ALEXANDRA DUPARC – A BEACON OF CHANGE, ORIGINALITY, AND PURE ARTISTRY – THE FACE OF SKANDRA

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You’ve never seen an artist like Alexandra Duparc – the multi-talented, humanitarian and artistic genius that is the face of SKANDRA. 

Alexandra has art and compassion running through her blood, as she has been creating since she could formulate words. In terms of writing, Alexandra won Poetry Nation’s International Poetry Contest at the early age of fourteen and has released a book of short stories entitled Other Halves (2018). At fifteen, Alexandra, with her knack for the keyboard and singing, joined the band The Tints – who she recorded an album and toured the world with. She would soon move on to scoring over thirty films over the course of two years, alongside renowned Budd Carr, while simultaneously pursuing her own music. 

From 2004-2019, Alexandra wrote and created over twelve albums. Additionally, she took up art and production design. This girl creates constantly. 

Not only does she prove to be an artistic jack-of-all-trades, but she is a humanitarian. Alexandra created Treehouse, a non-profit organization where she has featured up-and-coming artists in her own backyard. Overtime, as this organization has grown, she has established pop-up performances with Treehouse, and most recently, has built the organization a prevalent online presence amidst the pandemic. 

And…that’s not even half of it. Over the years, Alexandra has aided and collaborated with sundry non-profit organizations for the sake of justice. In 2014, she joined Falling Whistles, a non-profit with a mission of raising awareness and terminating the war in Congo. Through this organization, she toured America and performed. She has also worked with many organizations to fight human trafficking, and she aided in representing Lee Johnson on the Monsanto Trial – which successfully propelled change in countering the cancerous weedkiller Roundup in Monsanto. 

And wait…I’m not done. Alexandra has also written and narrated the video game, Where The Bees Make Honey, while her music has appeared in a multitude of television shows and productions. 

Her newest musical project is SKANDRA. Taking on a different name and image, Alexandra is beginning to release some new music under this name. With already three singles under her belt, she is set for fame and acclaim. 

Her newest song, “Rivers” is amassing many streams thanks to a viral TikTok uploaded by her and her husband. They are in for major success – not only is this song fantastic, original, boppy, and honest – it is well-liked and well-circulated by the online community. 

@ylaneduparcThis could change her life… Help me help her 🥺🔥♬ original sound – ylaneduparc

Ladygunn had the opportunity to interview the artistic genius that is behind SKANDRA. 

How are you? What has your quarantine been like?

As an empathetic person, it’s hard to not have much control over the negative effects of lockdown yet I’m privileged enough to be just fine. Quarantine, for me, has been a time of forced reflection. It’s been years since I’ve been allowed to evaluate not only myself, what matters but also the people I surround myself with. I had a whole year of shows, events and interviews planned and I had to cancel them all. The second we embraced this kind of life, I felt okay with it because it’s not about me. It’s about keeping people safe. I’ve spent my time shedding skin, creating and backing causes that matter.

Your newest release, “Rivers,” is excellent, with its pulsating beat and brilliant composition. What did the songwriting and producing process look like?

Thank you! It’s been quite a process. This song began as a waltz-like acoustic song that I wrote reminiscing on a toxic relationship. This song is the admission of giving into it with reckless abandon.

I had my friend, Aaron from the band Twin Oaks, work on the song with me. He wrote the keyboard line you can hear throughout the song. He added some minimal drums and atmospheric elements with guitar. It felt right. Sean Friday from Dead Sara was over and he fell in love with the song and asked if he could play with it. That’s when the song went from a sad, atmospheric track and turned into what I call sad banger

Travis Warner produced it another level and Mike Schuppan mixed it with spring reverbs and all sorts of gear I love.It’s been through a lot, the poor thing.

People seem to enjoy the song and I’m so happy for it. I have my talented friends to thank.

When did you first discover your passion for music? Was there a pivotal moment when you knew that you wanted to pursue it?

I wrote my first song when I was twelve. Someone close to me had just overdosed and died from heroin use and being so young, I didn’t know what to do. I’m thankful that I loved music so much and had years of piano under my belt because sitting down and writing that first song was the healthiest thing I could have done. That song led to a band, to shows, more bands, and tour. My entire teenage life was music. Those formative years is what prompted me to never stop creating it.

You created a nonprofit organization entitled “Treehouse,” where you featured up-and-coming artists in the pleasure of your own home and now as a popup event. How did this project start? Has COVID affected the organization?

In 2015, I was working on a project and not leaving my house much. I kept getting messages and emails from fellow artists promoting their work. I felt bothered by the fact that their messages didn’t impact me. I had no real interest…and I LOVE art. So, I realized it wasn’t the bombardment of promotion that bothered me, it was the lack of intimacy. It felt far away. I wanted it right in front of me. I wanted to experience their art. I decided to have about twenty people over at my house we all called the Treehouse. It went so well, I decided to do it monthly. After three months, there were 150 people jammed in my living room and watching through the windows. So, I had to move it out of my house and find new venues every month. We always pick unconventional locations and the owners get behind the cause and do not charge. It’s free to perform, free to attend, and art for the sake of art. We’ve exposed hundreds of artists to thousands of people.

We threw a festival in 2016 with headliners such as Kimya Dawson (The Moldy Peaches), Jade Castrinos (Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros), Josiah, Vox and Joey Dosik. We had 25 bands, 25 films and it was purely fan-funded.

Treehouse gathers hundreds of. people into tight-knit quarters every month. The entire premise is intimacy. We had 7 months’ worth of events lined up and had to cancel them all. People’s lives and safety are worth it.

So, we took it to Instagram, instead. We launched #QuarantineConcert and over 15K artists participated virtually. Even the lead singer of Walk The Moon dressed up as a Walrus and shredded his keyboard. It’s been great.

With racial injustice finally coming to light and a world of artists who need help more than ever, we also decided to take our platform and spotlight Black artists with our Dialogue Interview series.

It’s been busy, to say the least.

What type of artist do you strive to be?

Prolific. I used to have this false idea that I had to stick to one path when it came to art. The thing is, I create every day. I make music, I’m a screenwriter, I host events, create experiences, portraits, and more. I live each day emoting through creation as it’s the only thing that keeps me sane. Who am I without this? I wouldn’t know. I assume a miserable person. I am only happy when I make things and I hope that at the end of my life, I look back and know I brought immense amounts of empathy, inspiration, shivers, and change to this world.

If you could work with any other artist, dead or living, in the music industry, which one would you work with?

Miranda July. I would want her to mentor me through an album. I think she sees art and expression in a way that artists should. There are so few people I feel this way about. I feel like I’m publicly confessing my love right now. It’s a little embarrassing but I’ll put it on you for asking.

What is next for you?

I’m going to focus on recording more music. These songs I recorded and released were written years ago. I have hundreds more simmering inside of me. I can’t wait to get them out. I have a few collaborations in the works. I’ll continue to create virtual experiences, expanding Treehouse, and probably focus on writing my next script.

CONNECT WITH SKANDRA 

TWITTER // INSTAGRAM // SPOTIFY

photos / Anna Azarov and Ylane Duparc

story / Taylor Thompson

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