Big City, Even Bigger Dreams: Alexis Grace Shines in the Spotlight

Posted on March 27, 2015

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1425085387By Isabelle Nelson

Alexis Grace has made it a long way since her days on American Idol. In season 8, Grace was recognized as the petite blonde who wowed the judges and audience with her booming vocals. Advancing to the top 11, Grace was featured on segments such as Ellen and The Today Show. Singing since the age of 7 as a member of her church’s youth choir, Grace performs solo gigs across the country while also managing to co-host Q107.5 WHBQ-FM, the No. 1 rated mid-day Top 40 radio show in Memphis. Her positive attitude and devotion to creating music, not to mention her star-like presence on stage, has made Grace such a successful entertainer since her Idol days. As the daughter of a Beale Street Musician, Grace is widely inspired by the Memphis music scene that she was raised in. “Both of my parents are to blame for my musical obsession,” says Grace. Her latest EP entitled “Kiddo” is her first release of original music since her time on the reality television competitive-singing broadcast. With sassy, empowering numbers such as “I’m So Done” and slower, feel-good ballads such as “James Dean,” Grace’s pop/country sound reflects her soul full of energy and passion.

She describes American Idol as a whirlwind. “It all happened so incredibly fast, but all in all it was a dream experience. You get swept up in the magical town of L.A. and placed on national TV when just 2 weeks before I was grocery shopping and not one person knew my name. It was a lot of fun. I got to see so many new faces and have all these new experiences.”

Grace claims that she is not only influenced by moments in her life, but also artists and musicians she listens to. “At the moment, I am listening to Simon and Garfunkel’s Live 1969 album and it just makes me want to do so much with my life. I listen to people like them and it just moves me.” She is also a big fan of R&B figures of the Memphis soul movement such as Ann Peebles and Aretha Franklin.

What does she like most about the Memphis music scene? “The soul. At the moment, the Memphis music scene is full of different genres and styles, but if you were to play with any Memphis musician and asked them to play any song from the Stax catalog, they would just get it right away. It is this sense of true, non-forced musical love. We all share that in this city. That love is not only for the musicians, but for the city of Memphis in its entirety.”

Kiddo, released this past January, came out less than a year after the passing of her father. The title is a nickname from her father, who was “the biggest musical influence in [her] life.” Her father inspired her favorite song on her debut EP, which opens up beautiful, harmonic sounds that transforms into a heartfelt ballad. Grace’s powerful, soaring vocals make it reminiscent of a Carrie Underwood track. “Will You Miss Me [is a song I wrote] about my dad. I did not intend on writing this song for the EP. He was a bass player for most of his life. He lived the life of an artist. I was so drawn to him because of his passion for the music. Because the life of an artist is a demanding, selfish one, it requires one to be gone and I think when my dad started to get sick he seemed to be so concerned about all of the choices he made as an artist and how it affected his loved ones relationships.” Her empowering lyrics and strong vocals reflect Grace’s ability to be courageously positive even in hardest of times.

Her most memorable experience as an artist? Her EP release party. “It was the first time all of those people were there for my own art. They were not there to hear me cover another artist. They were there to hear my music. It was everything I have been working for, and it felt great.”

And she should feel great. Alexis Grace has soared to new musical heights in the past year. When asked where she hopes her music takes her, she replied with an answer that was as refreshingly dazzling as herself; “An eternal happy place. As long as I am developing and continuing to write and record, then I will be a happy girl.” She adds, “Not to say that a Live in Central Park concert would not be too shabby either.”

Keep shining on, Alexis.

Kiddo by Alexis Grace is available on iTunes and Spotify. Be sure to also check out her video for her single “I’m So Done.” For more updates and/or to receive a free download of her single, “James Dean”, check out http://www.alexisgracemusic.com. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ia7AA0KQSfo)

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Posted in: Music