alex lahey


- As told to Sophie Kalagas

SHE BELIEVES IN HUMAN CONNECTION I feel extremely humbled when people tell me my lyrics are relatable, and have helped them through tough times. But funnily enough, I find people create their own meaning from my songs, which then helps them get through. I think that speaks to our ability to find ourselves in other people’s experience­s and be able to empathise in different ways, which is one of the best parts about being human and compassion­ate.

SHE’S INSPIRED BY DIVE BARS IN TENNESSEE I love the notsecret secret-society nature of dive bars in Nashville. There’s always an open-door policy at these places, but you have to find the door. It makes it a treasure hunt of sorts when you’re barhopping around town. When you do eventually find what you’re looking for, you’re generally met with a mish-mash of clientele and a total lack of judgment. I feel that’s the way the world is supposed to look – a melting pot of people, places and stories.

SHE’S FOUND HERSELF IN UNEXPECTED PLACES The biggest ‘pinch myself’ moment was playing on Seth Meyers’ show. I’m a big Tina Fey and Seth Meyers fan, and the filming took place at the Rockefelle­r Center where 30 Rock is based and all the Saturday Night Live recordings happen. My brother and best friend were both in New York at the time and came to the filming. It was a huge moment of impostor syndrome and felt like someone was playing a joke on me.

SHE’S INTO MORE THAN JUST MUSIC The more I tour, the more I love cooking – I think it has a lot to do with not being able to cook while on the road. I love to read and learn about things that have nothing to do with music. I also really identify with my drummer Jess when she says, “I’d rather sit in the same chair and drink 20 beers over the course of a day than go to a club for two hours.”

SHE’S ALL ABOUT HER FAMILY My grandfathe­r was my childhood hero. He was my mother’s stepfather, and the only grandfathe­r I ever knew. He migrated to Melbourne from Cairo and was a leader in his community of Greek-egyptian migrants living in Melbourne. My relationsh­ip with him taught me that family can be chosen, and at times chooses you. I named my music label Nicky Boy Records after him.

SHE’S INDEPENDEN­T AND A TEAM PLAYER, TOO By releasing my debut album through my own record label, I learnt the value of independen­ce and ownership. But also, how important it is to have a team that supports your vision, values and ambitions. Teamwork is super-important in this industry, and everyone should be valued and allowed to achieve.

SHE’S A DOLLY PARTON DEVOTEE It goes without saying that Dolly Parton has been part of some of the greatest songs ever written, which is enough of a reason to herald her as an inspiratio­n if you’re into songwritin­g. But what I love about Dolly is that she really values the importance of having fun; I think that’s a big part of why she’s had such a long and successful career. She preaches authentici­ty while not taking yourself too seriously, which gives you the freedom to achieve bigger things and make a difference.

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