Ask Alexx: Lessons Learned from COVID

Photo by Daniel Corey
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As seen in Guitar Girl Magazine Issue 19 – Spring 2022

Hey Alexx!

What is the biggest thing you’ve learned about yourself as a musician and as an individual through COVID?

~ Matthew Douglas

Hi Matthew:

That is a fabulous question. The biggest thing I’ve learned is that I don’t function very well if I can’t play live… and I don’t mean live stream. I mean LIVE live. I need to feel and feed off the energy of an in-person audience. There’s just something missing for me when it comes to online performances, and oftentimes I feel hollow afterward. I know people are being supportive, commenting, and cheering virtually, but it’s just very strange when you finish a song and no one’s applauding. 

When everything closed up and musicians couldn’t play live shows anymore, I kind of shut down. There are so few avenues left where we can make money (live shows being one of them), so when that happened, I didn’t know what the heck I was going to do. I suppose I could have done more writing during that time, but I felt so uninspired because my livelihood was taken away, and I was scrambling to survive. Instead, I took most of that time to really self-reflect and figure out what I really wanted to do with my life and career. 

What I learned is that music isn’t the only thing that defines me. I like to think of myself as more of an artist in general nowadays, as I have a lot of different interests and abilities in the creative realm. I started to delve more into photography and videography. I traveled more. I spent more time with my family than I have in years. I met an amazing man who saved me in so many ways during the pandemic, and now we’re engaged. I finally took a moment to just breathe for a change. 

There are obviously a lot of negative things I can say about the pandemic, but what I am grateful for is that I had some time to really look inward, develop some new skills, and remind myself that music is still very much in my blood and bones, and that I can’t live without it. 

Here’s hoping you learned a lot about yourself during this time, too.

~ Alexx Calise

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Alexx Calise is an accomplished singer, guitarist, and songwriter. Perhaps best known for her hit song, “Cry,” which became a staple on the show “Dance Moms” and boasts millions of hits on YouTube, Calise’s raw emotion, heart-and soul-lyrics, and unmistakable vibrato have impacted thousands of young girls all over the world. Calise is currently working on new solo material and songs for licensing, and she recently released a new EP with another music project, Batfarm. In addition to her musical pursuits, she also works in public relations and marketing and owns her own party entertainment business. When not playing shows or writing music, she enjoys horror movies, exercising, or taking a well-deserved nap.