Interview by Rebecca Mae
ALIX is a singer-songwriter from the Bay Area, who just released her album “Feel Better” earlier this year. I got to sit down with her to talk about the album, music videos, designing her own merch, and mental health during COVID.
Hey ALIX, welcome to All or Nothing! How are you?
I’m really good, thank you!
You just released an album at the beginning of the year titled “Feel Better”. But are you working on anything else at the moment?
I’m always working on a number of things, but with the album, we are trying to put out some good promotion for the individual songs on the album. We have a video coming out for the song featuring Rozee, which I am actually really excited about because I shot it quarantine-style by myself in my house and edited it all. I also have a live show coming up for the album on December 18, which is a collaboration with a streaming platform called FriendlySky. It is basically a test run to see if we can do any sort of online concert in the future, which is exciting. Outside of that, I am a songwriter as well, so I have several songs coming out with other artists.
For the release of your album, you are live streaming in association with the ClearTheList Foundation, in order to help teachers/students impacted by COVID-19. Why did you choose this foundation to partner with?
Since quarantine started, I really feel like there is no reason not to get involved. I want to help spread the word about these foundations, not that I have much of a platform, but I want to. I chose the ClearTheList Foundation because I went to an arts high school, but we barely had any funding. My art teacher, who is an amazing woman, used to pay out of pocket for our supplies and beg us to keep our brushes clean because she had to pay for it. She was very open about her struggles to pay for supplies as well as make a living for her and her son. Arts programs and teachers in general are already so underappreciated and under-supported without COVID, and education is the way to having a functioning country. So, ClearTheList allows you to sponsor a classroom, and that reminded me of my own art teacher and her struggles.
I do have a group of younger listeners, and specifically I remember one girl that reached out to me. I had spotlighted charities associated with mental health services, some focused on black women and girls. She reached out saying that it meant a lot to her that I had shared those, and that her own teacher has been struggling during COVID. So, sharing something like the ClearTheList Foundation may inspire someone to submit their own teachers’ classrooms.
Do you design any of your own merch?
I actually design all of it, we have all sorts of hoodies and shirts and hats and beanies. I hand-draw the t-shirt designs and screen print them in a room in my house. We also sew in our own clothing labels! All the merch comes right from us. I would love to do clothing collections with each release we put out. We also are going to start selling paintings, which are pretty separate from the music, but I have had people to ask to buy them, so I am definitely considering it.
Do you see other art as work or something to enjoy?
I think it is both. I am definitely a workaholic, but I do see my art as work that I love doing.
You released a single titled “Good” from your latest album, featuring the incredible NEZZA. How did that collaboration come about?
We both are managed and represented by the same people, so I was called in to be a songwriter for her and Franny Arrietta. NEZZA and I just clicked, and we ended up collaborating on her first 3 songs. I absolutely love writing for other people. My ultimate goal is to be a songwriter for others first, and have my own artistry be something I really enjoy.
The song was also paired with a gorgeous music video. What was the goal when creating such beautiful scenery to feature alongside the song?
I definitely wanted it to be a good vibe, something soft and dreamy. I like to call it “vintage modern”. It all started with a Pinterest board I had, I have so many Pinterest boards of aesthetic feelings I like. So, I will just listen to the songs we need visuals for and just match the Pinterest board with the vibe of the song. When NEZZA and I wrote the song, it was just a venting session of what was going on in her life that I really related to, and that is how the song came about. I have also felt the loss of feelings for someone that I really thought I would never fall out of affection with, and that is a peaceful feeling I guess. I wanted the video to capture that, being able to talk about it with your friend and be reminiscent of it. I wanted the video to have that nostalgic piece of it.
What would be a dream collaboration for you and why?
There are a number of people I would love to work for, but I am extremely inspired by Kehlani and SZA. They are both from the Bay Area, which is so cool. Obviously there are so many people I want to work with, but they just write so much and are on the backend of creation. Same thing with up and coming artist Lolo Zouai. I am just very inspired by women that do a lot of the behind the scenes
Has COVID-19 affected your creative process at all? Has it slowed you down or inspired you more than you ever have been before?
I think it is a mixture of both, honestly. Physically, my life hasn’t changed much since I usually work from home. Mentally, I have been both inspired and super blocked. I think I want to write a lot, but there’s a lot of other freelance work to do and promo for the album, and both of those things have made me inspired and hindered me. I do miss my family, I’m not in California right now and it’s the longest I have been away from home, which has been getting to me lately. I have been trying to keep up with myself, I want to create constantly but then I put extra pressure on myself.
Have you always known music would be your artistic outlet? What is your first memory of using music to express and heal?
Singing and songwriting is definitely at the forefront, I do it every single day, but I do enjoy drawing and painting as well. I also do a lot of design work, so any album covers or song trailers are mostly done by me. The merch line has also made me want to design clothes! I would really like to get more into clothing and design to associate with my music.
Check out ALIX’S debut album here:
More information on her livestream, December 18: