Alex Paisley Stedman grew up in Austin, Texas, known as ‘Live Music Capital of the World’. She’d written songs her entire life but it took the pandemic of 2020 to realize it was time to start recording. With the help of her producer-father, Jim Stedman, the two set out to create a series of singles ranging from Indie Pop to Country to the Blues. Since then, there’s been no turning back.
“My dad and I had experimented with writing and recording songs a few years ago but it took the quarantine of 2020 to really get us to start working at the craft of songwriting. Like everyone else, we were forced to stay at home and decided to turn a scary situation into a productive music-making one. Dad had been writing short pieces of music and studying mixing and mastering for years. I had notebooks full of lyrics and a hard drive of possible tunes I’d been working on since middle school. Once we decided to put our efforts toward creating actual songs there was no turning back. We recorded 12 singles during the pandemic and just finished another 6 songs over Christmas.”
They continue to record, experimenting and mixing genres as they hone their sound, driving themselves to release one single every month and doing what they love most…making music.
On 14th January the song ‘Kiss the Lights’ will be released. A pre-save link is available.
What inspired you to write ‘Kiss the Lights’?
“It is an up-tempo, pop lullaby but with a message of advice from a wiser, older version of yourself to a younger you. The song discourages negative, self-talk and pushes to enjoy the omnipresent “now”. The chorus poses the call to action “If you could start living life for real” and ends with the notion that “You haven’t even met yourself, not yet”. Sounds like a fitting New Years’ resolution to me…and hopefully a self-love sentiment other people can relate to, especially after being locked down for 2+ years.”
You record music with your dad. Who writes what?
“We both write music. Sometimes I’ll come up with a vocal tune and dad will write a musical arrangement for it. Other times, he’ll send me a tune he’s written with scratch vocals and I’ll change it up to match my style. I write most of the lyrics but on occasion, dad or my mom will help work out the lyrical structure of a chorus or verse. My brother – who has an entire library full of his own original music on SoundCloud as Jay Bonz – is working on creating beats and stems for some of my upcoming songs so I guess that makes us a family band.”
What movie or tv series should feature your song?
“I’d love to hear this song as the dramatic ending of a CW teen show or even in a commercial for chapstick/lipstick-something cheeky and fun. The beauty of this song is that the dramatic ballad intro/outro is juxtaposed to the uplifting pop melody chorus, so it can be versatile.”
“I may be exposing myself, but I’d love to have one of my songs played in the background of a Real Housewives episode, preferably Salt Lake City (laughs), but hey, shoot for the moon and land amongst the stars so you can ‘Kiss The Lights’ right?”
Is there a story behind the cover artwork?
“Why yes, there is. I struggled with the cover art for this song probably more than any other. In terms of “Lights”, I’d envisioned some sort of fairy dress flowing in the night amongst a sea of stars. At first, I pitched a very dramatic, edgy “Euphoria” vibe with angsty, blurry, purple, self-portraits. My team…aka my dad and producer, advised against that since a majority of the song has more of a bubble-gum, pop sound. It was a good call but nailing down the final cover was a back-and-forth effort that took another week or so. We had an image of me with stars in the background but I felt like it looked a little too “Dancing With The Stars”. Then dad suggested the constellation idea and suddenly everything fell into place…my pose and upward eyeline made sense and the album art spoke to the song…quite literally as I was able to Kiss The Lights aka Stars.”