Moving Forward with Alexx Calise!

By Alexia Cito

Calise grew up in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. At 11, she picked up a guitar and began fusing the melodies she heard in her head with her own poetry and recitations.
Now she’s living in Los Angeles and continues to purse her love of music. Among many other accomplishments, Alexx’s song, "Morning Pill" was used in a One Tree Hill promo and she just released her 2nd album, In Avanti.

VG: You grew up with a musician for a father, how has this influenced your pursuit of music today?
AC: My brother and I used to watch my father play The Beatles and the James Bond theme on guitar when we were growing up, and I remember thinking to myself, “I want to play that. I want to be just like him.”From then on, I was unstoppable. I entered every talent show and played every venue that I could. Not much has changed to this day, except I’m doing it on a bigger scale. I really do have my Dad to thank though, for introducing to me what would become my lifelong passion.

VG: Have you received any offers from big name record labels? Why do you want to stay independent?
AC: I have received a few different offers from some big labels, but I haven’t come across a deal just yet that I’m entirely comfortable with signing. That’s not to say I’m 100 percent opposed to major labels or anything, but you can actually do a lot on your own before calling on them for help.

VG: L.A. and the music business both have bad reps for pressuring women to conform to a certain standard of beauty. Have you faced any challenges with body image and self esteem?
AC: I think every woman in the entertainment industry (and in general) has at some point or another had issues with body image and self esteem. I’m no exception to that rule either. However, you can’t get too caught up in all of that, because it really will take you down and eat you alive. It’s extremely important that you remain true to yourself, learn to love who you are, and accept what you were given. People will inevitably try to change you and make you feel like you need to be something that you’re not, but if you’re confident, stand your ground, and believe in yourself, then people will be less likely to volunteer their “input”. It’s all about projection. Walk tall and give the appearance that you’re confident (whether or not you really are) and see what people say to you then.

VG: Do you write your own music? Are the emotions and topics from personal experiences?
AC: Yes, I write all my own music. A good portion of the songs on my new album, “In Avanti” however, were also written with my producer, Luigie Gonzalez. My songs are very introspective and are usually derived from personal experiences, but I’ve also touched on some social issues, like in my song, “Anything Goes.” While a lot of my other songs seem to be filled with angst, I’m really not an angry or vengeful person. Writing dark, emotive music is very cathartic for me, and it keeps me from becoming a mean old grouch, ha ha! It’s a much cheaper and more rewarding form of therapy.

VG: What advice do you have for young women out there who want to make it in the music industry?
AC: The most important thing is, you’ve got to be in it for the love of music. The fact of the matter is, you may never make any money, you may never amass a huge fan base, you may never get signed, you may never become famous, and you may never reach the level of success you hope to reach. At the end of the day, all you may have is your music.

VG: What accomplishment are you most proud of in your life thus far?
AC: Well, there are many things in my life that I’m proud of, but I think being in Guitar Player magazine this month was one of the coolest things that’s ever happened to me. I’ve been reading Guitar Player since I was 11 years old, and to be featured amongst some of the most recognized and talented guitarists in the world is just amazing and such an honor.

VG: Who inspires you? Do you have any musical idols?
AC: I’m inspired by some great bands in the blues and grunge arenas like silverchair, Our Lady Peace, Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and Johnny Lang.

VG: Where do you see yourself in five years?
AC: I can definitely see myself doing big things and playing on some big stages. I’d really like to win a Grammy one day though. I know that may sound a bit outrageous, but that would be the ultimate for me.

Lightning Round: Favourites

Song: “Lights” by Archive

Item of Clothing: My black parachute pants

Album: Neon Ballroom by silverchair

Movie: American Beauty

Food: Anything with chicken and cheeseburgers!

Fragrance: Fuel For Life Femme by Diesel

Makeup Item: Pro Longwear Lipcolour in Lasting Lust by MAC

Female Icon: Ayn Rand

For more on Alexx Calise visit her Facebook and MySpace pages!