Interview: Alex & Sierra
Wed, 21 Jan 2015 15:52:15
Pop gets quite a bit of heart from Alex & Sierra. On their new album, It's About Us, the duo delivers a few shimmering, sun-soaked anthems that instantly engage and entrance. It's impossible not to sing along when the harmonies shine this brightly. It's easily one of the most fun and fresh pop records in recent memory. It's all about Alex & Sierra right now...
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Alex & Sierra talk It's About Us and so much more.
Did you approach It's About Us with one particular vision or vibe in mind?
Sierra: I think it just fell into place because we hadn't written before. This was the first thing we've ever done together so we didn't want to go into it thinking, "It has to be this way or this is what it's going to be like." We just let things happen, and everything turned out the way it did.
Alex: We hoped you'd be able to listen to the whole album and not just pick out a song or two.
That mission was definitely accomplished. You're definitely telling some vivid stories…
Alex: Just being able to create something people can relate to is the goal. We might have one image in our heads when we're writing or recording something. The cool thing about it is other people can take away what they want from it. We definitely have images in our minds and stories to relate the songs to. The fun part is hearing how other people relate to it and what they get out of it.
What are the stories behind the last songs on the album "Back To You" and "All For You?"
Sierra: "All For You" is actually the very first song that we wrote together. We really liked the jazzier type of music. That one was extra fun for us because we took on personas that might not exactly be who we are. It's all of the illegal things we would do for each other [Laughs]. Writing that song was a magical experience in and of itself. We love it.
Alex: "Back To You" was another of the first songs we'd written together. I guess you could say that about all of the songs [Laughs]. "Back To You" was neat. It was definitely a little bit more about reaching inside of yourself and thinking about what it takes to make someone happy. There are all of these little things about someone else that make a good relationship or friendship—or whatever it is.
Where did "Just Kids" come from?
Sierra: We had this writing camp at a friend's house. It was us and ten other singers and songwriters. We had known them for months when we were on The X Factor, and they had seen us go through lots of ups and downs. They were all literally like our family. We were at this writing camp. It was a musical summer camp with friends. We'd go in the Jacuzzi and have fires and snacks. It was like a party, and here and there we'd write songs. Technically, we're not the age of children, but it felt like we were all a bunch of kids hanging out with our friends.
Alex: That was just a fun song. It was lighthearted and something we could dance to. The chords aren't very difficult. The lyrics are fun.
What artists do you both bond over?
Alex: We both really love Ed Sheeran. He's one of our favorites. We started doing like The Civil Wars-sort-of music so that was one of the groups we gravitated towards when we first began singing together. I absolutely love Jason Mraz.
Sierra: Fleetwood Mac! I think we can find inspiration in just about any artist.
What inspires you outside of music?
Sierra: I was a dancer before I ever started singing. We both do a lot of things. We both find inspiration in nature. During that writing camp, if we couldn't think of anything, we'd go to the beach, go surfing, take a hike, or see a movie. With artists, you can honestly find inspiration in anything. You can go to CVS, see someone who makes you think of something, and end up writing a song. We try to get out and see things!
Alex: It's a lot of nature. I like to cook. That's an art form, right? If you do it right [Laughs].
Alex: That's tough. I don't know if I can answer that accurately because I primarily watch comedies like Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Austin Powers.
Sierra: Maybe it would be one of those teen movies with party scenes? There's a little romance.
Sierra: There's romance in that one and heartbreak and fun [Laughs].
Have you heard It's All About Us?