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Alexa Goddard Doesn’t Want to be Dull

Alexa Goddard is not new at being a popstar. While her debut single may have only just been popped on the internet, Alexa has been singing since she was 14. She initially came to prominence after she recorded and uploaded a cover version of Soulja Boy’s ‘Turn My Swag On’ (the Keri Hilson version, mind. You know, that one that was also covered by X Factor’s Cher Lloyd). The track managed to sneak its way into the UK Top 40, a feat that’s sometimes hard for established artists, let alone an unsigned young girl from Surrey. Since then, Alexa has managed to become one of the ten most subscribed musicians in the history of YouTube in the UK with over 40 million views. 

Now she’s been unleashed into the wild, inking a deal with Roc Nation and recording with some of the best producers around. Her debut single, ’Marilyn’, produced by Stargate, acts as a mission statement for Alexa herself; she doesn’t want to be dull, she want’s to slay lives. The track’s glittery pop-step production and irresistible synths are the the things that pop dreams are made of, and have already kept me up at night, whirling around my head. 

Not wanting to miss out on the action, we headed out for a chat with Alexa in which we discussed internet trolls, basic bitches and dutty wining…

Planet Notion: Hello Alexa. How are you?
Alexa Goddard: I’m alright. I’m very excited about life at the minute. It’s all kinda gone crazy in the last few weeks. It’s been mad. It feels real now.

PN: It’s been quite a long time coming.
AG: Yeah! I’ve been singing professional since I was 14. It’s a long time. I think the last couple of years, since I signed with Roc Nation, have been the real deal.

PN: Did everything sort of go on fast forward?
AG: Sort of… Do you know what? I signed in October 2012, and I suppose I kind of thought I would sign and work. But I didn’t. I signed in October, and then over the Christmas period people stop.  But I didn’t want to. I hadn’t even worked yet!

PN: How did you feel when people got to hear Marilyn?
AG: That, for me, was literally the highlights of everything so far. The YouTube thing has been going for four years, so everybody that’s subscribed to that has heard covers, covers and more covers. That’s great, and I can’t take anything away from that because without that I wouldn’t be doing this and Roc wouldn’t have heard of me. Everything’s come because of that. But I got so bored! Especially once I’d actually done the album. It was like, “Come on! Let’s show people!”

So, to put that up was, not relief, just so nice. And the comments have been lovely. You get the odd nasty thing here and there but that’s bound to happen.

PN: I remember when I first got trolled on the Internet. I thought it was hilarious.
AG: I’ve been asked whether I still read all the comments. I don’t anymore, but when I first started doing it I was a young girl and I wanted to know what people thought. I’d go through and read them. Nine out of ten comments were lovely and it was really nice to know that I was doing something nice. But, I would get the most random things like, “You’ve had more pricks than a second hand dart board”. I will never forget that one. It’s like HOW DO YOU KNOW? It’s hilarious!

You just can’t be sensitive to stuff like that. You’ve got to laugh.

PN: Lets talk about your debut single, ‘Marilyn’. In the song you’re saying that you don’t want to be a basic bitch, but do you feel like that’s happening?
AG: I don’t know. I think part of me will always feel like a basic bitch. Probably because the way things have happened; I’m sat in my bedroom with my pink fluffy headphones on. It’s so basic! It doesn’t get more basic than that. But, what I love about ‘Marilyn’ is that it’s kind of tongue-in-cheek. I’m not saying I want to be Marilyn Monroe. It’s just that I don’t want to be normal anymore. I want to stand out. The message that I think that song gives is to encourage people to embrace being differnet, like Marilyn Monroe was.

PN: I get that.
AG: Exactly, but basic bitches will think that I want to be Marilyn Monroe.

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PN: Does the song have a video?
AG: Not yet. We’re shooting in May.

PN: Good, because I had an idea for a treatment. It’s you either dressed up as Marilyn being chased by lots of people, or you chasing Marilyn through a city and you’re trying to get to her because you want to be her.
AG: I actually love that!

PN: You can have that one for free.
AG: My management will love that idea! The treatment, as it is, is me in an apartment dressed as nu-school Marilyn Monroe. We don’t want it to be white dress, hair, red lips; it’s a bit too obvious. We’re filming it in Nashville. The idea is that the camera is panning round and there’s some crazy dude dressed as an astronaut, then there’s a guy riding a bike who has a rabbit head – I feel like if you watch it you’ll feel like you’re on drugs, or something. You realise, throughout the video, that these are actually my friends. They pick me up and we go out to party. Everyone else around us is basic and my friends I are just crazy freaks but loving life. 

I love that idea, but do like the idea of me chasing Marilyn.

PN: I could see you with a kind of stalker vibe going on.
AG: Like I’m a crazy, crazy bitch. Maybe not with a knife, that could be too much. I don’t know, with handcuffs or something…

PN: So is the album as amazing as Marilyn?
AG: I think it is. I absolutely love it. I know that I’m probably biased, but it’s a good thing. It’s so diverse, but it all fits together. It’s pop, it’s fun; it’s unashamed pop music that’s kind of rough around the edges. It’s not perfect bubblegum pop.  It’s a pop record that’s a bit edgy and dirty, and a little bit controversial.

PN: One of the songs that I’ve heard, ‘So There’, has a bit of a Taylor Swift country vibe to it.
AG: So, that is what we think is going to be the second single. It’s very Taylor Swift, because it’s almost got a country twang [at this point Alexa sings part of the riff]. I love it. It’s so pop. For me that’s probably the strongest pop song on the album. It was actually going to be the first single, but when I heard ‘Marilyn’…that’s such a fucking statement bang-the-door-down first single. I think ‘So There’ is just a catchy pop that’s uplifting.

PN: I absolutely love it.
AG: We also have another song that’s produced by DJ Mustard, which I call my ‘ratchet’ song – if I can get away with having a ‘ratchet’ song.

PN: If Miley can do it, you can do it.
AG: Yeah, exactly! I’m not a basic bitch [laughs]… Maybe I should call my album ‘Basic Bitch’.

PN: Or ‘Not A Basic Bitch’.
AG: ‘(Not A) Basic Bitch’ – I love that! [laughs].

PN: Girls are really killing it at the moment. How do you feel coming into that now?
AG: It’s definitely a hard time for girls, because there are so many amazing female artists. I’m wary because there’s so much competition. Although, I hate to think of it as competition because I think everyone is so different in their own right. I like to think that I’ll be ok, but there are loads of female artists and they’re all so good.

PN: I would call your sound different. When I first heard the songs I thought that it was on the pop side of pop country, which is kind of a first here.
AG: That’s really interesting. Do you know what? When we were making the album – and not necessarily musically we didn’t mean – but when we were talking about artists and how I wanted to be perceived I said I wanted to be in the middle of Taylor Swift and Rihanna.

But, I mean, I’m not country but I’m definitely not Rihanna.

PN: You’re not going to be dutty wining?
AG: [laughs] I’d love to be, don’t get me wrong, but I physically can’t! But, it’s just that nice mix of fun, young pop; a little bit of ratchet, a little bit of sassy.

PN: Would you ‘Beyoncé’ the album?
AG: God, I’d love to. Can you imagine? But, I definitely don’t think I’m in a position to do that. I need to do fucking loads of promo [laughs]. I think that was amazing, though. Can you imagine? It’s like, ‘By the way, here’s an album and here’s a video for every song.’ It’s like you’ve got a baby! I watched this video where she says that she’s breastfeeding one minute and recording the next. Blue must just be on the boob while B is sat recording.

One day we will Beyoncé an album.

PN: Let’s do it!
AG: For album six or seven we can do it. It’ll be ‘Alexa’ in pink writing with a black background and I’ll have an accent on the ‘e’ just because I can [laughs].

PN: Finally, why do you think people often mask pop music and try to dress it up as something that is, in their eyes, credible?
AG: I don’t know why that is. I think perhaps a little while ago, pop music was not as credible as it is now, because it was so clearly different. You had defined genres. Whereas now, I feel like everyone uses everything. You have some rappers whose music couldn’t be any more pop, but they’re still rappers. Rihanna would make a pop record, but you don’t listen to it and think that it’s necessarily pop because it’s cool and it’s urban.

I’m not ashamed of my album being pop; I love pop music. I, for one, am all for it. Pop is fabulous!

PN: You basically just want glitter cannons and sparkles.
AG: Listen, I love unicorns. It doesn’t get more pop than that.

Alexa will play a headline show at London’s Islington Academy on 20th May. ‘Marilyn’ is released on July 27th 2014. 

- Alim Kheraj



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