little hints into my personality and my stories. This is the start to a new, confident and comfortable version of me. And I’m just getting started. This album introduces this new me. In a good space, feeling better. Appreciating and reminiscing on the past as I turn towards the future. Hopefully people can relate to my stories and feel as if they can bask in their own memories, helping start a healing process and a new chapter for everyone, choosing a more kind and appreciative lifestyle while acknowledging what it means to be human.
What is the meaning behind the Album?
This album is about getting unsaid feelings off your chest so you can move on and feel better. About coming to terms with things that have happened and letting yourself deal with them so you can move on. It represents both sides of youth. Being ambitious, playful and carefree while on the other hand living with the challenges of navigating career, mental health, self doubt, external forces and life itself. It was therapeutic for me and I hope it can be the same for others.
Describe each track in two words.
Easy Living: California / Sunshine
Ice Cold: Bouncy / Playful
Satisfied: Mesmerizing / Infatuation
Good: Heartfelt / Acceptance
Young: Lost / Discouraged
Dreams: Perfection / Warmth
Can’t Get Enough: 2000s / Flirty
Let’s Leave: Sarcastic / Relatable
Spoiled: Teasing / Irresistible
Lucky: Cutesy / Appreciation
Golden: Honest / Hopeful
What was the writing process like?
The writing process was smooth in the sense that I had just about the most creative freedom I could possibly have had. Since our studio is in our living room and I live with my producer, we would get up, have coffee and get to work. We could bounce some ideas off each other, Paul would play guitar or start a beat and I would start writing. Each song took about 1 to 3 hours to write and about 1 hour to record vocals. Followed by months of editing, mixing and mastering. Since it was mainly just the two of us we were able to move without boundaries. While that was amazing, it was also a big challenge, there were a lot of internal battles when your biggest critic is yourself. The writing process was also interesting because it caught me over a huge life changing period. Some of the songs were written when I lived in LA where I was not in a very good mental space. I was frustrated feeling like I was kind of stuck in a loop. I started to question what really made me happy and gave me inspiration and how my goals had evolved. I realized I wasn’t happy where I was, doing what I was doing and it was starting to affect my mental health and my work. Songs like “Young,” “Golden,” “Let’s Leave,” and “Dreams” were written about and during that time. We then decided to move to the east coast to a place with no neighbors for a change. I felt like so much weight was lifted off my shoulders. I began to relax and focus. It was nice to get back to the roots of creativity without the overload of entertainment culture. I like my space and my creativity came back in a new, more peaceful mood. The majority of the album was recorded at our home studios in LA and New Jersey but I recorded a few songs on the go while I was visiting LA at our artist 1323’s place and my parents house in the Bay Area in November of 2019. The only song recorded in a non-home studio was “Young.” We recorded it at the music school where Paul learned to play guitar. It was really nice recording every song in such casual settings.
What was the recording process like?
The recording process was super easy. The songs took about a day each to write, record and edit. I think I recorded just about every one in my pajamas. The biggest struggle I had was recording multiple versions of songs because I was always wanting to make changes and improvements. At one point we had to cut me off from re-recording and honestly now I have no idea which versions would have been best.
Who did you work with on the single?
For “Good,” the first single, I worked with my partner and producer Paul Sikoral as well as YouTuber and rising star, NEZZA. For the music video we worked with my director Lindsay Sunada, Cinematographer Griffin Voth and a small independent video crew.
Will we see a music video for any of the tracks?
We released a music video for Track 4 “Good” you can watch it here:
I have a video coming out for Track 9, “Spoiled” feat. Rozee. I directed, filmed and edited this video in my room back in January. I’m very excited to put it out. NEZZA amd I recorded and filmed an acoustic version of “Good” that we will be releasing. Depending on what songs get the most attention, I will be doing at least one more music video and more live/acoustic version videos. Each track will get a lyric video.
Since we’re in the midst of COVID I might be making some cozy music videos from home. Some quarantine Kehlani type stuff.
Do you have any online shows coming up?
I have a live performance coming up in early October, I am getting the dates and times finalized. So I will have Trend send an update for that.
The live performance will be held in collaboration with www.friendlysky.com
What else can we expect in 2020?
I have a number of songs coming out for other artists that have been written and co-written by me. I will also be dropping a merchandise line in October. I will be doing live performances. For my album I will be dropping remixes, live/acoustic versions, and some collaboration features are going to join me. I have some vocal sound packs that I will release including an exclusive album vocal pack featuring the album a capellas, vocal stems and never before heard recordings. I will be doing some contests too. I may release a little something for the holidays. I have been recording a lot of covers of songs I love so I will be releasing those as well. I will also continue to write for other artists behind the scenes that will come out in the coming year. The state of this country and of the world is rocky at best right now. There are many serious issues in need of addressing along with persistent action on all scales. Right now my voice is small but I hope to make an impact where I can in making sure our society heads in the direction of progress. Where I can, I hope to contribute to areas in need and hopefully instill a drive to make change and push for a diverse, intelligent, empathetic, strong and inclusive future in all, but specifically my young listeners in their everyday lives and aspirations. Through the remainder of 2020, I hope to learn and understand more about what areas I can make the biggest difference so I can build on them for years to come.
Do you have any collaborations coming up with any upcoming artists?
I have written songs for a few artists that come out this year. Some of these include the next single for NEZZA; an album for our artist, dream pop sister duo, 1323; a few singles for songland winner and R&B Soul artist, Rozee, and a few others that I will mention when they’re a bit closer to release.
I have some collaborations between me and some other artists and producers that are being finished and solidified.
Would you be up for collaborations if other musicians wanted one with you? and who would they have to contact?
Of course, I love to collaborate. I would have them contact
email@example.com and Joey Cruz at firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you play any instruments?
Not really, no. I play a little bass but I don’t really advertise that. It’s extremely rare to see me perform with it. I play enough piano to write songs.
Who are your influences?
I have a ton, I legitimately have no idea which artist has had the biggest impact because all of them have been such a lucrative part of my sound. Vocalists/Music I’m influenced by are Norah Jones, Rihanna, Tinashe, Amy Winehouse, SZA, Sade, Natasha Bedingfield, Aaliyah, Kehlani, Dido, Kiana Lede, Mahalia, Beyonce, Ari Lennox, Ariana Grande, Imogean Heap, Alina Baraz, Taylor Swift, Halsey, P!nk, Justin Timberlake, Drake, Avril Levigne, Maroon 5, and more. Songwriters I’m influenced by are Max Martin, H.E.R., SZA, Sia, PartyNextDoor, The Weeknd, P!nk, Diana Gordon, Ester Dean, Neyo, Anderson Paak, Ari Lennox, Halsey, Dolly Parton, Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Adele, Missy Elliot, The Beatles, Finneas, Stevie Nicks, Tinashe, Avril Levigne, All American Rejects, Maroon 5, Rob Thomas, Lady Gaga, Elton John, more.
How do you get inspiration to write songs?
There are many ways I get inspiration.
When something happens and I feel a very strong emotion from it I go into my google docs and pretty much vent to the page everything I’m thinking and feeling until I have nothing left to say. When I get a chance I’ll turn it into a song either by sitting down with Paul and having him build a beat or going through my folders until I find a beat that fits the song mood. I get inspiration by watching movies, music videos, looking at photos in magazines, coffee table books, pinterest, tumblr, twitter, whatever cool images the internet has to offer. I am very inspired by visuals, I love to tell stories and seeing cool pictures or videos really gets my imagination going. I keep a “phrase page” google doc full of random lyrics I think of throughout the day that maybe one day I can use for inspiration or fit into another song. I have a playlist called “Song Inspo” full of songs that inspire me. I take the songs to Paul and ask if he can make beats like them for me.
When I write for other people, I get inspiration by talking to them about what’s going on in their lives that’s on their mind; we talk it out and I write based on what they tell me. I get inspired by a variety of things.
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
I see myself living comfortably in a house surrounded by land and trees. I have a garden. I will be living off my music, song writing, merchandise, art, production and other creative endeavours. Free to take my life in whatever direction I choose, maybe ready to start a family.
What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more into the music scene?
That’s such a difficult question. Maybe “Radio” by Lana Del Rey since that’s what comes to mind first but I’m sure there are more. When I was in high school, just starting to really take music seriously enough to pursue it, I remember this song having a big impact on me. It was just everything I wanted at the time. “Now my life is sweet like cinnamon, like a f***king dream I’m living in, baby love me cause I’m playing on the radio.” It was about finally making it after struggling and finally getting to experience the life you worked for and kind of being like f**k yes look at me now. I wanted it so badly and I think that song pushed me into that mindset like it had already happened for me.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
Be self sufficient. Learn to collaborate, but not solely rely on people and don’t dwell on what others might think about your art, as long as you’re being your authentic self.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an artist?
Take time and be patient with your art. Learn yourself as an artist, your strengths, the characteristics that make you you.
You can build your own success story however you want as long as you study the successes and failures of others as well as yourself.
If you want to make money off art, then seriously consider what your brand is and how to market it.
Most of all, have fun, you are an artist.
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
It’s better to try and fail than to never know what could have been.
Where in your hometown is a must go to visit?
A place called Sunset, locals know where (breathtaking views).
Sol Food – Puerto Rican Food
Your coming off tour.
1/ Where do you go first? Home
2/ Who do you see first? My boyfriend or my bed
3/What do you eat first? Puerto Rican food
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
● Slippers & comfy clothes
● My Microphone
● My laptop
● Food for after