Park City graduate is riding musical fast-track
A year ago, Alexa Wilkinson graduated from Park City High School, she never imagined she could have a real career in music.
"When I was in high school I played a lot of sports and music was just something I did," Wilkinson said. "I sang at talent shows, and people would say, ‘The girl that can sing,’ but I never really took it serious."
Nevertheless, Wilkinson said she always wanted to be a singer. When she was in classes she "would always think of song ideas."
When school ended though, her musical talent took center stage.
"Right after I graduated, I spent the whole summer rehearsing for a headlined show at Deer Valley," Wilkinson said.
Previously, her largest venue was singing at the 2005 graduation, and she did it, according to Wilkinson, because the faculty and students made her. Her graduation and the Deer Valley concert were only the first steps in what may be a long, successful musical career.
"That was the start of me taking a music career very seriously. This past year I went from, not sure of what I wanted to do in my life to talking about record labels," Wilkinson said. "It’s a 180-degree turn in my life. I’ve experienced more in these past six months than most musicians do in a couple years. It’s really intense. I realized I can actually make a career out of this. I’m excited about where it’s going."
Since the Deer Valley show, Wilkinson has networked with people in the music industry and made the connections to produce an album. She co-wrote songs with established artist Josh Kelley. She performed in Napa Valley at a concert series called the "Vinyard," where she met David Pack, the lead singer of Ambrosia. Pack, who is known for promoting young new talent, helped produce artist like Quincy Jones. She sang at the Viper Room in L.A. on June 21.
"He (Pack) helped get me a lot of shows, promoting me and getting people excited about my music," Wilkinson said.
The day after she performed at the Viper Room, she worked with Kelley again to produce an eight-song album in Nasville, which she called the "Nasty-Nashy session," because of the many long hours they spent working in Kelley’s studio.
"I was a little deliriously tired. We’d stay up till 3 a.m. then wake up at 10 a.m. I got there on Thursday, June 22, then I just got back on Tuesday, June 27. We finished the album. It’s almost unheard of to get this music done in that short of time."
Wilkinson also credited Pack with helping to write what she called, "one of the really important tracks on that album."
Wilkinson’s parents have also been a large force in promoting her talents.
"My dad is part of my partnership with my music. My mom has been really great. They handle a lot of stuff for me. I would go crazy by myself," Wilkinson said.
Music is what drives Wilkinson now. It’s not the fame or the money. For her, the enjoyment comes from being busy creating a lyric or a sequence of notes.
"It’s about the music. I don’t need the money. I don’t need all that stuff," Wilkinson said. "If I could pick, I would just really like to be a songwriter. Everybody likes the spotlight, but maybe five minutes is OK with me. I never want to be like Britney Spears and can’t go to the grocery store. I’ve never had a different feeling about that."
Now Wilkinson is trying to promote her music.
"I’m trying to be put on a circuit of shows and a lot of opening acts. That way I’ll have a polished product to show to a label."
She is developing a team. So far, she has an attorney, her parents and her consultant, Pack. She’s shopping for labels and hopes to sign with one within the next six months.
She credits a lot of luck with her success.
"I feel like all the hard work is coming together, but it’s like winning the lottery, is gratifying to have people like my music. I feel like I have the talent but I ran into good luck," Wilkinson said.
Wilkinson’s says he music doesn’t fit just one genre.
"I have a lot of different styles. It’s mostly alternative pop, its pretty poppy. I have a huge jazz influence and a huge alternative influence; it’s a very eclectic mixture of musical influences. I also have a country song that I’ve done called, "Wink of an eye."
Wilkinson will perform live in Park City twice this month. She will perform at the Park City Performing Arts Foundation free concert series at Deer Valley July 26 at 6 p.m. and June 29 at 1:30 p.m. as part of the Mountain Town Stages free concert series. Samples of her music can be downloaded from Myspace.com/alexawilkinson or Purevolume.com/alexawilkinson.
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