In 2005, 22-year-old Carrie Underwood won American Idol. The Checotah, Oklahoma, native was signed to a recording contract and released Some Hearts, her first album, which went on to sell seven million copies. The Northeastern State University alumni returned to college after the show, to earn her Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication, before embarking on a career in country music. The Grammy Award winning artist quickly cemented her place as one of the show’s most successful winners. The road to American Idol started when Underwood was much younger, singing at church, at school plays, and talent shows.
On a similar path is singer/songwriter Alexandra Huerta.
Tell us a little about yourself and how you got started in music.
My name is Alexandra and I am 14 years old. I was born and raised in Virginia. I have my mom and dad along with 2 brothers and 2 puppies. I’m the youngest in the family and the only daughter so of course I’m the favorite daughter and sister. My passion for music started when I was 3 years old I was watching American Idol and Carrie Underwood came onto the screen. She was so nervous but her cover of “I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Bonnie Raitt inspired me. It felt like a switch flicked on and I knew that music was something I wanted to pursue. I love to make people happy and I hope that people can relate with my music and smile. Just like other teenagers I participate in sports and love hanging out with friends. Music is a big part in my life and I’m glad I have people who support me in my dreams.
You were a finalist in an Idol competition at Stony Point Fashion Park this summer. What was the experience like?
The experience was very new and exciting for me. This was the first time I got to audition in front of a live audience. All the other people auditioning were very kind and supportive which made me feel a lot more confident. After performing I received a lot of amazing feedback from the audience and the others auditioning. It was an awesome first audition!
Which song did you choose for your audition?
I chose “Who You Are” by Jessie J. The song meant a lot to me and I knew that the song could bring out some of the best in my voice.
What did you perform at the finale?
I performed Demi Lovato’s song “Don’t Do It For Me Anymore.”
Do you plan on trying out for American Idol?
I hope to, the show has been a part of my life for a long time and I was ecstatic about the news of the show coming back.
Of all the past winners/contestants, who is your American Idol and why?
My American Idol is Carrie Underwood. She performs with confidence and she is such a genuine artist. She performs with who she is and no one else. She always took advice/criticism and let it help her instead of knocking her down. Carrie Underwood earned her way to the top and is my inspiration for why I started music.
What advice have you been given about the music industry?
Advice that I have been given is to be ready to work hard. Also, that the industry isn’t easy and you have to really love what you do to get where you want to be.
Do you write your own songs?
Yes, I have been writing songs ever since I was 9. I was really inspired by experiences with being bullied. Writing out my emotions really helped me get through elementary and middle school. I use situations in my life and take them out and write stories that I hope one day people will hear. I always want to be motivating and make people smile and music helps me express that.
My favorite lyrics I’ve written are from a self-experience with my first heartbreak and a breakup in general. These lyrics are from my song “All”:
“After all this time, you just get up and leave.
To satisfy your needs and left something for me to believe.
What should I think, when it’s been so long?
I don’t need to know what went wrong.
After all that time, you spent it on lies.
I guess that’s how love dies.
Bury my heart broken.
All my words have been spoken.
So, after all this time, you just get up and leave.
To satisfy your needs and left something for me to believe.”
Who’s currently on your playlist?
Right now, I have LP, Kehlani, Carrie Underwood, Johnny Orlando, Sabrina Carpenter, Jessie J, Shawn Mendes, Demi Lovato, and Camila Cabello. I enjoy listening to soul and pop music.
If you were asked to put together a tour, which artists would you choose and why?
I would probably put together Jessie Reyez, Alessia Cara, Grace Vanderwall, Shawn Mendes, Khalid, and Camila Cabello. All of these artists are very soulful but also creative and fun with their music. I think most people will enjoy artists that are similar and diverse.
What do you think you will be doing musically in five years?
In five years, I hope to have more opportunities in music and perform for more audiences. Most of all I want to release music for people to hear. I think it will help me release myself and who I want to be.