With everything going on in the world, ParisAlexa hasn’t stopped doing her thing. Facing body image issues at a young age, she’s had to overcome that obstacle making it her goal to empower other women. Still, in her early 20s, the Seattle native has a long list of accomplishments including being a contestant on NBC’s Songland.
The Current State Of The World
After the recent incident with George Floyd, ParisAlexa has taken a step back from making music and is focusing on educating others about the Black Lives Matter Movement. We had a chance to speak with her about the success of her debut album “2Real” and what she’s doing to combat police brutality.
Your album oozes confidence and women empowerment, growing up you suffered from body image issues, how has music helped you overcome that?
Being able to sing my truth has always been liberating for me. A lot of my lyrics are words I feel like I need to hear sometimes. Connecting with women who might feel the same way that I do, uplifts them and reminds all of us that we deal with a lot of the same issues at the end of the day. And the music brings us all together.
Your album “2Real” has got almost 90,000 streams its first week, what advice could you give other artists to get their albums to be successful on streaming services?
My best advice would be to utilize all the tools that you have at your disposal. Spotify Artist has a new feature where you can submit songs for a play-listing! Use that for sure. Also, reach out to content creators that need to use songs in the background of their videos. Making connections online is a great way to get your music beyond just your fan base.
Do you think now is a good time to put out music since we’re all on lockdown or does it make things difficult?
I think lockdowns present some challenges. Live music really connected the artist to the listener in a unique that I don’t think live streams are filling the void of. But people are definitely on the internet more than before and creativity is more essential than ever. Create as much as possible right now.
How did you inspire your mom to write Penny & The Magic Puffballs?
Growing up in predominately white schools, I got a lot of questions about my hair. Often I felt ostracized just because little things like my hair were different from the other girls in my class. My mom created this bedtime story to remind me of my black girl magic when I would forget! Turned into a series of books for little black girls around the world.
What talents has quarantine brought out that you didn’t realize you had?
Been getting into my producer bag, doing my hair, trying new makeup looks. Also, I’ve definitely been painting a lot more since the quarantine began and I’m trying to sew!
You wowed the Judges on NBC’s Songland when you performed “Pity Party.” Billboard even said it was “the best song of the entire season.” What was your reason for writing that particular song?
A lot of my writing when I was younger was based on tv drama haha. Not a ton was happening in my 16-year-old life so I would use situations I saw to inspire my lyrics. Pity party was a kiss-off based on some televised relationship I saw go left. I thought it was funny to play off of the concept “party” and its polarity to “pity party”.
Desperate Housewives inspired you to write a song about divorce, has any other shows or films inspired one of your songs?
Yes for sure. Any life that’s not mine I find interesting in some way. Even if its a fictional life
How did you react when you found out YouTube Music added ‘2 Optimistic’ to their R&B Wave playlist?
I was definitely happy, love getting support from DSPs!
Years ago, you recorded a convo you had with your mom and put it on your album as an early Mother’s Day Gift surprise, was that always the plan?
Yes, I’ve had the recording of her for more than two years without her knowing. she was nervous to hear it but loved it when it finally came out. Told all her friends to “run it up” so she could get her publishing coin haha.
Do you have any upcoming virtual shows?
I have a live stream with neumos coming soon
What does the BLM movement mean to you?
For me, BLM is more than just a movement. Living my life as a young black woman in 2020 is an act of rebellion itself. My life matters and that shouldn’t be a radical statement.
What are your thoughts on the protests?
I am definitely an expressive person when it comes to my emotions, so seeing people in masses unify around the world to stand against injustice is such a beautiful thing. There’s power in numbers and I’ve seen it myself at a lot of protests here in Seattle. Hearing personal testimony from the people who are directly affected, marching in droves, chanting, saying the names of the fallen – All deeply inspiring ways to keep people’s focus on the reason why there are so many protests in the first place; eradicating systemic racism.
If it weren’t for the protests do you think the officers involved in George Floyd’s murder would have been arrested?
I genuinely don’t think they would’ve arrested the officers who murdered George Floyd. So many times, we hear tragic stories like Treyvon Martin or Eric Garner or Philando Castile, where absolutely no punishment is issued for these criminals. It’s f*cked up.
As a black woman in the industry have you ever felt discriminated against? How did you deal with or overcome it?
I definitely have been discriminated against in the industry, for my age, my gender, my race… intersectionality is wild honestly. A lot of my drive to create has come from people prejudging my abilities or underestimating me so I turn it into fuel for my art. Like I say in chocolate, “it’s dangerous to underestimate a queen”.
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Featured Image: Walter Brady