Even if you don’t recognize her name off the bat, there’s a chance that you’ve heard singer-songwriter Alexa Cappelli somewhere.
Called the “voice of a generation” by MTV, Cappelli possesses a distinctive set of pipes, all while writing more confessional songs, like her recent effort “Temporary.”
Local to Southern California, Cappelli pulls from a variety of influences – from Dua Lipa to Sabrina Carpenter – and officially launched her career during the pandemic with single “Forbidden.”
To date, “Forbidden” has racked up over 2.5 million Spotify streams and paved the way for other tracks, including the even more successful “Say Something” and eventually her independently released EP Confused.
“Temporary,” about ending a situationship and finding the kind of love one seeks, was released toward the end of August.
Supported by tastemakers and utilizing TikTok to build a brand, all while advocating for sustainability in the process, Cappelli has an enviable, rapidly rising career. We asked her a few questions about her latest track and successes thus far:
Tell us about your background: How did you get started with singing and songwriting?
I was always singing songs around the house as a kid, so my parents put me in voice lessons! I went on to do musical theater, local, and televised singing shows, and took my first songwriting class at the arts high school I attended!
The biggest thing I learned through all the performances I’d done growing up was that I wanted to be an artist telling my own stories!
You left college early to focus on music. What influenced your decision?
Being I was a music major and I was paying for my own college, I decided I would rather go all in with my artistry than be in debt! I am so glad I did.
I dropped out twice, renovated a camper trailer to live in, and moved to Los Angeles to start making more connections! It was great to be closer to the writing sessions I was prioritizing.
Your first single “Forbidden” dropped during the pandemic. Why did you select this as your debut?
I’d consider my first EP, The Colors That Make You my debut, because it marked a huge shift in my life, from singer to artist. It was a combination of the different sounds I was inspired by.
With “Forbidden” as the single following it up, it was the second step in continuing to develop my authentic sound. I am so proud of those songs and who I was then even though I have changed a lot since.
Lyrically, you write without a filter. What inspires your lyrics?
Songwriting often feels like putting together a puzzle. I have all these thoughts, ideas, and experiences, and making melodies that put them all together is addicting – especially when it gets stuck in my head.
I love co-writing too because I get to lay it all out on the table in conversation, and sometimes my collaborators find a piece I didn’t know was missing. I think this is why I like puzzles so much, haha!
Tell us about your track “Temporary.” What influenced it?
Last summer, I ended a long distance-ish fling that had a lot of potential. It was really difficult because the feelings I had were very real, but also made me very nervous.
At the time I was chalking it up to not having dated in a while, but I eventually ended it when I realized that we wanted different things in the long run.
I want something that is rare, and I wrote “Temporary” to validate my decision of walking away and letting go, in hopes of someday meeting a forever kind of love.
How does it feel to be called the “voice of a generation”?
Such an honor! I hope that as my voice and music continue to grow, more generations feel welcomed to join me on my journey. <3
You’ve also been gaining a following on TikTok. How have you been using this platform?
It’s so fun to make videos. I love editing clips for all forms of social media. TikTok has been wonderful for me to talk with fans and make friends and find new hobbies I didn’t even know I had, all while getting to share my life and music with the world!
You already have 2 EPs out. Do you have a full-length album planned?
YES! Wow, yes. I am currently working on my debut album. I have to stop and take it in every time I say it. The songs I’ve written for it so far already mean so much to me.
What other plans do you have for your career in the near and distant future?
Going on tour has been on my mind for years! Having conversations is my favorite part of making music and I can’t wait to get to meet the faces of the people who have turned my biggest passion into a career. I lived on wheels for a few years, and I have a feeling I’m going to love life on the road.
Ivan Yaskey is a Philly-born EDM and synthpop enthusiast and interviewer who recently relocated to beautiful Boston, MA.