Edgy, upbeat, and the perfect blend of electric pop and rock are all ways that artist Alexx Mack could be described. However, this star on the rise is not an overnight sensation. For years, she has been focused on evolving as an artist and bringing her sound to the masses. Debuting her last single “Sparxx” on the popular Perez Hilton site with a music video directed by Angelo Kritikos [Pussycat Doll’s Jessica Sutta] last year, she gained a dedicated following. The success of “Sparxx” prompted BMG to sign her and the singer/songwriter hasn’t slowed down since. In 2015, she is positioned to take over the music scene with the release of her highly anticipated, new single “Bad.” This infectious single showcases Alexx’s new sound and her sexy, sassy and energetic lyrics are sure to become the next Friday night anthem for a wide range of audiences. There is no doubt that Alex has big plans for the year to come! She has a collection of releases planned for the upcoming months and will surely continue to turn the heads of both music fans and critics alike! Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently sat down with Alexx Mack to discuss her musical roots, her journey so far, the performers who have played a role in her sound and what she has in store for us all in the very near future!
Let’s go back to your early years for a moment. What are your first memories of music?
I was born into a very musical family in Atlanta, Georgia. My dad plays guitar and was in bands as a kid but then took a more scholastic route with his route. My mom was a professional singer until she was in her 30s and absolutely loved doing it. Obviously, I was really, really, really raised around music! [laughs] I remember being around 3 or 4, and this is actually on videotape, getting up on the plastic play tables at recess and started singing at the top of my lungs. At that moment, my parents were like, “We have a problem!” [laughs] That happened numerous times throughout my schooling. I moved to Jupiter, Florida when I was a toddler and grew up there. Music wasn’t very popular where I grew up but I started writing songs when I was around 7 years old. My parents really encouraged the musical aspect of my life and never pushed me to do anything I didn’t want to do. I focused on music very early on. When I was a freshman in high school, one of my friends introduced me to a couple kids that went to her high school who played music. That was very rare in our area because there was more of a focus on sports. We started a band and I was in that band for a couple of years. I wrote a lot of songs and that is where I got a lot of experience singing, performing and growing as an artist. That is how I got started!
What made you decide to pursue music as a career?
It is kinda crazy. I was about 17 and I was rebelling hardcore, like many people around that age do. I graduated high school early and I was working full-time. I was like, “I am just going to move out of my parents house and not focus on music. I am just going to make money and not depend on my parents.” It was all of that kind of stuff. Then, one day I realized, “Oh my God! What am I doing? Music is my passion!” Right around that time, I got the opportunity to audition for a movie that was casting singers out here in Los Angeles. I came out here and, although I didn’t get the part, I fell in love with it and thought, “I never want to leave here again!” That was three years ago and I haven’t stopped working at it since!
Was making the transition from your hometown to Los Angeles difficult?
When I got here, it kind of felt like I was home because I never felt like I could be myself where I was from. I always felt a little more out of the box than everyone else I was around. Quite honestly, the first time I came here I just felt at home. When I moved here, It was a little bit difficult because it is a new place. I moved here without friends and didn’t know anyone. The only person I knew in LA was my singing coach. That was it! It was difficult because I was 18 and I had no social outlet. My dad came out here with me for the first few months. It is cool because my dad is my best friend but it was literally us just chillin’ and exploring Los Angeles. It was a little hard not to have that interaction with other teens but, honestly, I was so focused and hungry for what I was here for that my drive made up for the lonliness! [laughs]
What artists influenced you early on and still have an impact on you today?
Cher was definitely an influence. She is my idol and I think everything she does is amazing. What an entertainer! I have had the opportunity to see her live before and she takes it to another level. Obviously, Britney Spears is another influence. I was very, very, very little and I would put headset microphones on that I got from Toys R Us, and pretend to be Britney Spears for a long, long, long period of time! As I have grown, I have really grown to admire Bruno Mars and I really admire and respect his artistry and songwriting. Those are my big three!
You have been hard at work. What can you tell us about what is going on with you musically at the moment?
It has been a year since I have released anything. I really took that time to really figure out what makes me happy and what I need to do to be the best artist I can be. That is when we wrote the song “BAD.” Now, we have released it and I wanted to see what would happen once I release it. I wanted to see if people would react to it and if it would pick up. The reaction that I have gotten is one that I am happy with personally! We have a video coming out for it, which I just shot. Within the next few months, I will also be releasing some singles. I am in no rush to come out with an EP. I just want to make music that speaks to people and that they can enjoy and gravitate towards. That is pretty much my goal for the next six to eight months.
What can you tell us about the way you craft a song and what inspires you these days?
There is this guy that I work with named Chris Bernard. I have been working with him for the past year on everything. We have developed a sound together. It will usually start by one of us coming to the other with an idea. There isn’t exactly one process. It usually just starts with one of us having a melody idea or him having a track or concept. We have been writing a lot of songs! As far as inspiration, this is so cliche, but everything I write about stems from my personality. Things come from what people have said to me or experiences I have gone through. I know every artist goes through this but there might be times when you are lacking creativity or inspiration. The best advice I was given was, “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go find it!” When I find myself in that situation, I will read, go on walks or focus in on what is currently happening around me. That is really how I find my inspiration!
You mentioned finding your sound over the past year. Was it a difficult process to find where you wanted to go musically? Was there a big learning curve involved?
Oh, my God! Completely! I was in a very difficult situation where I had people around me who maybe shouldn’t have been. It was a situation where people were whispering in my ear, “You should do this! You should do that!” I wasn’t really being true to myself. Over the past year, I really blocked all of those people out and really had to rediscover myself again. It was a really big learning process for me. Not only was I learning who I was as a person, I was trying to figure out what message I wanted to send and what I wanted people to think of when they think of me. Shew! It was a huge process! [laughs]
Soon you will unveil the video for your single, “BAD.” You have been posting some fun photos from the shoot. What can you tell us about the process and the challenges you faced?
It was pretty amazing! I did the video with Steven Garnett, who is an incredible videographer and photographer. He is a genius! I sat down with him and spoke with him about how I envisioned the video. At the same time, I was explaining to him my growing process. I was telling him about how I was trying to spread my wings and push myself out of my comfort zone. He did exactly that! At the beginning, for the first 30 minutes, I was absolutely terrified! [laughs] It was nothing I had ever done before and he really pulled me out of my comfort zone. I really had to trust him. It is funny because I have never felt that way on a video shoot. I have never felt challenged or like I am really being polished. He brought that to the table and it was an incredible experience!
What can you tell us about the other music you have been working on? Can you give us a hint of what we might expect in the near future?
It is going to definitely be a really, really nice blend of my singles “SPARXX” and “BAD.” The new music is somewhere in the middle!
You have been working so hard on your music and have come a long way in a short period of time. What do you consider your biggest milestone to date?
You know, it was really cool when I signed my publishing deal with BMG. That was the first time I could ever say I was profiting from my decision to become a musician. That was an amazing moment for me and is probably my biggest milestone, so far!
Have you had a chance to perform any of the new music live at this point?
That is definitely going to be happening in the next few months. I haven’t been able to do that quite yet but I can tell you it is definitely in the works!
Looking back at this year of musical self-discovery, how have you most evolved as an artist?
I can honestly say that I have matured a lot and have been able to grow with other artists. I think it is always funny when you get into a room with a bunch of people who are doing the same thing you are doing. There are so many egos in the room because artists, songwriters and producers all have huge egos! It has been really amazing to be getting into rooms with people where everyone drops the ego and focuses on getting the best song. That has definitely made me grow as a songwriter. That was an incredible experience over the past year.
As someone who is in the thick of developing their career, what is the best advice you can pass along to aspiring artists?
Trust your gut! Always go with your instincts! I have questioned that a lot and have had moments where I didn’t trust my gut. You always have to take advice from other people but if something instinctively feels off, don’t do it!
What should fans expect from you over the next few months and where is the best spot to catch up with you online?
They can definitely expect a new single within the next couple of months, along with the shows. Those are definitely coming up soon! I would love to interact with people who like my music, so be sure to connect with me on Twitter and Instagram. If you are ever curious about what I am up to, Twitter is usually the best place to find out!
Are you involved with any charity work we can help spread the word on?
When I was in high school, I did a lot of work with Invisible Children. That is an organization that is very close to my heart. You can learn all about them at www.invisiblechildren.com.
We couldn’t be more excited for you Alexx! We wish you all the best and can’t wait to hear what you have in store for us!
Thank you so much! It was so nice talking to you! Talk to you soon, Jason!
For all the latest news, updates and live dates for Alexx Mack, check out her official site at www.alexxmack.com.