An Interview With AleXa: Why This AI “Villain” Is Actually A Down-To-Earth Sweetheart

 An Interview With AleXa: Why This AI “Villain” Is Actually A Down-To-Earth Sweetheart

What The Kpop recently had the opportunity to sit down with K-pop idol AleXa for an interview. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we held the interview via Zoom. However, even across the internet, AleXa’s warm personality shined through, charming our staff with her down-to-earth way of speaking and thoughtful answers.

The popular solo artist will soon be releasing a new track entitled “Rule The World” on September 4th. The song is a collaboration with gaming music star TheFatRat. In addition, she has confirmed her comeback for October, making fans excited for the news that her title track will be produced by famous hitmakers LDN Noise.

Before her new releases, however, get to know more about this talented artist by reading our interview below! From her tastes in anime to which female role models helped form her into such a strong woman today, read below for questions that she’s never been asked before.

WTK: Hi, AleXa! My name is Amy, and I’m from What The Kpop. First of all, I just thank you for meeting with us today. I know that you’ve got a busy schedule, so I’m glad that you were able to take a few minutes to speak with us.

AleXa: Oh, you’re very welcome.

WTK: Before you were actually a K-pop idol yourself, you did so many different things! You’ve done cosplay in the past, you’ve done voice acting, you’ve been on shows where you tried out for different things, you’ve taken part in long training, etc… all leading up to this point in your career. So, first of all, just to get things started, can I ask you what’s been your favorite part of the journey so far?

AleXa: Let’s see. I mean, from way back until now, I think the thing that I liked the most about my journey is not just one thing. Since it’s still ongoing, it’s just the fact that I get to see myself improve, that’s the thing. So, improvement for me is probably the thing that I really enjoy about this process.

WTK: Since your debut, you have had quite an unusual concept. For those that don’t know, it’s about a multiverse and you’ve had a trilogy of songs: “Bomb,” “Do or Die,” and “Villain.” You’re avatar or AI escapes into a physical body and then goes into the real world, right? We know this suits you really well since you’re a fan of dark concepts and horror and science fiction. So, if this were to ever happen to you in real life and you became an AI, whose body would you want to take over?

AleXa: Dwayne the Rock Johnson! (laughs) Because I just want to be the Rock! I mean, who doesn’t want to be the Rock? (laughs again) So, definitely Dwayne the Rock Johnson! Yeah!

WTK: When we watched the making video for your recent “Villain” MV, we saw you doing the Naruto run and already knew that you’re into anime. I know your schedule probably doesn’t allow you too much time anymore, but are there any animes that you’re into recently? Or are there ones that you’d like to recommend for your fans to watch?

AleXa: I haven’t watched anything recently. The most recent thing I watched was the anime adaptation of some of Junji Ito’s work. If you didn’t know, his collections were turned into an anime. If you like horror, I recommend that. But one of my all-time, go-to shows is always “Death Note” or “Full Metal Alchemist.” So, those are ones I wouldn’t mind re-watching again if I find time.

WTK: Your fans, or AI troopers as they’re called, refer to your music as a cultural reset when it comes to how you’ve changed the game. For you, which artist or even what genre was the cultural reset in your own life?

AleXa: I feel like without a doubt I do have to say K-pop was the cultural reset for me. Had I not stumbled into K-pop, I wouldn’t be doing what I am now. Then there was someone also like SHINee. They’ve been a pivotal group, a pivotal senior for me in my career. So, they were my cultural reset.

WTK: Apart from SHINee, I know that you also got into K-pop after hearing artists like Super Junior. Going from a K-pop fan to a K-pop idol yourself, what has the experience been like? Is is still kind of surreal for you or how would you describe the experience?

AleXa: Oh man, it’s definitely surreal! I never thought that in my wildest dreams I would find myself being an idol for my career. Being able to stand on the same stage in music shows as so many wonderful and talented seniors… like it’s incredible. It’s definitely been very surreal for me thus far.

WTK: Recently, you held your own virtual concert, and you also opened the show for IN2IT in India. How did the two experiences differ as far as opening for one group versus having your own concert? Did it affect you that your first solo concert was a virtual concert? If so, what were some of those challenges like?

AleXa: I mean, it definitely is very different having my own concert versus opening up for a senior group. I will say that being able to open up for their concert two times was a really good experience because I learned crowd management. Also, I learned how to feed off of people’s energy for the concert performance. Then when it comes to my own solo concert, even though it was digital, I could still feel everyone’s love and support through the comments because there was a live monitor where I could read all the comments in real time. So, even though there weren’t people there in person, I still felt the presence of them. I’m an extrovert and I’m someone that draws energy from other people. So, virtual concert or online concert, it’s just both a really fun experience for me.

WTK: So many people did tune into your concert, and I know that a lot of people were leaving comments also, so it was a great success! Do you feel like from here on out that online concerts are going to be more of a staple in K-pop, even once things like COVID-19 slows down and things are as back to normal as possible? Are virtual concerts here to stay?

AleXa: However fast the pandemic does come to an end, I do feel like online concerts, online fan meetings, and everything else that’s been happening in the industry during this time is something that is here to stay. Because you never know what could happen in the future. So, I believe everybody learning the ways of online concerts, the data, the statistics, the reactions, how fans work.. I think it’s something we’re going to wind up keeping in the future.

WTK: You exude this natural charm, charisma and confidence. So, what would you say to younger fans, especially those who are coming up and trying to find their own persona and sense of self confidence? How did you become who you are today and grow into this confident young woman that we know as the singer AleXa?

AleXa: Thank you for that. Let’s see. I don’t know. I would just say, don’t get lost in the crowd I guess. People will always find ways to try to belittle you for ways that you’re different, for ways that you stick out. But embrace those and make those your strong points. Don’t let anybody try to define you as a person. You alone can define yourself. So yeah, take comfort and joy and pride in your individuality.

WTK: Now, I don’t know if you’re familiar much with the Reddit sub-threads for K-pop, but ever since the music video for “Villain” dropped, your fans have been busy analyzing the trilogy and making all these theories about the Alexa universe. I don’t know if you’ve read any of these online, but there is a really popular thread on Reddit and also one on Twitter about the Alexa universe. The summary is that they believe there are different versions of AleXa and that she embodies the different human emotions that each AI version has discovered. What do you say to all of that? Can you give us any hints or have you been able to read any of these fan theories yourself?

AleXa: I mean, I’ve dabbled a bit here and there on Twitter. I’ve been looking at a lot of tweets, and I read the comments. There’s some interesting theories. I mean, when we go into these comebacks and pre-releases and stuff, we know the plot. We know what we’re trying to get into. But then whenever I’m with my staff, we read things in the comments. We’re like, “Oh, well, that’s an interesting take on why we thought of that.” But it’s really cool to see how how imaginative and smart and observant everyone is. Because they catch and piece things together. And I’m like, yes! Those are my smart, beautiful fans! Yes!

WTK: Coming from your label, which is a video production company, have there ever been things that your fans noticed about the videos that maybe you didn’t even notice yourself at the time?

AleXa: Oh, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen some comments noting some things and seeing the background or like they’ll think a certain layer goes with a certain thing. I will say though, this is not something we intended for, but with the release of “Villain”— of course, we do have a small, kind of floating, pyramid-looking thing at the end, and I do this [thing] with my hands. But it’s kind of funny because some people thought we were alluding to the fact that we are a part of the Illuminati! But we are not. (laughs)

WTK: Yes, just to make that clarification! (laughs) So your music, like we said, features the image of this strong, independent woman where you are like cyborg, pop, diva (and we love it, by the way). When you were growing up, did you have many strong female role models? Who inspired you?

AleXa: If we’re talking about strong females, then of course, one pivotal character has been my mother. She is honestly one of the strongest women I know. If we’re talking in an artistry sense, since my parents raised me on older music, then people like Cyndi Lauper, Joan Jett, and Whitney Houston. Into the more modern age and as I was starting to grow up a bit, then Rhianna, Brittany, Christina. This is the kind of aura of artists and people that I really looked up to and enjoyed their work.

WTK: If you were ever able to branch out— maybe not on your main comebacks but for special songs or covers— are the genres of music from the artists you just mentioned something you would like to dabble in? Or is there any other type of music that you would like to try for something different?

AleXa: I mean any opportunity I would be given to branch out and just try something that I’ve never done before, I want to try of course. I would love to take the bull by the horns and just go at it! So, whatever and whenever those opportunities arise, yes definitely.

WTK: We know that you have like a “sad boi” playlist when you’re feeling down. When you’re feeling happy or pumped up, however, what do you like to listen to?

AleXa: If I’m having a good mood and I’m just going for a walk or something, I listen to lot of Queen, Fleetwood Mac, some Dolly Parton. Believe it or not, Dolly Parton is the only country artist I will make an excuse to listen to.

WTK: Well, she’s one of the ultimate divas herself so…

AleXa: She really is, she really is! But I don’t know… just kind of like older pop I guess, without all this like synth and heavy bass we have now. Just old style pop music, I guess, is kind of my music sphere.

WTK: I know also that you were a musical major in college, and I am a huge fan of musicals myself. So, I have to know something! Musicals are so popular in Korea, and it’s a big scene there. So, if you ever got the chance and you could work in a musical there, is there a specific musical that you would want to be cast in?

AleXa: A lot! But if I could be cast in any musical I wanted, I think it’d be fun to try Maureen from Rent or Veronica in Heathers. I feel like these both are fun roles [and I’d like] to give it a go.

WTK: One more question! Fans really enjoyed hearing the lyrics you wrote for your last song and are looking forward to hearing more of your work in the future. We know all songwriters have lyrics written in journals, so if you have any saved, do you mind sharing a previously unreleased lyrics with our readers? Just something that you haven’t yet shared with the world?

AleXa: Sure! I mean, I am one of those people that has journals upon journals upon journals of song lyrics. I keep them in my phone as well too actually. If I were to share something real quick, right off the bat, what would it be? What would it be? What would it be? (laughs while looking through phone) See! There’s a lot in here. Yes, yes, yes. Doot, doot, doot, doot. (laughs again) Oh, I don’t know. These are all just kind of… deep. Let’s see. Ok, I’m just going to read these two lines. It’s just something I wrote once. ‘Do I have to rearrange the stars and have them spell our names in the sky?’ That’s it. (smiles)

WTK: Thank you, AleXa! We look forward to hearing how you will use that in a song one day, and we look forward to hearing more from you in both your music and your lyrics too! Before we go, do you have any last words to people that might be reading about you for the first time, as well as to fans that have been with you since the beginning of the journey?

AleXa: Sure! Whether you’ve been with me for a day, an hour, or five minutes, or five years, thank you so much for staying by my side throughout this wild roller coaster journey that has been my career thus far! And I promise to keep working super hard to become a better artist and a better person that you can enjoy in the future. Thank you so much. I love you!

Thank you again to AleXa for taking the time to speak with us in this interview! Not only is she an exceptionally talented young artist, but her bright, cheerful personality and down-to-earth manners immediately endear her to those with whom she is speaking. To learn more about AleXa, you can click here to follow her on YouTube or click the following sites to follow her on social media: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok.

AleXa will be releasing “Rule The World” on September 4th, so make sure to stay tuned for her new track!

What did you think of this interview with AleXa? Did you learn anything new about her? Make sure to share your thoughts with us by tweeting to @whatthekpop1! In addition, make sure to tag @AleXa_ZB as well!

Media: ZB Label
Interview: Amy Leigh, Ishani Sarkar

*Portions of this article have been edited for clarity.

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