Check our interview with talented songwriter Natalie Alexander. Her upcoming EP is a true product of self-expression, crafted in her own beautiful way. The lead single, “Cruel”, is a track that Natalie describes as “upbeat but meaningful” and something she felt instantly connected to.

In addition to her music career, Natalie is passionate about protecting women, children, and animals.

Describe yourself in 3 words?

Bubbly, adventurous, extroverted

We’re sure you have been asked this million times but how did you get in the industry?

My brothers have a band that I was involved with managing. I decided I wanted to explore the artistry side of the industry and started working with a producer last year to help create my sound and record “Cruel” and a few other songs that will be on my EP. It’s been quite a ride so far. I’m really looking forward to what’s ahead.

What is your musical background?

I’ve been surrounded by music my whole life. My mom is an amazing singer and guitarist and my brothers and I have been playing instruments and singing since we were young. I started playing piano when I was 8.

Do you play any instrument?

Piano. I’ve recently started learning how to play the guitar but piano is definitely my instrument.

Do you ever get nervous?

All the time! I get the worst stage fright right before I perform. Once I get going it all melts away but my stomach is in knots when I first get up there.

If you could go on tour with an artist right now who would it be?

Thomas Rhett. I followed his Hometeam tour and they looked like they had such a good time! I love how communal country music is. It’s so special.

Now tell us about your single “Cruel”?

Cruel has been such an exciting song for me. It’s my first single as a recording artist and I’ve learned so much through the whole process. It talks about being played by someone and feeling completely betrayed and dumb for believing it all. But it’s not a song of hate it’s really uplifting in the sense that it’s about realizing that the way people treat each other in relationships is just a cycle. When someone breaks your heart chances are theirs has been broken too. At some point the cycle has to stop and that’s what the song is about.

What inspires you to write and do new music?

Music is an outlet for expressing yourself. For some reason it’s easier to sing about something than talk about how you feel. That’s inspiring to me. I’m starting out writing my own material and I want to be able to express how I feel and manage to create something that hits home for listeners reflecting on their own relationships and lives. It’s definitely a process.

What’s the best and hardest part of being a musician?

I’d say being vulnerable. As cliché as that sounds, I never really realized it until recording these songs how hard it is to wear your heart on your sleeve for everyone to hear. It’s really intimate and scary but at the same time it’s what makes music so great. You put yourself out there and hope that other people can relate to what you’ve been through and find strength in it.

Who else in your family sings?

My mom and my brothers. It’s really fun to be in such a musical family but they give me a run for my money, which isn’t always so fun!

Best advice ever given?

Don’t keep yourself from doing something in fear of what other people will think. The people who care about you will support you no matter what, and the people who don’t didn’t matter anyway.

Do you have a role model?

My dad. He’s able to take any situation and always make things go right – it amazes me.

What is you favorite song? And why?

Right now I love the song Once by Maren Morris. Her voice is so powerful and even though it’s a sad song it still feels uplifting because of the chorus. She’s amazing.

Any future plans you want to share with us?

I have an EP coming out towards the end of the summer that I’m excited about! Other than that, right now I’m working on some original songs that I’m looking forward to releasing shortly after.

What is your next goal as a musician?

To collaborate with other writers on some of my originals. I have some great songs on my EP that were written by Hillary Lindsey, who is an idol of mine, but I’m really excited to explore working with writers on my own material.

What tips can you give to teenagers looking to get signed or get noticed?

Don’t try to copy other artists. Be you! Unique sells.

Any loves, other then music?

I love dogs. I have 2 cocker spaniels named Gio and Niko that I got as puppies my senior year of high school. They sleep in my bed with me whenever I’m home, head-on-pillow like humans! I probably annoy everyone with all the Snapchats I post of them but I don’t care. They’re the cutest!

Name 3 things you can’t live without?

Kraft Mac n Cheese, really soft sheets, and good brows.

Name one your strengths?

I’m very outgoing – I have no problem talking to anyone. The whole “no talking to strangers” thing didn’t really click. When I was a kid I’d scare my parents because I would go up to literally anyone and strike up a conversation!

How is a normal day in your life?

I’m still in college so it’s a balancing act right now. I try to exercise every day so I’ll usually go to barre or spin in the morning and then go to class or have meetings for my music. I like staying busy and being on the go. I write a lot while I’m in the car and sing it into the voice memos on my phone. I’m always productive in traffic, weirdly enough. I’m also a major coffee addict so there are a couple iced cold brews in there as well!

What is your favorite healthy food?

Guacamole. Not sure how healthy that is but it’s made of veggies and I could eat it with a spoon. I could and I do.

And your favorite cheat food?

Cotton candy ice cream from Cold Stone. It’s my guilty pleasure.

If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?

Simon Cowell. When I watched American Idol growing up I always wanted to know if I’d get a yes from him if I auditioned!

How do you see yourself in 5 years?

Still working on my music and performing a lot!

Do you support any charities?

I have a special place in my heart for causes that support animals, children and veterans. I think Canine Companions for Independence is a great organization. I had some friends in high school whose families fostered a puppy from them to train for the program and I thought it was such a cool cause!

Where we can follow you?

Follow me on instagram so I can keep you updated on my music and stay connected with you! @nataliealexandermusic

Quote: “Don’t feel stupid if you don’t like what everyone else pretends to love.”

Book: Tuck Everlasting

Movie: Rocky

Actor/Actress: Nicole Kidman

Food: Sushi

Tv Series: The Office

Restaurant: In N Out

Celebrity Crush: Chris Pine

Sports Team: SF Giants (will admit I’m a total bandwagoner but my brothers are die hard supporters so I’ve been adopted into the fan club)

Photo credit: Brandon Showers