Alexa Explains How She Landed on NBC’s ‘American Song Contest’ Stage

  • AleXa is a solo K-pop artist representing her home state of Oklahoma at NBC’s “American Song Contest.”
  • She made her debut as a soloist in 2019 with the single “Bomb”.
  • Her career, which includes several competitive shows, prepared her to compete on “ASC.”

Moments after her performance on “American Song Contest” ends, AleXa is lying in a foam pit.

The 25-year-old catches her breath after a dramatic and intentional fall from a set on stage. As the final notes of her performance sound, she catches her breath – and hears hosts Snoop Dogg and Kelly Clarkson begin to rave about her performance (Snoop calls K-pop his “guilty pleasure”).

“I was discussed by two legends, and here I am, hyperventilating in this foam pit waiting to be removed from the stage,” AleXa told Insider, looking back on her performance several days later. . “It’s like wow, blessings.”

Born Alexandra Schneiderman, the 25-year-old from Oklahoma had a whirlwind career that took her from Tulsa to Seoul and back again. After making her debut as a soloist under the stage name AleXa in October 2019, she now represents her home country in the Eurovision-inspired NBC music competition series.

A few days after her performance at the “American Song Contest” premiere, AleXa told Insider that the experience was already unforgettable. She has since qualified for the semi-finals of the competition, based on a vote by fans and the national jury.

“I would be more than happy to perform again for anyone who wants to watch,” she said.

Since debuting in 2019, AleXa’s discography has spanned from anthemic bangers like 2020’s “Revolution” to lighter pop tracks like 2021’s “Xtra.” His music videos, produced by his company ZanyBros, are highly conceptual, often depicting her as some sort of AI messiah leading a revolution in a futuristic dystopia.

“Wonderland,” her “ASC” competition single, leans lightly on that idea, with a robotic vocal introducing her at the top of the track. According to Billboard, the track was written by Albin Nordqvist, Ellen Berg, Moa Carlebecker, Andreas Carlsson and Bekuh Boom. It’s a mix of pop, Latin, and K-pop, and feels right at home in its dramatic discography.

“There’s just this kind of mysterious vibe, this intrigue at the start,” she told Insider. “And then when it goes fuzzy at the start with ‘pulling the strings on my heart,’ it’s like, ‘Ooh, what are we getting into?’

alexa performing on stage at an american song contest: she dances, dressed in an elaborate white outfit, on a red-lit stage on which ribbons fall from the ceiling

AleXa performing at the premiere of “American Song Contest” on March 21, 2022.

Trae Patton/NBC

AleXa’s career as a K-pop artist — and the competitively charged road she took for her debut — prepared her in somewhat unique ways for her current run on “American Song Contest.”

After winning “Rising Legends: Season 2”, an online talent search competition organized by Soompi and Cube Entertainment, in 2016, AleXa signed as the first trainee under ZanyBros, a production company that produced countless K-pop clips.

Her profile started to rise after appearing on the idol survival show “Produce 48” in 2018, which eventually led to the creation of project group IZ*ONE. Although she was not selected as a member of IZ*ONE’s final lineup, she made her debut as a soloist in October 2019 with the single “Bomb”.

“‘Produce’ was my first real taste of competitive television,” AleXa told Insider. “And it was definitely a big scary time for me, but it was a wonderful experience that’s definitely helping me now in ‘ASC’, in my career in general, learning stage presence, how to properly project your voice into a microphone , whether it’s headphones or a handheld, learning to dance and sing properly at the same time.”

From “Produce 48” to countless performances on Korean music shows like M! Countdown and Inkigayo, TV was a familiar game. One element of “ASC”, however, was less familiar territory after its debut at the dawn of a global pandemic – its live audience.

“It was the first live audience I had in so long,” AleXa told Insider. “I had to mentally prepare myself for it to be like, ‘Okay, don’t freeze because you’re in front of people for the first time in two years.’ It was very nerve-wracking.”

Despite nerves, his performance was enough to earn him a spot in the “ASC” semi-finals through a combination of votes from the national jury and fans, giving him the chance to represent Oklahoma in the competition. at least one more time. In the process, she also represents not only K-pop in the American-only competition scene, but also Korean Americans like her who also work in the K-pop industry.

“There are so many Korean-Americans, Korean-Canadians, other people who are in the industry themselves,” she said. “I mean, we’re here hoping that we make our home states proud, our home cities proud or our home countries proud in this case as well.”