Hey there, Ivy Alex! "Pray", your recent Neo-Soul ballad, released for all listeners not too long ago! The song captures very light, delicate and airy components that make for a soothing listening experience. What was the main way you intended for your listeners to feel while listening along to "Pray"?
Well, I definitely wanted to heal through the listening of this song. A healing prayer that embodies peacefulness. I intended for people to be moved by the tone as well. I think there's a lot of power even in the peacefulness I hope this song brings.
What kind of emotional significance did "Pray" have for you personally? Was there a specific individual you were thinking of when constructing this emotionally compelling song?
'PRAY' came about after a producer I had been working with for several months decided he owned my songs. This man had agreed to let me use his studio to record 3 of my originals. We didn't even get around to harmonies because he would put it off and put it off. Finally, after 7 months I kindly asked for my songs to which he screamed at me through the phone, "I own your songs! You're just a little girl. What are you going to do about it?" For me, this was my worst nightmare coming true - a man telling me I didn't own the songs I completely wrote myself simply because I'm a 20-something-year-old female in the industry. I had been frustrated with this man for months on end and finally after the hatred he spat at me, I had no more rage left inside me. I was simply as sad as hell. 'PRAY' is what came out. It soothed me and that's what I needed.
As an artist who has studied Film Scoring at Berklee College of Music, as well as directing at the Frenchwoods Festival of Arts, how do you feel your musical experience thus far contributes to the quality and richness of your overall sound?
Thank you! I really do strive for quality in my music. I'm blessed to have had incredible experiences amongst talented communities throughout my life. Every artist I've met has inspired me and there have been quite a few along this journey. Berklee definitely allowed me to explore all genres as well as tighten up my songwriting. And Frenchwoods (being a musical-theater camp) definitely inspired many of my songs that are story-based, fast-paced lyrics and catchy melodies. There is something magical about that music and it's super captivating.
You're undoubtedly an artist who likes to focus on speaking up for what is right and just. Would you say you're the type of artist that feels inclined to use their music as not only a base for entertainment but also as a platform to bring various issues to light?
ABSOLUTELY! One of the main reasons I will never give up on my music career is because of the many different projects I have in mind to build. I love animals deeply and wish to open rescue centers all over the US before I die. I also think live music festivals are a church most people need. That community, that family-vibe, and happiness that lingers for weeks after an experience like that. I wish to create a music festival with my favorite artists one day. These ideas have been years in the making. But something I continue to stand for (being a woman) is female representation in any music room, studio, and or record. Having gone to Berklee and being one of two girls in every single class, it was extremely difficult to connect to my femininity amongst so much testosterone. Men always seem to have the confidence and respect of the room to be able to sit in on a jam session like it's their right whereas I rarely see women confidently join jam sessions. Take, for example, JAMMCard which is a jam of top musicians in the industry. I've seen a woman in the group maybe twice. Things still have not changed and it's deeply upsetting hence why I feel so passionate about it. Music is a feminine art. Art is feminine. It simply doesn't make sense.
What can we expect to see from you next?
I have three songs in the vault ready for final touches, however, since the spread of Coronavirus, I've switched directions and have decided to release music that feels deeply relevant to me. What you can expect next is a LIVE version of 'PRAY'. Far more personal and intimate, straight from my living room. The world needs prayer and this song is too appropriate for the times.
Listen to "Pray" here.