WMN last interviewed Arielle Alexa in 2018 as she was boarding a flight to New York City in the hopes of connecting with the international music industry and growing her craft as a singer and songwriter. At the time, she had just released Turning Me On, a dancehall collaboration with Busy Signal. On the heels of that, her recent collaboration with cricketer and recording artiste, DJ Bravo (Dwayne Bravo) has resulted in two new tracks – which have found favour in the global music scene – particularly in India.
“New York City is a different kind of beast – you can easily get lost in the concrete jungle of the city in more ways than one. So I found the experience there to be a bittersweet one. While I am proud of myself for the hustle and happy for the connections I made with people who I now consider to be family, I also do wish I was more prepared for the challenges that came my way,” Alexa told WMN.
“I was out of my comfort zone and just branching off as a solo artiste – so it really allowed me to learn about myself and the industry and also to record a lot of new music while I was there,” she added. Of that experience, she admitted that after some time, what she was doing there wasn’t bring her as much joy as she expected, so she started seeking out new ways to connect her love for her craft with her audience.
“Just as I felt as though I was stagnating, a mutual friend introduced me to Dwayne Bravo who started following my music some time before,” she recalled. That connection allowed DJ Bravo to share an upcoming song, Love You Baby with her and on hearing it, she immediately returned a voice-note on Whatsapp to him with her verse and chorus on the track. An official recording followed and DJ Bravo invited her to join him on his tour of India where, among other things, he would be promoting the track.
“We toured five cities in India at different venues. It’s one thing to be in the Caribbean and know that he has a fan following in India, but an entirely different thing to be there with him, alongside DJ Ana, and experience it. He is an all-out celebrity there! You have to be there to see the response and reactions to his presence – it’s incredible and well warranted.
"Dwayne is genuinely a great person who opens up his resources, connections and network to people who he also believes in and allowed me to not only perform alongside him but also to perform my own music and open up his fanbase to my music as well.” Love You Baby has since garnered over 1.5 million views on Youtube. In November 2019, the Trinibagonian contingent returned to India and again toured several cities and venues, this time for three and half weeks.
Following the success of those tracks and tours, the pair released another track, #2Easy, a smooth, groovy soca track built on a riddim by local DJ’s and radio personalities DJ Ana and Ultra Simmo. In a short time, the video has garnered more than 63,000 views (at last count on January 21, 2020) and comments from around the globe. While the upcoming Carnival season will see Arielle Alexa on the circuit at certain events, her focus afterward would be to create a small catalogue of music that she sees as "100 per cent her truth."
“That’s what I want to put out there, music that is real to me,” she pointed out. Part of that truth has been her recent engagement on Instagram where, in October last year she created Singy Sundays where she performs a cover song for her followers.
“It’s easy to see social media as a negative space as we see a lot of research emerging in regard to the mental health aspects of these platforms, so I took a look at my Instagram and thought, how can I make this a positive space instead,” she explained.
“The response has thankfully been amazing, given that I was so nervous. But I gained a lot of fans and new followers from this endeavour alone.” She also believes that while social media has changed the landscape for the creative community in terms of connecting with fans, it doesn’t make being seen and signed by a label any easier.
“Sure, the market has changed in terms of being able to share your music and get bookings for events much easier, but now labels are preferring to sign artistes that have a viable audience and following already – so don’t think in terms of aiming to be signed to build an audience, try to build an audience on your own. I also encourage younger musicians and those new to the industry to always review an agreement or contract with an attorney, especially one who is familiar with the industry.”
Alexa is excited and eager to share her upcoming releases with her fans, a base that she is growing with her unique skillset and sound one song at a time.
Follow her on Instagram @arielle.alexa and find her tracks on both Apple Music and Spotify.
Photos courtesy Arielle Alexa