AleXa's voice sticks on you like a «Tattoo»

AleXa's voice sticks on you like a «Tattoo»

It only takes one listen of AleXa’s song Tattoo, to get the melody stuck to your head. Born to a Russian American father and a Korean American mother, the young girl fell in love with k-pop when she was eleven, and worked hard to become an idol herself. It took her 11 years to fulfill her dream and become a much loved and respected singer all around the world.

AleXa tells Panorama about her journey to become a singer, her role models (from Hyuna to Doja Cat to the Italian rock band Maneskin), and her role in the ever evolving Metaverse.

Congratulations on releasing Tattoo. Can you tell me more about your last single?

Tattoo is the latest installment in my discography. It’s got a mid tempo, easy to follow rhythm. At first glance, it might seem like a break-up song, but it does have cohesive elements with my overall “A.I. Multiverse” theme; it’s about human emotions residually remaining within an A.I. like a tattoo.

I was impressed by the lyrics of your song. It’s so relatable. Do you ever experience a toxic relationship, in love or friendship, that stuck to you like a tattoo for a long time?

Don’t we all? There have been some people in my life that have been hard to forget, hard to move on from. But once you erase their “tattoo” and move on, it’s the growth that’s most important.

Quoting your song: “‘Cause he can’t give me what I like, I just found another type, And it’s me myself and I”. This is a powerful message to all the people who are struggling, and you were able to convey it in such a fresh and determined way. Who is Alexa?

To me, AleXa is all the confident parts of myself, Alex, on stage. She has determination and will not settle for less. At the end of the day, one must prioritize themself above all else, whether it’s health, happiness, or anything else of importance.

You used an animation version of yourself for Tattoo. And in November, you hosted the first k-pop fan meet in the Metaverse. How important is it to be able to escape reality sometimes? And what can the Metaverse become for our generation?

I truly believe that in times like this, we all need a little bit of an escape from reality, at times. It’s okay to wander into a fictional universe, ignore what’s happening in the real world, just as long as you don’t borderline on delusion. I also think it’s great that thanks to technology I can meet my fans in such a creative platform, metaverse is a place for AleXa to go on adventures and also have fun with her fans.

On January 10 you were invited to MIT to represent the k-pop industry. How was the experience?

If you were to tell my teenage self in high school that one day I would be giving a lecture to a class at MIT, I would’ve never believed you. It was an amazing experience, truly such an honor. It was interesting to speak on my personal life and growth as a KPOP artist, and to receive questions and discuss topics pertaining to the theme.

Back to you and your music career. You debuted in 2019 with Bomb and since then you have never stopped. Despite Covid, you grew to be a recognized k-pop artist worldwide. How does it feel?

While I did debut before the pandemic hit, Covid still has impacted my career. We had plans on touring, going international, but of course due to the current state of the world, we have been unable to execute said plans. It’s truly surreal to me, knowing that millions of people have watched my music videos and consumed my music worldwide. I wake up grateful every morning.

Becoming a k-pop artist was a bumpy road for you. If you could talk to the 11 years old Alexa who fell in love with this genre, what kind of advice would you give her?

If I had any advice to give my 11 year old self, it would definitely be: “The road ahead isn’t going to be all roses, there will be thorns. You will get hurt. But it’s important that you come out of the other side triumphant. Don’t let anything or anyone ever tear you down”.

Do you have any role models in the industry? Someone you will love to collaborate/perform with?

Within the K-pop industry itself, my role models are HyunA, along with Taemin from SHINee. On the western spectrum, I really love Doja Cat. Should a collab ever happen between myself and any of these artists, I would be greatly honored. As for Italian artists, I really like Achille Lauro and Måneskin. I admire the way they are pushing boundaries and have outstanding performances. I think it would be very exciting to collaborate with them one day.

If you could describe yourself with a song, which one would it be and why?

Maybe Fighter by Christina Aguilera? I have the mindset of taking whatever life throws at you, conquering it, and throwing it back into the universe tenfold.

Your fans are all around the world and Italy is not an exception. We recently saw your video reaction of receiving a gift from an Italian fan and we were so happy to see you overjoyed. Is there something you would like to say to your Italian fans?

Thank you so much for all of the love and support you have shown me throughout my career thus far! So grateful for the lovely gifts that I receive from my Italian fans; I wear them with pride! Truly hoping that a day comes soon where I can meet you all in person! Please stay healthy!

I have one last question: what can we expect from you in 2022?

All I can say is, expect the unexpected. This year is bound to bring in some amazing things.

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Marianna Baroli

Giornalista, autore

(Milano, 1986) La prima volta che ha detto «farò la giornalista» aveva solo 7 anni. Cresciuta tra i libri di Giurisprudenza, ha collaborato con il quotidiano Libero. Iperconnessa e ipersocial, è estremamente appassionata delle sfaccettature della cultura asiatica, di Giappone, dell'universo K-pop e di Hallyu wave. Dal 2020 è Honorary Reporter per il Ministero della Cultura Coreana. Si rilassa programmando viaggi, scoprendo hotel e ristoranti in giro per il mondo. Appena può salta da un parco Disney all'altro. Ha scritto un libro «La Corea dalla A alla Z», edito da Edizioni Nuova Cultura, e in collaborazione con il KOCIS (Ministero della Cultura Coreana) e l'Istituto Culturale Coreano in Italia.

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