Q and A with Alexx CaliseAugust 14, 2016
Alexx Calise is a talented singer that has been sharing her gift with you through your televisions for awhile now. Get ready to find out about the singer behind those tunes and what all she has to say about advice, her music, and much more!
BS: How did you get started singing?
AC: I went to a catholic school growing up, and we had mass every Wednesday. I discovered then that I really liked to sing. I also grew up in a very musical household, and was exposed to all different types of music. I would sing along to the radio all the time and it kind of just went from there. I haven’t stopped since!
BS: What was the biggest challenge for you to overcome?
AC: Probably the death of my brother a few years ago. My brother was riddled with health problems all his life, and eventually it took its toll on him. The pain never fully goes away; it just changes form. It becomes a little less stinging with each passing year, but you never really forget. For a while I stopped playing music because it was too painful. I stopped writing because I had nothing to say anymore. Only in the last year or two have I kind of picked the pieces back up. I finally was able to write a song about all of this on my last record, and it’s called “Wasting Away”.
BS: How have you developed your vocal ability over the years?
AC: It may sound like a no brainer, but it’s just developed over the years by singing, recording and playing a ton of shows. There’s no way around it; you’ve got to practice if you want to be better. I don’t do a lot of fancy warms ups or anything of that nature, I just try to sleep as much as I possibly can, take care of myself and keep that muscle flexed.
BS: What was the best advice that you have received?
AC: The best advice I received was actually very simple, and it happened to be from one of my idols, B.B. King. I met him and interviewed him at the age of 16 for the local newspaper. When I asked him what suggestions he had for aspiring artists, he simply said “practice and learn your instrument the best you can.” As simple as that may sound, it’s so true. A lot of times, artists put the cart before the horse. They’ll spend all this time trying to increase their numbers and promote on social media. They’ll put all this work into things that don’t matter nearly as much as being the best musicians they can be. If you’re a good artist and you work hard, opportunities will come. The cream always, always rises to the top.
BS: What advice would you have for young singers getting started?
AC: My best piece of advice would be similar to B.B. King’s. Practice. Your voice is a muscle. You need to exercise and take care of it. Challenge yourself. Develop your range and your tone. Sing everywhere. In the shower, in the car, wherever you can.
BS: You have been able to see your music be successful on television. What was that like the first time you heard a song of yours on TV?
AC: It was pretty surreal. One of my songs was on this MTV show called “Next”. I still getting a little weirded out to this day whenever I hear a song of mine on TV, but it’s always quite flattering!
BS: What song that has been used on television seemed to have picked up the most momentum?
AC: Definitely my song “Cry” by far. It all started several years ago when a little girl named Maddie Ziegler first danced to it on a new show on Lifetime called Dance Moms. I had actually never heard of the show or Maddie at the time, but I noticed that a bunch of kids were covering my song all over Youtube and such—I wasn’t quite sure why. I did a little research and learned that Dance Moms had used my song in the show (I belong to several licensing agencies, which place my music into film and TV, and they don’t usually tell you when a song of yours places). I found the clip of Maddie dancing to it, and I was blown away by her extraordinary dancing ability. My dad suggested that I try to get Maddie to dance in my music video, so I cold called the dance teacher on the show, Abby Miller and asked her if Maddie would be interested. Two weeks later, Maddie was on a plane to LA and filming my music video with me. Now, the video has over 3 million hits, it’s sold well over 70,000 downloads and it even charted at #64 on the iTunes rock charts when it debuted on the show (that very rarely happens to a completely DIY, indie artist). Maddie herself has gone on to dance in all of Sia’s music videos. She’s even on the cover of Seventeen this month. I’m so proud of her!
BS: You have a song out called, “Cry”. How did this song come together for you?
AC: It was written actually in about 15 minutes several years ago. Some of the best songs come out that way oddly enough. I just happened to have a low moment that day, and I was just sitting in my room, and then it just came right out. It’s not inspired by a particular event, I think we all just have those moments every now and then when we feel alone or misunderstood.
BS: What about this song do you think has helped it to do so well?
AC: I think it’s very honest and full of raw emotion. It was pretty much done in one take, and the performance and content are extraordinarily heartfelt. I remember at the time that my producer wasn’t entirely sold on it, but I told him to trust me on it because I believed there was something special about it. I guess I was right, haha!
BS: What is the best way for fans to get in contact with you?
AC: There are several ways and I’d love to hear from you! You can go to site at alexxcalise.net, I’m on Twitter and Instagram @alexxcalise, and I’m also on Youtube at youtube.com/alexxcalisemusic and on FB at Facebook.com/alexxcalisemusic.
BS: Anything else you would like to say to your fans out there?
AC: Yes, thank you for your continued love and support. I really couldn’t do this without all of you!