“I truly believe that music can change someone’s world, as music has shaped me into the person I am today. Music has always played a huge role in my life, allowing me to make sense of all of life’s hardships and triumphs and I truly hope to help others through my music.”
Twenty-year-old New York native Alexa Kishner, who recently released her latest single, “Moving On.”
Can you tell us about your career to date?
I started singing when I was three years old and I started playing guitar and writing songs when I was about ten. Music became a way for me to express myself in a way that brings me closer to others — it is, in fact, the “universal language.”
Songwriting is a very important aspect of my life. It has shaped me into the person I am today and constantly helps me deal with and manage life’s peaks, valleys and intricate emotional situations.
I have played shows all over New York and Nashville and I recently found out that I won an American Songwriting Award, which is extremely inspiring! Also, my new single, “Moving On” came out on October 5th and I’m so excited about it. Everyone involved in allowing this song to come to life worked so hard, and I’m so happy it’s out and that people are enjoying it!
What got you to write songs?
When I started writing songs, it was never anything serious. As a ten-year-old, I wasn’t a great writer, but I kept going. It wasn’t until I was about twelve that I started taking songwriting seriously. The process is simultaneously magical and fascinating and I fell in love with it. I have managed most of my triumphs and disappointments through my songs.
I think a major part, for me, was listening to music. I started listening to Taylor Swift’s music and I think that was the moment where it set in for me — that songwriting was an actual thing that a girl could pursue in life.
Can you remember the first time you wrote a song?
I remember sitting on the floor and writing my first song, scribbling lyrics in my notebook and singing melodies. My songwriting abilities have definitely come a long way since then!
Who gave you the support to keep writing in the beginning?
My family has always supported me, through everything. You really never know where it’s going to go with music and the fact that my family was supportive and encouraged me to chase my dreams is everything to me. Writing has always been one of my greatest joys and I could not imagine my life without it. I’m so grateful to have the support I grew up with.
Who did you play the early songs for?
I always have and always will play new songs for my parents. Any time I write a new song, I send them a voice memo!
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
I’ve received a great deal of amazing advice in my life. One thing that always sticks with me is Rachel Platten telling me to “keep going.” As simple as that sounds, hearing that from someone I look up to as a person and as an artist is so encouraging.
What was the song that influenced you to start a career in music?
Taylor Swift, as an artist, influenced me to start a career in music. Before I discovered her, I had an undeniable love for music, but it wasn’t until I started listening to her music that made me believe that this was something I could do professionally.
Which song you have written is your favorite and why?
My current favorite song that I have written is my new single, which is called “Moving On.” I’m so proud of this song and I really hope people are enjoying and relating to it!
Which artists have inspired you?
I’m so inspired by any artist that has gone out and chased their dreams, despite any hardships. In being an artist, you have to get used to rejection and hearing people tell you that you’re not good enough. I’m inspired by those individuals who have persevered and achieved their dreams, using their voices for good. There is honestly nothing like music and I could not imagine myself doing anything else.
If you could record with any music star, who would it be?
If I could record with any artist, it would be Taylor Swift. As previously mentioned, Taylor was truly the artist that aided me in understanding what it meant to be an artist and how being a singer/songwriter was a career that I could pursue. I have always wanted to be an artist and the fact that I have created music and been able to put it out and have people listen to it and tell me they love it is astounding. I really cannot put that feeling into words. Taylor continues to inspire me today and I will forever be in awe of everything she has created in her career.
Where is your dream venue or festival to perform in?
Hands down, Madison Square Garden. Growing up in New York, I spent a great deal of time at this venue watching my favorite artists perform. Playing at Madison Square Garden would be an absolute dream.
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
Taylor Swift once said, “not letting things pass you by means understanding what makes you happy and allowing yourself to be happy within those moments.” This is so important to me because happiness truly is fleeting and we need to cherish those special moments. Do what makes you happy.
If you were driving cross-country and could only bring one CD, what would it be?
That’s so hard! Can I make a CD of my top 100 favorite songs?
What five artists/songs would I see on your recently played lists?
My favorite songs change just about every day, but you would probably see some Taylor Swift, Rachel Platten, Dan + Shay, John Lennon, and I recently discovered The Band CAMINO and love their music.
What are your favorite songs to belt out at the bar/in the car/for karaoke?
“I Wanna Dance with Somebody” is a classic karaoke jam, but if we’re being honest, I can jam out to just about anything. Give me some music and a speaker and I’m there!
If you weren’t singing, what would you be doing?
If I wasn’t singing, I’d probably be a psychologist. Music is so important for me because it’s a way for me to express myself and figure out my emotions, but it’s also a way for me to get these concepts out to the public. I can only hope that the words I write in my songs help someone — even if it is in a small way.
What are the five things you can’t live without?
Family and friends, music, dogs, bagels and chocolate!
If you were granted one wish, what would you ask for?
Worldwide good health and happiness.
When you’re not performing what do you like to do?
When I’m not performing, I’m probably writing. If I’m not writing, I love exploring and seeing new things and spending time with my family and friends.
What are your plans for 2019?
2018 has been a great year for me, musically. In 2019, I’m hoping to record and release some new music, while constantly writing and performing. I list all of my shows on my website: www.alexakishner.com so stay tuned for that!