It’s funny how things work sometimes. I love promoting independent artists, I love doing interviews, to get them ‘out there’! That was also the mindset I had with Bex. I wanted to know more about the lady who went from theatre to electronic dance music.
But her star is rising, and it’s rising fast! The day we concluded our interview, I heard her on Z100, the Top 40 station of New York City thru my iHeartRadio app. And while working out our interview, her new single ‘What You Are‘ hit the American Billboard Dance chart at #19!
Mad props to Bex, ’cause she shows it can be done. Independent artists can still break thru with hard work and determination! Seems I’m just in time to find out what makes her tick and I have to be honest, I love it
Bex: Depends on if this is a borrow, loan, or give situation…
TDG: Can you describe yourself in one sentence?
Bex: Fearless female from NYC who views life like it’s a big fat fabulous party.
TDG: What are your roots?
Bex: My background is in theatre; musicals, plays, experimental. It’s made me very comfortable bringing out different essences in a character, and very at home on stage. I’ve been a dancer since I was 2, so it’s like rhythm runs through me at all times. Stillness is much tougher for me than movement, because I always feel energized and kinetic!
TDG: Background in theatre & musicals, that’s totally different of what you’re doing now with Electronic Dance Music (EDM). How did you go from theatre/musicals to EDM?
Bex: There’s a lot that is so different, but much more that is really similar. Same skill set. I was finding I wanted to do something where I felt more creative and in control, and for me, that meant creating my own music, writing, and developing a brand and an image. Those skills I wouldn’t have been using working in theatre.
It was an organic transition for me, happened to meet a couple of producers who invited me to collaborate with them, and I fell in love with the process. I loved creating something from nothing! It felt to me like pulling a song out of thin air that was was silent, but you grabbed it and let people hear it. That was it for me, I dived head first into learning as much as I could about the process of making music, the quirks of the music industry, marketing, etc. I don’t think about it much, but there is so much about EDM that is theatrical…the technology, the over-the-top visuals, major stage shows, but most importantly, connecting with your audience/listener and getting them to feel.
TDG: How would you describe your sound?
Bex: Playful! I don’t like to take myself too seriously, and I think that comes across in my original music. A lot of the lyrics are sung with a twinkle in my eye. It’s really clear in ‘Life Of The Party‘, there’s a lot that’s light and funny in there. Although ‘What You Are‘ is darker and more serious overall, there is playfulness and teasing in the lyrics that is really subtle.
TDG: Take us through your writing process, what’s involved in you writing and producing a new track?
Bex: I am one of those writers that works ‘multi-way’…. I’ve written just what’s in my head; no track, no other writers, just putting down thoughts/music that I imagine. I’ve also written over a pre-existing track or small idea of a track, if I feel something from it. I’ve also written in groups with co-writers, where we all start from scratch, throwing around concepts and working from there. There are many, many, many edits and rewrites; that’s something that is a given no matter what the circumstances! I weirdly get musical ideas either at the gym or riding the subway; it may be because I’m just zoned out enough without thinking too hard, ideas just come.
TDG: Which aspect do you enjoy the most while working on a new track?
Bex: The unknown! You think you know what it ‘should’ sound like, but it never does. It’s like how I mentioned, you are pulling this silent, invisible ‘thing’ out of thin air…. I weirdly feel like the songs exist already, it’s just up to us to snatch them and put them in place so people can hear them. I know that’s wacky. But it feels that way, like you are ‘finding’ the music rather than ‘making’ it. I love so much completing a lyrical phrase, because it feels like a puzzle piece. The right words are out there, you just have to uncover them, and when you do, there is a feeling of ‘completeness’, like you solved something.
Bex: Hugely important! I like to be accessible to fans. It’s fun to be able to actually communicate with the people who connect with my music. I try to write back to fans on Facebook/Twitter, or people who comment on YouTube.
Right now we are running a fun contest on my Facebook, it’s a ‘What You Are‘ video trivia challenge. Each day we ask a question about something you can find in the ‘What You Are‘ video, with each day being a new winner who gets fun prizes directly from me. It’s an awesome way to create conversation and give some goodies back to those who participate!
TDG: Awesome idea, I like that! Love doing giveaways myself… What kinda goodies are you giving away?
Bex: Multiple signed CDS, BEX glow bracelets, signed posters, signed headshots…
TDG: Would you say the internet, social media is a big help with that?
Bex: YES YES YES! Internet makes all communication easier. Perhaps not as ‘deep’ as a phonecall or letter, but it’s definitely easier to get messages to people. Feel free to reach out on Facebook & Twitter!
TDG: Who is currently on repeat on your iPod?
Bex: Mackelmore’s ‘The Heist‘, Selena Gomez’s song ‘Come & Get It‘, any Beyonce (old new, whatever, her voice is like smooth honey to me, I love it), Fall Out Boy’s ‘My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark‘ (basically been on repeat since it came out), NERVO’s ‘Hold On‘, anything P!nk!
TDG: Which album/single should never have been released in the past or present? And why?
Bex: Ahhh, no specific answer for that. I don’t like to squash communication or squash creativity. Even if most people think something is crap, there will be a handful who connect and appreciate it. We are all unique and interesting, and connect in different ways. Sometimes I don’t understand why someone else will LOVE something that I really don’t… but it’s all good. At a certain point, I don’t think there IS anything to understand, it’s just how we’re wired.
TDG: Who or what inspires you the most?
Bex: All kinds of people. I love watching normal human behavior. Just people-watching. New York City is amazing for that, because you can totally fade in and no one will pay attention to you paying attention to other people. My favorites are watching how people on the subway and when you’re out partying… in both cases, no one is thinking too much about how they’re being perceived.
TDG: What’s the biggest misconception people have about you?
Bex: Probably that I’m up all night drinking, doing drugs and causing havoc, since dance music/artists are associated with that. But I’m more balanced, and I like to be in control of myself! I definitely go out and have fun and enjoy life, but I also enjoy getting up early, working out, having the full daytime. Definitely not an airhead, I am pretty dorky and a bookworm. Also not a wimp, so its useless to challenge me to anything athletic. You’ll be panting for air!
TDG: What’s the best piece of advice you ever got when you started out and you think it would help other aspiring artists/bands?
Bex: That you are a brand, not just someone who makes music. Everything (music, style, videos, graphics, personality) needs to go together seamlessly. And with that in mind, not to put anything out too early. You’ll be excited about certain songs, or videos or photos… but it’s much better to wait on it and time everything right. Have a little patience and make SURE you are putting out your best product.
TDG: You’ve just dropped your brand spanking new single and music video ‘What You Are‘ on us. What else do you have in store for us in the next couple of months?
Bex: Well there are multiple mixes of ‘What You Are‘ that have yet to be released, and multiple videos associated with them. We just put out an INSANE video to the Cutmore Remix. If you haven’t seen it, seriously, it’s a must-watch!
I don’t press things that hard, but this is one of those you can’t miss. Constellation Jones, who directed the original ‘What You Are‘ video, additionally created this remix version, and it totally hits a different chord with what I intended this song to be about. So we’ll be releasing more versions of ‘What You Are‘, performing throughout the summer months, and heading back into the studio to cook up the next round of music for you!
TDG: So when can expect new music around fall? And what will you be working on? New single, or are ya gonna work on an album?
Bex: Singles! Don’t have timing for you yet, all is to be determined with my team!
TDG: If you could choose one person who you can work with on your next project, who would it be and why?
Bex: Stargate (woops, I picked two). Looooooooove nearly everything they put out! I’ll often listen to a song, fall in love, only to find they were behind it.
TDG: Before we wrap this up, any last words of wisdom?
Bex: ‘A dream is a wish your heart makes….’, hahah, just popped into my head. Been in a Disney mood lately. Honestly, my one word of wisdom would be: ‘LAUGH’! Makes you feel better. Allows you to see the world differently, in a lighter way. It truly is the best medicine! (and… not a bad abdominal workout either…)