Q: Walk us through your writing and production process in making “I’m Not Good At This Anymore”.
ALEXANDRA: So the writing for I.N.G.A.T.A. came really effortlessly. I was encouraged by my friend and phenomenal musician, Olivia Barton, to start experimenting in different types of tunings on the guitar, so I wrote this after messing around in open D tuning. At the same time, I started this creative’s circle in Dallas where artists can meet weekly and share what they’ve been writing or working on in their respective fields and I knew I wanted to write something new to share with the group… and this song was the product of that motivation. And it was an easy write for me. The lyrical content just felt so autobiographical, so real for me at the time. I wrote it in like 2 hours I think?
I played it for my producer, Gabe Neal of JST FRNDS, that same week and then booked a flight to Nashville to start recording. We had another single in the works, but it just didn’t feel as good as this one did. We scrapped it. That weekend in Nashville, we teamed up with a phenomenal producer, Andrew Masters, and knocked it out over 2 long days. We filmed the process for his YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/…t=64s) and I am so glad we captured it all. it was such an effortless, creative experience. It felt like this song just used me as a vessel to come out, it was that visceral.
Q: Was there a pivotal moment in your life when you decided to follow your path as a musician?
ALEXANDRA: Oh man, to be honest… I don’t think so. There’s absolutely been times where I’ve had to revisit the reasons why I stay on this path, but I don’t think there was this profound moment of genesis. There’s just always been this planted seed that acts as my true north. I never stray too far from it. It never goes away. There is no plan B, there never has been, just versions of plan A.
Q: The lyrics told a very convincing story and brought out a lot of emotions. Did any real-life events occur in your life that inspired the song?
ALEXANDRA: Oh, yes. I feel like all of my previous releases have been written about what you endure in the thick of a relationship or in the thick of the downfall after it ends. This is the first song I released that felt like I was on the other side. Granted, it’s not about the joys of single-life or post-relationship freedom, quite the opposite. I wrote this about feeling unrecognizable and jaded when you finally start to put yourself out there again. I had always been the bright and shiny one, the put-together one, the emotionally available one. Instead, I felt like my experiences had weathered me. It made my edges a little sharper. I was creating walls… and I didn’t necessarily like it. But I found it difficult to talk about. I had shame. I still do at times, I think. And when you feel that, it is much easier to just listen to the person on the other side of the table and pray they don’t ask you about yourself.
Q: Do you play any other instruments? What’s an instrument that you would like to learn?
ALEXANDRA: I play the piano and the guitar… but I would LOVE to play the drums. I try to play all of the time and I just look like a toddler – it’s beyond embarrassing. My drummer, Sinclaire, is so badass. I watch her in awe and wonder why I can’t figure out how to suck just a little less at anything percussive. I only want to not suck, I don’t need to be good!!!
Q: Even the greatest writers can battle with creative blocks at times, how do you deal when there’s a lack of inspiration?
ALEXANDRA: I go out into the world dude. I think there’s a lot of value in discipline and yes, you should try to work through blocks… but often times, I find myself getting re-inspired when I just leave it alone. I have new conversations, I go to my favorite dive bar and people watch, I listen to my friends play their music. Resistance alleviates itself, at least a little bit, when we stop pushing. Sometimes it’s just not the time to write. Maybe it’s the time to go do anything but. So I’ll get a beer with a friend and take my hands off of it. Before long, I am excited and writing again.
Q: What do you do when you AREN’T working on music?
ALEXANDRA: My friends and I love to go dancing. It’s our favorite way to get our minds off of everything. If I’m not doing that at night, I am probably at home watching bad reality TV with my best friend Bailey and her dog, Captain. Or I am trying to get some sun. Now that the weather is getting a bit better, I can sit outside and read a book. Everything feels so fast paced in my life, when I get moments to breathe… I really try to take them.
Interviewed by Alina Tran