Alexa Swinton rose to fame with her role in the ABC drama Emergence. Now, Alexa Swinton is making her way into the world of music! Her debut single “You, Me, and My Purple Docs” was released this summer. It’s hard to believe Alexa Swinton is not even a teenager yet! YEM spoke with Alexa Swinton about how much her career has grown over the past year.
Young Entertainment Mag: What is You, Me, and My Purple Docs about?
Alexa Swinton: It’s a song about personal power and kids joining together to make a difference! I want to inspire kids everywhere to take action to save our planet. I know we are young but we have to start somewhere and build the habit of caring for one another and for other creatures and for our earth. And every one of us has something special and unique – a super power – a talent – or even an outfit that makes you feel good – and I think when we feel good we can spread that positivity around.
YEM: What’s it like working with some of the most talented people in the field?
Alexa: It is amazing! I feel so fortunate to have had these opportunities! Working on this song has been such a great learning experience. Dawn Elder has been a great mentor and I have really loved working with Natascha and Lynn and Dwight and all the incredible musicians and the sound engineers. So much to learn from them all and they also enjoy collaborating with young musicians like myself. I am grateful for their energy and love for music and for teaching.
And of course – I am excited about our music video which you can find on YOUTUBE here https://youtu.be/AyKmpSFD90k. It was super fun to work with some of my acting friends and also my brother Maxim and sister Ava! My mom wrote and directed the video and my dad exec produced so it’s a real family business for us! And of course we had lots of support from friends who pitched in to help make this happen, like Sway Bhatia who helped choreograph the dancing in the video and her family were especially helpful! We put a lot of fun references into the video – like little Easter Eggs. There’s a rubber chicken we got on a trip to Ontario and also my wrap gift from “Emergence.” And even Russian candy and a fun portrait of my first dog.
YEM: Have you received any tips about your work that you were able to use in your music?
Alexa: Yes – many. For example – in writing and acting – you want to be as truthful as possible – meaning really feel what you are feeling and not force things really or be false. I think in music – it’s also like that – you want to really convey your true feelings about things and that will make others feel what you are feeling. And if you are playing a character in a song – you want to connect to that character and to tell the story from their point of view. So music is storytelling and so is acting. And I think there is also the way you work. You want to be free and brainstorm and improvise and then you want to sort of stop somewhere and then perfect that moment or idea but still have everything be alive IN THE MOMENT and moment to moment when you perform.
YEM: How would you best describe your sound?
Alexa: I think it’s sweet and a pop like sound. Maybe a bit folky or country. I love musicians like Taylor Swift and Camilla Cabello, and I really admire and love Dolly Parton so those are the sounds in my mind. As are the sounds of great musicals that I have seen or listened to – we go to many musicals in New York (before the pause) and we also listen to a lot of Broadway in the car – from Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat to Hairspray to Hello Dolly to Chorus Line to Hamilton of course. I think we have seen a hundred of them! I am still developing my sound so I think it will change as I grow and learn and experiment.
YEM: How have you been keeping your craft going during this time?
Alexa: I have been writing and directing plays in my basement! And paying my brother to perform in them – sometimes he asks for more money if he doesn’t like the costume or the dance moves. I charge my parents and grandparents to come see the show. It’s show business, right?
I have also taken lots of dance classes online and my brother and I took a wonderful puppet musical theater workshop at the George Street Playhouse. It was virtual of course and it was so much fun.
And I continue to take singing lessons and listen to tons of music and also we have been watching lots of musical theater at home and also film and TV. Actually – we have been very busy in quarantine.
And – our YouTube show – The Swinton Show – which is a variety show on YouTube. We have been creating new comedy and segments for that – my mother is an actress and comedian and so is my brother and we all work on the show together. My sister also has me join her in her TikToks – she’s obsessed.
YEM: What’s it like inside a recording studio, is it as magical as it looks?
Alexa: YES! It definitely is. You feel the presence of all these other musicians. Like Prince recorded “Purple Rain” in the SAME recording studio as we recorded “My Purple Docs.” And also – people who do music and the spaces for music are so COOL – very rock n’roll you know? You just feel this awesome Los Angeles vibe when you are there. We also love to go to the Hard Rock Cafe for that reason – it feels appropriate.
YEM: What has been your favorite thing about the process?
Alexa: I loved writing the song! Thinking about the tune, and the way the second verse and the first verse had to be connected some way. It is a puzzle. Fitting each phrase in together that makes sense in sound, in music, and in meaning. And then bringing in the musicians who then add their own sparks of creativity.
YEM: What is one obstacle you had to overcome and how did you overcome it?
Alexa: ONLINE SCHOOL and QUARANTINE. How do we all overcome this challenge? I am so lucky that I have a wonderful, active, creative family so share it with, and who have helped me with my studies during this time. But this is not an easy way to learn. So like everyone else, trying to make the most of each day, while we work hard to keep everyone in our house happy and healthy. And in my specific case, that has meant to a large degree, keep busy trying to make new things.
YEM: What are you hoping people take away from your music?
Alexa: I hope that when people listen to “You and Me and My Purple Docs” that they feel happy. And like they can do anything in the world! I love listening to music with stories, which is what I wanted people to get from my song!
Also I hope kids feel like they can make music and art too. I know I have a lot of support from my family and that we make a lot of art together. And not every kid is lucky to have that positive attitude around them so I guess I want to say to those kids who may want or need more support to believe in themselves and keep going and just give things you like a try.
Want to hear Alexa Swinton’s song?
Check out the music video here!