Featured Photo Credit: Jimmy Fountaine
For as long as GALXARA can remember, she has been surrounded by music. Whether it was the drums and horns that echoed through her Miami community or her parents favorites that filled her home. Now 20 and living in Los Angeles, GALXARA is still surrounded by music, but now the songs are her own.
With the release and success of her singles “Waste My Youth,” “Jealous of Myself,” “Loving Nobody,” and “Sway with Me,” which was featured on the Warner Brothers’ Birds of Prey Soundtrack, GALXARA is gaining attention for her distinct vocal range and grand theatrical melodies. However, this is only the beginning for GALXARA who is working on a debut album.
We sat down with GALXARA to chat about her music, her inspirations, and what’s to come from this emerging artist.
Excerpt from the podcast.
When did you first get interested in music?
Honestly, I can’t even give you a time. All I know is that I started singing before I could really talk. I was probably like 3 when I started signing. These are just stories that I’ve heard – my parents just telling me that I would sing around the house, always having a melody come out of my mouth. Then eventually one of my aunts was probably just like, ‘ok, she’s singing all the time and doesn’t sound bad, so maybe you guys should consider doing something about that.’ My parents were like, ‘yeah, maybe, whatever.’ Then I kind of slowly became obsessed with it. Singing, performing, entertaining, putting on a show for my family and stuff like that have always interested me. Watching American Idol. Watching all the pop divas back in the day, that was my life. I loved that. So it’s hard to give a time of, well at six years of age I was into it, but honestly it’s been my entire life that I’ve known that this is what I was going to do, but how was I going to get it done?
Was there any specific event where you were like this is something that could do for the rest of my life as a career?
To give a little bit of background, I got into singing lessons when I was probably 7 or 8. Then I met my vocal coach that I am still with today when I was 11. She was a huge impact on me. She helped form my voice into what it is today, I believe, because I did not sing the way that I sing now. Just certain things were different and she was really just able to break me out of the shell. About 4/5 years – until I was about 15, all I did was singing competitions – I lived in Florida at the time – around my state and country and all I did was competitions, all day, every week. It was great. It was great practice to get out in front of people. I loved the energy of the crowd. That was my world. I lived on stage and that is where I felt the best. I think the concept of me finally actually becoming a performer and one day being able to tour and perform on stage for people and people that would actually sing my own songs, it was definitely formed on stages when I did competitions for sure. Just getting on to the stage. The crowd, when I would sing or hit a note, people would kind of go crazy. I thrived off of it. It was like a drug almost. It was like this is amazing. When I got signed at 15, my little showcase that I did for Atlantic, the label that I’m signed to, that was a really different experience. It was a different side of music than I had ever seen because it was way more serious, but at the same time I was just like this is really cool, this is legit, I want to be a part of this. Of course, people love singing just to sing, but I want to make music and I want to create.
You grew up in Miami. Was the music you were surrounded by there influence your sound today?
My parents were definitely big music lovers. My mom was a big pop diva music lover so she listened to Whitney, Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera, all those. And then my dad, he just followed music throughout the years. He was into every type of music. Whenever something was big, he listened to it and went on with it. Their music influences and what they listened to most definitely affected me. The funny thing was when I was younger living in Miami, I had a hispanic family, so there was always music around, but I never connected to it. I didn’t think of it. I never noticed it. Iit wasn’t until I really got older, honestly only a couple years ago, that I started to appreciate and love hispanic music and latin music and the different influences that make up Miami and the sounds and the instruments. I really love it now so much more than I did back in the day. Where I lived in Miami, I was just like I want to leave, I don’t want to be here. Now I look back and I miss Miami a lot. As we get older, we learn to appreciate things more. We mature. Now, when we go to Miami, I appreciate the city, the architecture. It’s so beautiful. It’s so full of life. There’s so much you can write about Miami. I definitely feel like it has influenced my music, at least I’m trying to have it influence my music. I’m writing songs every single day over Zoom. I’m trying to get more into my roots in Miami and my latin background. Exploring that’s what it’s all about.
You said you’ve been writing everyday. How have you been staying inspired during quarantine?
That’s a good question. It’s definitely been a struggle. Everyday, I’m talking to my managers and A&Rs and trying to figure out what’s the next thing, what the plan is because a lot of things changed. Before Coronavirus, I was starting to plan out my live show. I was so excited for that because, like I said before, performing is what I love to do, but then Coronavirus happened and because of that everything has kind of changed. I’m keeping busy at home doing stuff for YouTube and recording and stuff like that. As far as sessions and stuff, I feel like it’s like what I said earlier, sometimes I get on and want to write about the reality, like what’s happening right now like the pain and the hurting there is beauty but what our world is going through right now, but I’m like I don’t want to write about that. I want to write about fantasy and something that I hope will come true, a dream of mine or whatever it may be. A couple days ago, I wrote a song about Frida Kahlo, so that happens when I watch a movie or a book or something I’m inspired by. When I was 15, 16, 17, I was so closed minded. I just didn’t know that I could write about anything. At that time, I wrote a lot about just being alone and empowered by myself, but I also now realize that as I’ve gotten older, there is beauty in writing about love and companionship, writing about needing people and stuff like that. I just never explored that when I was younger. I don’t know why, I just never did.
You’ve talked about how Freddie Mercury is an inspiration of yours. What elements of Freddie Mercury and Queen’s music really inspire you?
Personally, I was more attracted to the boldness and how grand it was. It was so over the top compared to everything else at that time, and it still is and I love that. One of my biggest influences is also Lady Gaga, who is a perfect example of someone who is over the top, and even someone like Elton John. I’ve always gravitated toward the people who have gone against the grain and have done something different with their music. Freddie’s beautiful voice and Queen’s harmonious vocals and as a whole band put together, I feel like their writing, their actual lyrics and their melodies were so ahead of their time. I really felt like they could of came out at any time. When I was listening to it, it was probably 2012 or something it could have came out 10 years before that and still would have been just as big and that’s what goes on with timeless songs. Their songs could be played any year, any decade and it’d still be big. I just have always loved artists that have done something different within their music because what’s the fun of being the same and doing the same as everybody? I get it, trust me. There’s a lot that goes on with that, even just money stuff and business stuff and all that, but at the end of the day, when I leave my, hopefully, legacy as an artist I want people to remember me as someone who went crazy and did not worry about doing everything, doing what everyone wanted or trying to be exactly like everyone else or fitting in with everyone fitting the mold. You have to embrace your diversity, your uniqueness. I’ve always been an advocate for that because I feel like, as a young artist when you’re getting into the industry people are always like maybe don’t be so vocal or maybe don’t be so loud or maybe just agree with what they say, as far as writing sessions and stuff like that. I was pretty fortunate to have a manager, to have parents that were actually pushing me to be like, ‘no we want you to speak your voice, we want you to say what you like and what you don’t like, we love how opinionated you are and we don’t want you to go along with everything that is going on because you have something that some other girls don’t, some girls don’t know their identity. They don’t know who they are as an artist.’ It’s great to be, ‘I like this and I don’t like this’ and ‘I like red and I don’t like blue,’ whatever it may be. It’s actually really great to know what you like and what you don’t like and have a voice for that and not be afraid to say it because a lot of people put you down for speaking up, which is wrong. We should be allowed to say our thoughts and our views.
To hear more of our conversation with Galxara , listen to the latest episode of ECHO – The Podcast. Hear what she had to say about being featured on the Birds of Prey Soundtrack, working with Tiesto and more.