Lately my “Girls Rock” pieces have received more attention than usual and the most recent one on NLX was no exception. That being the case, it seemed like a good idea to share the entire interview with you all. Here then is the complete interview with Natasha (NLX) Alexandra:
Phoenix: Thanks for being a guest in my “Girls Rock” series by the way. I started the series for my daughter who was jumping around imitating a half-naked Britney Spears at way too early an age. Don’t get me wrong—I LIKE Spears’ early music videos but I felt it important for my daughter to know there are a lot of different directions for girls to go in rock, you know?
OK. Let’s get back to you here. If Bitch Get Fit isn’t a workout tape—and we know it isn’t—then what’s the deal with the title?
NLX: BITCH GET FIT translates to GIRLS BE STRONG, WISE, CONFIDENT & UNCOMPROMISED. I guess you could say I am a big fan of the word BITCH. It is a word that holds a lot of power. The word BITCH isn’t a grey area word.
People either love it or hate it. It is either offensive or embraced as a modern day affectionate slang. I think it is an empowering word. When I lived in the UK, the word FIT was used to describe a person as being ‘with it’ or ‘together’ or ‘sexy’. BITCH GET FIT has a dynamic quality. I like the urgent rhythm of how it sound’s when spoken… OUT LOUD! It has a Morse Code / music quality to it.
Phoenix: (Struggling to read fine print in the CD) Please do my less than perfect eyes and favor and first mention any other artists on the album you feel deserve credit?
NLX: Many people helped with the making of it from the first note to the final font. It was a collaborative effort on many levels. I am grateful for the inspiration of friends and artists who gave their time, their eyes & ears to the whole experience of the CD.
Phoenix: How did you get started?
NLX: A few serendipitous moments led to the start. I used to do ballet as a child, but was equally focused on the piano player in the studio who played as we danced, as I was on the ballet teacher. I loved the percussion and melancholy of the piano. I used to write poems and fuss over words as an outlet and then the two found each other. Soon after I found my voice.
Phoenix: What is your musical background?
NLX: No huge formal training, but just a love for music and word and emotive art, media…etc.
Phoenix: Who inspires you?
NLX: Living in NYC offers endless hours of inspiration. It has a rhythm and a voice all its own. In a single day you can experience hundreds of personalities, displays of humanity, creativity and extremes between the noise and the silence. It is pretty magical when it isn’t overwhelming.
Phoenix: What was your first pro or paid gig and when was that?
NLX: First pro gig was unpaid. I played for a cancer benefit called Relay For Life. It was a beautiful community experience and was also really great to perform outside at night. Music just echoes so nicely in a wide, open space.
Phoenix: Nice. Yeah, I do some part-time acting and I donated my time to my local library to appear in a PSA for them. It gets you good word of mouth and you feel good doing it, right?
So tell me, does it bother you like critics–like me for example—compare you to such singers as Amy Winehouse and Sarah McLachlan? When you listen to your music can you try to be objective and if so which artist do you think you sound like?
NLX: It’s an honor to be compared to both . . .a huge compliment. I think the melancholy of my songs strike the same chord with what Sia & Adele are writing–fearless, emotional heart on sleeve songs. I’ve been told I sound like Natalie Merchant and each time I am blown away.
Phoenix: What do you consider your best song (which album is it on) and WHY?
NLX: The next song I write . . . far less pressure that way. But I really still feel proud of the song ‘Afraid’ off of Bitch Get Fit. Something about the piano lines and lyrics of that song still continue to resonate for me and have a lasting quality. Also the song ‘Stay’ off of In Your Face has its own sweet spot with me since it was the first song of mine people adopted as their own.
Phoenix: You seem to share personal concerns in your music. So now tell me a secret. Tell me something you have never revealed to any other interviewer?
NLX: I pretty much say it all in the music. But as far as regular day to day stuff . . . hmmm well, my gym is very close to St. Patrick’s Cathedral and sometimes after a workout, I’ll go into the Cathedral to hear the organ being played. I find the architecture + the organ = calm.
Phoenix: Gee, I was hoping you’d say you had a thing for mustachioed guys in funny hats. ANNnyway, what do you like best about being a solo artist?
NLX: Being in charge.
Phoenix: What do you like the least?
NLX: Being in charge.
Phoenix: (smiling) I understand. Freelance writing can be like that, too. So, is there something you always long to see in the press but for some reason it never makes it into print? If so, here’s your chance to put it out there.
NLX: I always wanted to see the press write about my future MSG show… but that is still to come.
Phoenix: What’s next for you?
NLX: I’ve been working on a few amazing music collaborations some great artists in both NYC & Montreal. They should come out in the next few months. Also I am in the beginning stages of writing the follow up to Bitch Get Fit. Conceptually and sonically it is going to strike a chord. It’s a very exciting time to make and share music.
Phoenix: Thanks for spending some time with me! I always enjoy chatting with you.
NLX: Thank you!
So there you have it, folks! No doubt her fans are looking forward to her next project. Here’s hoping she makes it out to California soon!
My name is Phoenix and . . . that’s the bottom line.