photos / Liza Boone
story / Koko Ntuen
Alexx Mack makes music that doesn’t sit in you, it sits with you, holding your hand and caressing your tear-stained face. The LA songstress croons songs and melodies that are the warm shoulder to your receptacle of tears but can also be the pep that goes back into your step. Her music is so unearthed, real and personal that at times it’s hard to listen to. Case in point her classic “Wine In Bed” is for those who have suffered from the growing pains of living and dying within yourself. They are war cries fighting back against the self-sabotage, doubts, and pains of life, offering tools of solace and new habits.
Alexx premieres a playlist for us today that will help you get it all the way together and we chat with the multi-faceted musician about how she is doing on the battlefront of life.
Can you speak about your current coping mechanisms for being self-destructive?
I recently gave up drinking. That’s been a step towards recovering from depression for me. I’ve also been allowing myself space. If I’m stressed, depressed or spread too thin or if I know I need to take a break from someone, I’m allowing myself that. I used to fear that by giving myself space I was giving people the opportunity to dip. It’s all been about taking a breather.
Why do you think people can be self-destructive?
I think it’s different per person. I can speak on my own behalf and say that I fall into self-destructive patterns in order to feel like I’m in control.
I’m currently grappling with these highs and lows, do you feel like there is a way out?
I don’t think there is ever going to be a way out of the ups and downs. The flow of life can be damnable but it is also the most beautiful thing that we get to experience. That’s what I’ve considered a lesson from my depression – I am glad I know what pain feels like because it helps me appreciate happiness.
“Wine In Bed” is like a warm hug and a slap in the face. You sing so much that really sinks to the core. “I am a moving target, Tell another lie I can’t forget.. Sometimes I think I’ve lost it, I don’t even know if I want, Searching for me in the distance…Searching for more than existence…” It’s all so relevant to feeling crazy and alone in these crazy times. Was it hard to write this song?
Ya know, it’s funny because the song didn’t start off as this. I was a very broken person a couple years ago. Dating a lot, drinking a lot, partying. Not because it was fun but because I never wanted to be alone but a night never really ended without drama. I sat down in a session and I was like “yeah! I own my vagina! I’m strong! BELIEVE ME! let’s write about it!!!!”… I did not feel empowered at the time I was so empty. Nothing happened with the song. Fast forward to a few months later I’m at home cooking dinner with my boyfriend and I remembered the song. I sat down the next night and I wrote it honestly. I am so thankful that I have grown out of the person I was before, but my heart still breaks for the extreme emptiness I once felt. Being in a better place now made it necessary to document that moment. All of these factors made it easy.
What makes you feel stable?
When I can pull from the strength within myself: making music, painting, my hope.
When I can’t: My family, my boyfriend, our cats and dogs, therapy, podcasts, tea with a friend.
What do you want most out of life and how has your music helped achieve that?
When I was a kid I had a hard time with life. I was really depressed early on and I listened to music to escape reality. It made me feel like I was a foot soldier for my favorite bands. There was a community. Now, as an adult, I just want to help anyone who feels alone. I know what it’s like to genuinely not fit in (no matter how hard you may try) and it’s painful. I want to express the feelings maybe they can’t. I want to tell my stories so that if someone can relate they can hopefully feel a little less alone.
What is the hardest part of working on yourself?
The hardest part is not falling into old habits.
Does it help you to know that your music offers therapy to those around you?
That makes me so unbelievably excited and happy that I can be there for people through my music.
What your biggest blessings currently?
Letting my ego go and putting in the work to better my mental health, the ability to be more present, the constant love from everyone in my life. The ability to write and share new music. The ability to control my sound and the stories I’m telling.
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