Natalie Alexander

While Santa Cruz, California-based country songbird Natalie Alexander has certainly shown she has the talent to make it big in the music business, she also, perhaps more importantly, understands that her sound is still evolving. Alexander is currently studying in college, and didn’t actually reveal her passion for singing until a performance at her high school talent show; needless to say, Natalie is at the early stages of what looks like an insanely promising career. And to her credit, Natalie AlexanderunnamedAlexander has released a 4-song self-titled debut EP, each song very much standing out from the other with an energy each their own. We asked Alexander for more information on the new music, including the single, “Cruel”. She said, “With this EP I wanted to record songs that were each unique so I could give something to every kind of 2017 country fan. It took a lot of time to decide what songs would make it onto the EP to do this. I’m really happy with what we created and I hope audiences love it as much as I do.” Click to to check our “Cruel” and the rest of the new EP, and keep up with Alexander as she continues to take some big steps in her career. Now, do keep reading. There’s still so much more to dive into in all the answers to the XXQs below.

XXQs: Natalie Alexander (PEV): How would you describe your sound and what makes you stand out from others in your genre?

Natalie Alexander (NA): My sound is something that’s definitely evolving. That’s why it was so important to me that I chose songs for my EP that were each different. I brought four very different energies to the table with those tracks and I did that purposefully. I want to experiment and see what resonates the most with my audience. People have described my voice as having a clear, pure quality to it. I’m most comfortable singing at the top of my range, and I’ve been told I have a Carrie Underwood vibe, which is SUCH a compliment. I think what differentiates me from other artists are the stories I tell with my songs. We all have different lives and have experienced different things and while there’s a lot we have in common, I still want to stand out and be uniquely me. I’m not trying to copy anyone but I’m definitely inspired by the artists in this genre that I idolize.

PEV: What kind of music were you into growing up? Do you remember your first concert?

NA: My family is very musical but we all have very different tastes in music. I grew up listening to ACDC and Guns N’ Roses with my dad, a classic rock fan, and hearing Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, etc. from my mom, who listened to classical music. I think those dichotomies served me well because I have a respect for all kinds of music and a relatively eclectic taste myself. Although country is definitely my favorite. My first big concert was Taylor Swift’s Speak Now arena tour. My parents got me tickets for my 13th birthday and I got to bring five of my friends. It was so much fun despite the fact that I couldn’t talk the next day because I was screaming so loud the whole time!

Natalie AlexanderIMG_0181PEV: What was your first show like? 

NA: The first time I ever performed in front of my peers was in high school at a talent show with a friend of mine. We sang a mash up of “Fast Car” and “Breakeven”. I hadn’t really talked about singing before that so a lot of people were surprised when I came out to perform. I was so nervous but once we got started it became so fun.

PEV: What can fans expect from a live Natalie Alexander show?

NA: That’s something I’ve recently been getting into with performing my own music. At this point, they can expect to hear the songs I’ve released and a few of my favorite covers. I’m hoping they will come knowing my songs well enough to sing along with me. I want my performances to be communal, fun, and really high energy!

PEV: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you step on stage to perform?

NA: Nerves! I have to just take a few breaths and start singing. It’s that initial start that is the most difficult for me. Once I begin to sing the nerves all melt away and it becomes exciting and fun and my energy starts to build.

PEV: What is the best part about being on stage in front of an audience?

NA: The thrill! I’ve been on stage my whole life and there’s no other energy like a performer’s high. Now that I’m getting to sing on stage it’s a whole different experience because it’s just me up there and I’m creating a new sound in that moment. I love it.

PEV: What is the underlying inspiration for your music? 

NA: Being relatable! No matter what I write or sing, I want it to be something that I personally can relate to and feels genuine to me and my life. My goal is to make music that other people can relate to and share in that experience based on their own lives.

PEV: Thinking back to when you first started out, do you ever look back on your career and think about your earlier days and how you’ve arrived where you are today?

NA: When I first started taking voice lessons I was just doing it for fun, no expectations. If you had told me that only a couple years later I would have my friends playing “Cruel” from iTunes at a pregame or people sending me videos of them singing it in their car, I probably wouldn’t have believed you! It’s been a whirlwind.

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about you?

Natalie AlexanderP4A1838NA: Because I was the only child for six years, my dad introduced me to a lot of traditionally “father-son” activities. He got me a go-cart when I was only 4 (much to my neighbors’ dismay) and would take me to race it. When I got older we started racing cars. I’ve done track days at Laguna Seca, Thermal Raceway, some amazing tracks. I’ve done some training with Ferrari’s racing team coaches as well. I LOVE it. That’s probably not something you’d expect but I love speed and competition, so naturally racing has been really fun for me.

PEV: What happens when you hit a brick wall when writing? What are your methods to get over it?

NA: I’ll keep playing around with it for a while and then move on to something else, a different idea. Giving myself that mental break makes it easier to come back with fresh eyes (and ears) and something great will come out of it.

PEV: How do you think the industry has changed over the years?

NA: There are so many talented people in the world and so many more platforms now for creating and sharing music than there have been in the past. That is a great thing for creativity but poses some challenges to artists who went a more traditional route and now have people streaming their music for free, legally. That is a major change this industry has faced. The country music industry is definitely more traditional in that respect but I think the music industry overall is going to have to continue to change and adapt as there are more and more changes in technology and our culture.

PEV: What can fans expect from your newly released self-titled EP, featuring the single, “Cruel”? What was the creative process like for this work? 

NA: With this EP I wanted to record songs that were each unique so I could give something to every kind of 2017 country fan. It took a lot of time to decide what songs would make it onto the EP to do this. I’m really happy with what we created and I hope audiences love it as much as I do.

PEV: Is there one area you wish you could travel around and play that you have not yet?

NA: I did some extensive traveling at the beginning of this year because I was living in Italy for five months. I would love to go back to Europe and perform because there are still so many places I didn’t get to see that I wanted to. Being back there AND getting to share my music with that part of the world would be a dream come true.

PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your career?

NA: My friends and family have been so supportive, my parents really being at the forefront of that. We’ve been through this together with my brothers so I feel really fortunate to have a mom and dad that give me the freedom to pursue what I love and are there for me when I need them. The reactions from my friends and peers have been overwhelmingly positive, more so than I ever could’ve imagined. I didn’t really have any expectations for how they would respond to my music, especially because up until a week before I released “Cruel”, they had no idea I was even pursuing music. It’s been a really fun way to connect with them and I feel so lucky to have friends who are excited for me and love my music. I’m so blessed!

PEV: What can we find you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?

NA: I’m in college, so I’m studying quite often, and I try to exercise every day. Barre is my favorite. I’m a huge movie buff and I’d rather see it on a big screen than on my laptop, so I go see at least one movie a week in theaters. I’ve also been following The Bachelorette this season with my roommates and that’s been really fun. It’s all a balance!

PEV: Name one present and past artist or group that would be your dream collaboration. Why?

NA: Carrie Underwood. She’s the artist I probably look up to the most, so taking the stage with her would be a dream.

PEV: If playing music wasn’t your life (or life goal), what would you do for a career?

NA: I would definitely still be working in the entertainment industry in come capacity. I love the excitement and fast-paced energy of entertainment and being around so many talented, creative people, so supporting other artists is something I would love to do.

PEV: So, what is next for Natalie Alexander?

NA: I’m going to be performing “Cruel” and the rest of this EP a lot, sharing my music, and continuing to write. Be sure to follow me on Instagram @nataliealexandermusic so I can keep you updated on what I’m doing and stay connected with you!

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