Alexa Borden is hoping to be the latest singer to come out of Canada’s burgeoning music scene, with the Great White North enjoying a fantastic period of talent.
Despite only being 18, Alexa’s great second album Flares is already on the shelves and she talked to us about the record her influences and competitive dancing.
Starting off with, what can you tell us about Flares?
Well Flares is a bit of a journey actually. I went into the album looking to find myself because I had just gotten out of a really bad relationship, my head was totally lost and bout halfway through the record I managed to lose myself even more. So I was in a really dark place and really sad but the album helped me to come to terms with whatever was tearing me apart. That’s the idea behind flares, is it’s about these bursts of light were coming back in my heart and me realising who I was meant to be and accepting happiness into my life once again.
This album sounds like it was written a lot older than yourself, what inspired it?
I think I grew up way too fast this past year. That sounds really weird coming from an eighteen year old. It’s also a little of trying to rekindle that childhood spark I used to have and I feel there was a whole lot of lost innocence this year and I wanted to regain that. Unfortunately, I feel like I’m 25 instead of 18, but it’s a good set of lessons.
Especially at the beginning, the album jumps from genre to genre. What inspired that?
I think it was just about what was moulding me at the time. It’s all about finding your sound as an artist and I still think I’m trying to find what that is, so I was being influenced a lot of different genres at the time and I think that was big part of the styles I writing in.
So who are your main influences then?
Well, I get compared to A Fine Frenzy and she’s my absolute hero. I got to meet her this year which was insane and awesome. Also, Feist, The Talking Heads, Elton John are a big part of my influences. Oh, and Bob Dylan, he’s a fantastic lyricist.
You also produced both of your albums too in your bedroom of all places. Flares sounds much bigger than your last album, how did you go about doing that?
Well, I think I’ve grown a lot since Speck In The Universe. I produced that when I was 15 years old, so I was really new at producing. Since then I’ve taken a class in my high school for three years which helped, but it’s all about expanding your tastes and listening to what you like and sounds good to you and then recreating that in the studio. Or bedroom in my case.
You play the piano and guitar already, but what other instruments are you tempted to give a try?
I would love how to play the mandolin or the banjo. I’m not so good at the guitar right now, I’m currently teaching myself but it’s a slow process. The mandolin is such a great instrument and it would be great to be able to talk about.
You’re also a competitive dancer, what can you tell us about that?
I’ve been a dancer for about 12 years and I started off recreationally, just taking classes and learning what I like in dance. Then I started doing competitions at the age of nine, so we used to go and compete with other studios and that was when I initially fell in love with performing.
You ask your fans to send in letters for you to answer, is talking to them important to you?
Absolutely. Just to see the messages that I’d never really looked at on Tumblr and to see the impact that your music’s had on people is really moving and incredible to see that you’re actually making a difference to people’s lives.
So, the album’s out now, but what else is in the pipeline for you?
Well, I’ve been working with a guitarist for the last couple of weeks so we’re going to be playing some shows around the city (Calgary). I’ve also started to write the third album, which is very different so I’m really excited about that. It’s gonna be a bit rustic and I’m coming at it from a totally different perspective. I’m not going to use any of my normal writing rituals that I usually do.
Alexa Borden’s new album Flares is out now.
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