Kita Alexander
Credit: Xinger Xanger

Like me, it’s quite likely you discovered Kita Alexander through her hit tracks “Between You & I” and “Hotel”. Following the release of her latest EP – and her first since 2015 – it will be the reason you stay. This month, the Australian born and bred singer shared her new body of work titled The One, a six-track journey that was written between LA and London.

Before the artist looks to her massive debut album, Alexander chose to revisit unreleased work. Something the songwriter had to complete before she “moved forward”. Make no mistake however, this is certainly a new era of sound for the singer who says these songs have a “different” energy to her past hits.

To celebrate the release of The One, GRAZIA spoke with Alexander on not taking ‘no’ for an answer, working with Dan Nigro, and how Adele has inspired the trajectory of her career.

GRAZIA: Congratulations on your new EP! You released your first body of work ‘Like You Want To’ in 2015. What has been the most important career lesson since that time?’

Kita Alexander: “I think taking no for an answer is something that has been really important for me in my career. I got told ‘no’ before “Hotel” and my gut was, ‘no, fuck this, I’m doing this’. Also, I’ve learnt the importance of not giving up. But my husband taught me that. He pushes me when I say I want to give up and need a reminder, so that’s something that is important to me too with finding the balance between my music and being a mother.”

This EP was made between Los Angeles, London, Sydney and Melbourne. How did travel inspire the new music?

KA: “Massively! I’ve found that from travelling to London in the past that it always brought my music down, and put me in a bad headspace. But coming back from London and going to LA or home, it inspired me even more as I got this feeling of euphoria, and so much of my music got better. I think going somewhere that isn’t your favourite place actually makes you appreciate other places. The couple of days I’d have every time I’d get back from London, would see me end up writing some of my best music.”

How would you say this collection of songs differs from earlier singles like “Between You & I” and “Can’t Help Myself”?

KA: “They are just definitely very different songs for me. They cover different topics and are a snapshot of my life from a particular period of time. Whereas “Between You & I” and “Can’t Help Myself” capture a lighter and different energy. I was thinking about Adele the other day and how I really understand why she named her album after her ages like 19, 21, 25 and 30. It’s how I feel about this EP and those songs, they are just from two different periods of my life and have a sense of youthfulness. And then I think about the new music I’m making at the moment and there is a new perspective in them of where I’m at now in my life.”

According to the EP notes, these tracks were first written before you had children. What made you want to return to writing these tracks?

KA: “I really needed to get them out in the world. There was something in me that was telling me I couldn’t move forward with my music until I got them out. I don’t know what it was, maybe I was stubborn, or maybe I just needed them off my chest as they were songs I would personally listen to enjoy in the car, or going to the beach. I was also worried that they might be forgotten about if I don’t release them now, as I know there are better songs in me that are going to come out.”

“I also feel like I didn’t have my youth for long, and these songs are definitely those youthful moments and I wanted to celebrate that.”

Credit: Xinger Xanger
Did your perspective change after revisiting them?

KA: “No, because I used songwriting to put myself back in those memories. I personally love memories and don’t think they make me upset or make me miss being back there. I feel so lucky that I can jump back to those times through my music.”

Has your creative process evolved since motherhood?

KA: “Yeah, my creative process is a lot more streamlined, quicker, and better. I have learnt how to be a better and more efficient worker so I can get home at a reasonable time to put my kids to bed.”

You worked with Dan Nigro to co-write “The One”. Did he offer any words of wisdom that you’ll carry with you for the rest of your career?

KA: “I was re-recording vocals for the song in Byron while he was on Zoom in Los Angeles, and I hadn’t seen him since 2015, and since his incredible success with Olivia. He would say to me, ‘Kita, hit the chorus harder’ and I would be like, ‘no, I can’t, I’m not a big vocalist, I’m more airy. I can’t do that’. And he goes, ‘no, you’re holding yourself back. You can do it, just believe in yourself’. He was the first person in my life to say that I was holding myself back, and he said it in a nice way, but he was right. He taught me to have confidence in myself, and I’ve realised lately that confidence affects my vocal.”

“The One” EP Artwork / Credit: Supplied
Is there anything you hope listeners take from this EP?

KA: “I really want people to take away what they take away from listening to the EP. I don’t want to tell my fans to feel a particular way or have specific expectations, I just want them to listen and connect in whatever way they may.”

What do you hope to achieve next?

KA: “I’m working on my debut album at the moment, and honestly after I finish writing that I just want to keep making music and work on the next thing. I’m really enjoying writing at the moment so I just want to keep growing as a writer.”

Kita Alexander’s new EP “The One” is out now.