During the 2016 Bring the Beat Back music workshops in Chicago, Derek took his time searching for a musical artist who reflected his vision for the main character: Dayton MacNamara Black. ALEXA’s unique creative aesthetic, powerhouse vocals and impressive music composition talents were an excellent match for the music development process. We spent some time with ALEXA for more perspective...
BTBB: Please Tell Us About Yourself?
AG: I am ALEXA GRÆ - performance artist - teacher. i wrote a few songs for Bring the Beat Back with the character Dayton in mind.
BTBB: How Did You Get Involved with Bring the Beat Back?
AG: Derek, the mastermind behind Bring the Beat Back, approached me. we had drinks on a perfect summer day. they "pitched" BTBB to me and i was into it from the jump. blown away by the vision and possibility of this project. met up with some friends right after and did my own "pitch" and they shared the same feelings of excitement.
BTBB: What Do You Find Most Interesting/Entertaining About the Show?
AG: What I find most interesting about this show is its focus on so many issues that i've dealt with personally, ideas of fantasy, and imagination, or questions that remain unanswered. drawn to questions around religion/spirituality, reconciliation of queerness and religion, ball culture, black sci-fi, black stories, love, black love, vulnerability, black vulnerability, vulnerability embodied in a young queer black man/boi/femme being. intersectional maximalism. let's talk about it all.
BTBB: What Do You hope Audiences Experience in April?
AG: Wow - I hope they experience the richness and depth of this project. a performance can exist in multiple worlds - worlds in which serious/difficult stories are being shared while also experiencing moments of pure joy...while getting your life on a dance floor ...isn't that why dance floors exist?
BTBB: What Else Are You Working On?
AG: At the moment i'm finishing up a "visual song cycle" titled SEEN it's a bit massive - taking up most of my brain power. with that nearing the end I can focus on performance of the finished goods and jump back into some exciting collaborations that are in the works. checkout my page for content and updates ALEXA GRÆ
ALEXA GRÆ's work is a combination of artistic disciplines informed by specialized academic training in music composition and opera. Rigorous training as an opera student challenged them to transcend the boundaries of various art forms and to understand cultural boundaries of art in the everyday world. They bridge these chasms by focusing on how art informs identities, socialization habits, self-expression, and the ability to create, creating genre-defying performances that incorporate multiple dance styles, theatrical personas, and experimental storytelling styles. Themes of deconstructing classical forms, beliefs about the feminine and masculine, and channeling greater collective consciousness find an evolving presence in ALEXA GRÆ's work. Their mission is to identify moments of pure imagination and innocent creation, harnessing the immediate kinship it creates in order to draw us all toward something divine, something as yet to be defined.