Spotlight Artist of the Week: Alexandria Ingram
Alexandria Ingram, (pictured above on left hand side) is a 21 year old college student, orginially from Covington, Georgia. She moved to Kingsport, Tennessee at the age of 5 to be closer to her mom’s family. Alexandria currently attends East Tennessee State University majoring in Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music.
Below is our interview with Alexandria Ingram, where we talk about her musical style, inspirations, future goals, and the artist she would love to collaborate with. Enjoy!
On The Verge: Nashville: How would you describe your musical style?
Alexandria: I would describe my style as a modern country/bluegrass mix. There’s nothing I love more than when I hear a song, whether it be on the radio or a music playlist online, that has an emphasis on acoustic guitar with a finger-picked style along with a driving fiddle. I think a lot of modern country artists have strayed from that original acoustic sound because country music has become more pop-based. While I absolutely love a lot of the more pop-driven country songs, there’s just something about sticking to the roots of country music itself that makes a song so great and enjoyable. The saying, “less is more,” is true in music I believe, but especially in country music. Sure, having an incredibly blended sound with an electric guitar and a driving drum beat is absolutely wonderful, but I love to change it up in both my playing and listening, and pursue both ends of the spectrum.
Alexandria singing Miranda Lambert’s “I Cant Be Bothered” with ETSU’s Country Band “The Honky Tonk Offenders” at Capone’s in Johnson City, TN.
OTVN: Who are your inspirations?
A: My biggest inspirations would first and foremost have to be Rory & Joey, Kacey Musgraves, and Reba McEntire. The country music world, and the world itself was shaken when Joey Feek passed away after her long battle with cancer, but to this day and as long as I live, her voice will be my absolute favorite. She was such a beautiful person inside and out, and it showed through her music both individually and with her husband, Rory. I think Rory & Joey absolutely set a high standard for country music as a couple, that should be a model for those pursuing music as a couple, or alone. They inspire me by their humble nature, and their love for God which shows in their music. Kacey Musgraves is today’s female country music artist that is keeping it real and inspiring me by her love to preserve the roots and sound of country music roots. She’s just an all around talented person, and seeing her in concert a while back was really eye opening to me as a musician myself. She puts on an incredible show, and I’m always anxious to hear what she does next with her music. Reba McEntire is so classic, and such a successful woman in country music. I love that her songs tell stories, and aren’t repetitive. She is a powerhouse, and her voice is one of a kind. As soon as one of her songs comes on, you don’t even have to wonder if it’s her. Her voice has left a “mark” of originality and non-conformance to the typical sound of today’s music. She inspires me to never try to sound like anyone else, but to grow my voice into more and more of a flexible tool that I can use in different ways, and it be my own and nobody else’s.
OTVN: What is your goal?
A: My goals have definitely changed over the course of time, and while I love Nashville, I would still like to ultimately call East Tennessee home. I would like to commute to Nashville as needed, but stem my musical career out of the place I love the most. There are opportunities in East Tennessee to make my mark as a local artist, but to also travel when I need to. I would love to manage other artists as well as pursue my own music. I interned with Gold Ship Records in Bristol, Tennessee last summer, and ever since getting experience with press and artist management, I have opened my eyes to a whole new part of the music industry. Getting my minor in marketing at East Tennessee State University will give me a lot of insight into promoting artists as well.
OTVN: What made you want to purse being an artist?
A: I think the biggest thing that has pushed my musically is my family. They have been so supportive of me, and I could not ask for a better family. Ever since I was 3 years old, I’ve been singing in church, and had a natural love and ear for music. I knew from a young age that the stage was going to feel like home to me in some respect, especially after being in multiple dance recitals and being involved in local theater. While I loved dance and acting, I still loved music more. I decided that God gave me the gift of music for a reason, and I wanted to discover what he has in store for me.
OTVN: Favorite venue that you have performed in? Also, what is your dream venue to perform in?
A: As far as playing with a group, my favorite venue was definitely playing at Capone’s in Johnson City back in March with my country band from ETSU. That night, there was a wonderful turnout, and the crowd was incredibly involved during the whole show, and our band’s set. It was such a wonderful feeling to connect with the audience, and just be able to truly enjoy being up on the stage and it just feel completely natural. My dream venue would be the Grand Ole Opry, because of its incredible history and importance to country music, not to mention the legends that have been on that stage. I got to go backstage in May thanks to Rhonda Vincent & the Rage’s Sally Berry, who teaches vocals at ETSU. She allowed me to be a part of their night, and it was a dream come true to be backstage with people making their mark on country music. I hope to play on that stage one day!
OTVN: If you could collaborate with anyone (dead or alive) who would it be and why?
A: I would LOVE to collaborate with Alan Jackson. He’s just “the man!” I love to sing with other people and create different harmonies, and I would love to do a duet with AJ. I’m always singing along to his album, “34 Number Ones” going down the road, and I wish I could just jump into that album in real life and sing along in the studio. He stands for country music’s roots, and has put out, in my opinion, some of the best songs country music has ever seen.
OTVN: Tell us something that nobody knows about you. (Embarrassing moments, favorite food, any obsessions, etc.)
A: One of the most embarrassing moments I’ve had on stage was during a play when I was 12 years old (I think?) During a scene change, the stage was blacked out so that the audience couldn’t see what was going on, so I was walking onto the stage, and fell so hard right onto one of the steps that was part of the set! My mom was filming the play from the audience, and when we later played it back, all you could hear was this terrible “bang!” in the midst of an incredible darkness! I remember it hurting so badly, but I couldn’t say anything of course, or I would have ruined the performance. So during the next scene, I sat on the set, nonchalantly rubbing my knee in pain the entire time. We laughed about it later, but I sure didn’t want to laugh about it when it happened! The show must go on, right?
My favorite food is probably a tie between avocado with sun chips (delicious!!!), or fresh strawberries. I’m a sucker for fruit, especially during a Tennessee summer. I love avocados too, because they are 1, healthy and, 2, just plain good!
I have an obsession with the way my cursive handwriting looks. I will literally take the time to rewrite my name as many times as it takes until it looks absolutely perfect, especially if I’m writing a paper or letter.
OTVN: Are you currently working on anything at the moment that you would like us to look out for?
A: Nothing particular at the moment, but I’m going to set aside some time very soon to work strictly on writing some new songs to work up with my country band in the upcoming semester.
OTVN: Where can we find or buy your music?
A: I don’t have any music published on a streaming platform such as Apple Music or Spotify, but I’m working on changing that (I hope!) However, I do have some music on YouTube, and I will link my channel below! Keep in mind that I started my channel quite a while back, so a lot of the material on my channel isn’t updated frequently, but I’m looking to change that in the near future with new home recording devices and technology that I have purchased.
OTVN: Anything else you would like us to know about you?
A: I’m a long way from where I want to be as an artist, but we all start somewhere, and we all have a journey to our eventual destination. For anyone out there that’s looking to pursue a career in music, stick with it, and learn all you can from musicians you admire. Watch what they do that is different than what anyone else is doing. and practice making the art of music your own as well. Making a mark on the music industry is highly dependent on your ability to do something different, to be able to reach an audience, and to be the best you that you can possibly be. There will be days you feel like quitting and giving up, because I’ve been there myself, even recently! Stick to it, and acquire as much knowledge as possible from people with experience in the industry.
Below are also links to recent videos that Alexandria has uploaded:
Alexandria singing ” Flower in the Desert” by Jim and Jesse McReynolds’ with the ETSU Blugrass, Old Time, and Country Music Program Director Dan Boner and ETSU Student, Colin Ray.
Alexandria, Colin Ray, and Dan Boner singing Jim and Jesse McReynolds’ “Remember Me” along with the ETSU Bluegrass Pride Band.