Alexa Carter Talks "The Ballerina" EP
Mon, 11 Jun 2012 09:15:33
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Alexa Carter's new release, The Ballerina EP [iTunes, Amazon], tiptoes a delicate line between delicate country and soulful pop.
Carter's voice immediately takes hold with a robust power reminiscent of Nashville greats. At the same time, the young singer and songwriter has a panache of her own that's both inimitable and irresistible. By that token, The Ballerina will make you twirl it's so good. The melodies careen like breaking waves, effusive and elegant.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Alexa Carter talks The Ballerina EP and more.
Is there a theme that ties the The Ballerina EP together for you?
There's a related theme. My last EP was me growing up and being in my teenage years. It's stuff with my parents and things like that. As a whole, this EP is me figuring out who I was. I'm still going through life and heartache. I'm getting through it and over it and becoming a lot stronger. I have more to say. I feel like it's me becoming a stronger woman.
Where did the strength come from?
I feel like it came from the music. Definitely, when I look through each song and when it was written, I can see how I progressed. When I moved to Nashville, I was in a long-distance relationship. It was my first true love. When I moved here, it got really hard to keep that up. We broke up, and it totally broke my heart. "Too Late" was the time when I was heartbroken, and I realized it wasn't working out anymore. It got too hard to be in that relationship even though we loved each other that much. "Help This Hurt" was me going through that heartache. "Puzzle Pieces" was actually the first song I wrote when I got here. I was still in that powerful love moment. I was giddy about him still and everything. It's me saying, "This is going to be extremely hard for me to do but you're worth it and I'm willing to try it." Then, "Too Late" and "Help This Hurt" came out. After that happened, I was single and hanging out with a few guys over the next while. Nothing was working out. It was my life experiences.
What's the story behind "Ballerina"?
"Ballerina" was me taking a stand and saying, "I'm not going to toy around. I'm not going to be your little puppy dog." It's about being in a relationship and being vulnerable. You're at this guy's beck and call and being a "Ballerina". I'm stepping outside of myself and realizing what I was doing. That wasn't me. That's not who I wanted to be. I realized I am my own person. To be in a relationship, it takes two people and they have to equally feel the same way about each other and respect each other. I'm not going to be with someone who just wants me to spin around when they tell me to. I'm realizing I don't want to be in that kind of relationship.
How have these songs changed on stage?
When I sing "Help This Hurt", I look at it as a real great learning experience for me. "Ballerina" was my turning point. When I sing it now, I sing it with so much strength. I feel badass. I really got it. I figured out who I am, and I love singing those songs and looking back at my experience.
Have you already begun thinking about the next album?
We're definitely talking about it! I've got songs I'm laying down some good acoustic demos for. I'm looking forward to a full-length album because I've got a lot to say.
If the EP were a movie or a combination of movies, what would you compare it to?
Black and white movies really have an effect on me. They have more of an effect on me romantically or emotionally. I'm really getting my vulnerability out and my young broken heart out. Now, after the EP being finished, I see it as more ballsy [Laughs].
Who are you listening to now?
Sara Bareilles, Brandi Carlile, Matt Kearney has really got me right now and Coldplay, Ingrid Michaelson and OneRepublic, The Civil Wars and Patty Griffin. I have their CDs on in repeat in my car.
Have you heard Alexa Carter yet?