Gold Crwn Magazine ISSUE 28 // ALEX G - Page 57

Throughout your journey you have had your best friend with you. Why is it important to have that one person you can trust or go to while in the industry?

That’s really the only way, in my opinion, to be a healthy, happy individual. You need to know that there’s someone in your life who has your best interest at heart, who loves you no matter where you’re at, or what you look like, or whatever! I think everyone needs that in general, but certainly that in this industry is it crucial. It is difficult, unfortunately, to know a lot of the time if the people you are meeting in this world are trustworthy, or if they’re just here to try to get something from you. And there will be days you won’t know if you have what it takes to just get through the day. That’s why having Torri in my life has been so important—she sees me in those moments and knows what I need and how to love me through it. The praise of strangers can only take you so far. You need someone who is gonna sit face to face with you when you’re going through a dark time.

Your songs are very inspiring. Why do you think you have been able to inspire so many with your music?

I don’t really know! I honestly just write music about things I think are important in my life and in the world. My songs became more meaningful when I stopped trying to make them something—I just try to let a song be what it is. That’s why I think my songs have been much more honest and vulnerable than they’ve been in the past, and I think honest and vulnerable music tends to inspire without even trying.

Was that one of your goals with your music?

Inspiration for inspiration’s sake has never been my goal. I think my job as an artist with a platform is to be a voice that helps amplify our shared humanity. I’d love to heal the world, but honestly, if even one person listens to a song and feels less alone, I think a song has done its job. A song doesn’t need to fix anything for anyone or convince them things aren’t as bad as they feel—it just needs to tell the truth and create space for people to know that wherever they’re at is completely human, and completely okay. The second I try to write an “inspiring song,” it becomes contrived and cliché. I’m really just trying to write an honest, human experience.

Social media is a big part of the music business now. How do you handle the good and bad of being popular on social media?

I’m a pretty private person. Much more private than I used to be. Everyone does what works for them, and they figure it out as they go. For me, I for a long time used social media to update people with absolutely everything that was happening in my life, and it created a lot of anxiety for me. My relationship with my fans is a lot more personal and meaningful than it used to be, and honestly I think that is in part because I put up a healthy set of boundaries between me and my social media presence. Having those boundaries has allowed me to be much more real with the people who follow and support me, while giving me freedom to not Instagram every other thing I do in the fear of otherwise being forgotten. It healed me of the hustle. It has helped me to be happier, and to be so much more present in my day-to-day life and relationships. I just have to have that boundary there.

In choosing to live a more private life, my experience feels much less like that of a “celebrity.” Because of my decision to do that, I sometimes forget people know who I am. When people walk up to me on the street, it’s less an expectation and more a surprise. It’s allowed me to be more focused on my art and my personal life, and it makes me infinitely more grateful for the people who do appreciate what I do.

Our magazine focuses on bullying and empowering girls to overcome it. Social media is a big part of bullying. What is your advice to those fans who deal with the bad part of social media?

Sigh. I wish I could say that if you just ignore it, it won’t get to you anymore. But it’s been 6

years, and very recently I cried about a comment I got. It’s hard to avoid that. A lot gets foggy on the internet—it’s easy to lose sight of who you are, especially when those mean-spirited comments are speaking to voices and fears that are already inside of your head. While it’s important to not sit too long with those bullies’ voices or let them tell you who you are, it’s okay to be hurt by it. If you try to numb the pain, you’ll numb the joy and the beauty as well.

I used to be much more avoidant about the pain it caused me to read cruel comments on the internet. I tried really hard not to care about the negativity, but in trying to detach emotionally from the hurtful comments, I also detached emotionally from the really beautiful, encouraging ones. I have since tried to be more open-hearted, and on the one hand, those mean comments carry a new sting, but on the other hand, when people show love and gratitude and connect to my music, I feel that so much more deeply as well.

At the end of the day, I think it comes down to remembering and practicing applying another Brené Brown quote: “If you aren’t also in the arena getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.” Or, as Melissa McCarthy’s character says in Ghostbusters, “It’s really easy to sit there and be the naysayer when you don’t actually do anything.” People on the internet have not earned the right to tell you who you are. It’s easy to throw stones from a safe distance. Let the people who love you tell you who you are. Take time to build relationships of trust and mutual respect. When you have someone in your life who you trust and love, you can be open and honest and brave with them, and you can even cry if you need to. They are the ones to help remind you who you are.

Our magazine focuses on bullying and empowering girls to overcome it. Social media is a big part of bullying. What is your advice to those fans who deal with the bad part of social media?

Sigh. I wish I could say that if you just ignore it, it won’t get to you anymore. But it’s been 6 years, and very recently I cried about a comment I got. It’s hard to avoid that. A lot gets foggy on the internet—it’s easy to lose sight of who you are, especially when those mean-spirited comments are speaking to voices and fears that are already inside of your head. While it’s important to not sit too long with those bullies’ voices or let them tell you who you are, it’s okay to be hurt by it. If you try to numb the pain, you’ll numb the joy and the beauty as well.

I used to be much more avoidant about the pain it caused me to read cruel comments on the internet. I tried really hard not to care about the negativity, but in trying to detach emotionally from the hurtful comments, I also detached emotionally from the really beautiful, encouraging ones. I have since tried to be more open-hearted, and on the one hand, those mean comments carry a new sting, but on the other hand, when people show love and gratitude and connect to my music, I feel that so much more deeply as well.

At the end of the day, I think it comes down to remembering and practicing applying another Brené Brown quote: “If you aren’t also in the arena getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.” Or, as Melissa McCarthy’s character says in Ghostbusters, “It’s really easy to sit there and be the naysayer when you don’t actually do anything.” People on the internet have not earned the right to tell you who you are. It’s easy to throw stones from a safe distance. Let the people who love you tell you who you are. Take time to build relationships of trust and mutual respect. When you have someone in your life who you trust and love, you can be open and honest and brave with them, and you can even cry if you need to. They are the ones to help remind you who you are.