Sydney based Alex The Astronaut may have already excelled in football and academics, but with the release of her debut album The Theory of Absolutely Nothing she proves herself as a natural songwriter and storyteller; effortlessly capturing everything from friendship and love through to loss and pain.
In celebration of The Theory of Absolutely Nothing, we spoke to Alex about her love for music, learning to go with the flow and having an entire album out in the world.
Tell us a bit about yourself and how long you’ve been making music for?
I started learning guitar when I was 11 and I started out by changing the words to other peoples song at about 13 I think. So I started plagiarising then moved into not plagiarising at about 15 I think so I’ve been writing songs for ten years.
At what point in your life did you decide to make a career out of your music, and what influenced that decision?
I don’t think I ever decided I just kept working at it then it happened. I was always obsessed and I think when I was about 21 the feedback started getting a bit more real and a bit less of the polite encouragement that people give. I love music like a best friend and so after that when it became something I could do all the time I was so happy.
Tell us a bit about your debut album, how long did it take you to make it? How does it feel taking such a huge step in your career in such complicated times?
It took about two and a half years to make. It feels surreal. Apart from the tragedy of it all I think the pandemic has slowed down everyone and forced us all to sit down and reflect so I feel that it was a good time for it to happen for me. I got to properly experience it without rushing around. On release day I went to the supermarket and sang Missy Higgins songs with some of my friends.
What is something you’ve learned while creating the album?
I’ve learned everyone has their own story and pain and the more you learn about the world the less you realise you know. That’s why I called it the Theory of Absolutely Nothing. I used to think I’d have it all all sorted out with some pretty formula by now and I guess what everyone has to realise and get comfortable with at some point is that’s never going to happen.
Is there anything the industry has taught you which you wish you could have known at an earlier stage in your career?
Protect your songwriting. I think I’ve been really lucky to have people around me who really help me do that but for me songwriting is a really private experience. I think when people comment on what you write you have to take everything lightly and make sure when you grow on your own terms.
Who are some of your favourite upcoming Australian artists?
Ziggy Ramo is an incredible writer and performer. He’s been a powerful voice in the BLM movement in Australia. His songs are really intricate and thought through, they’re devastating and shine a light on how special Ziggy is.
What would your dream tour & rider look like?
I would love to go to France and Spain (and the UK!) again. So much good food and the crowds there have always been so fun. Rider would be churros and a juicing station. Maybe some pancakes too.
If your music was to soundtrack any film or TV show, which would you choose?
Grey’s Anatomy. I’ve watched all 16 seasons and I’m on my way back through now.
What’s next for you as an artist?
Not sure! More writing, more food, maybe I’ll learn the violin.