All photographs by: Sara Bouwman
Mustard had the pleasure of speaking with Los Angeles’s Alexa Cappelli! Together we discussed growing up with music, being a vegan, social media, their EP “Confused @ 22” and so much more! Check it out below!
1. Hi! Mustard would like to thank you for joining them. How are you doing?
Hi Mustard!! I’m doing really well. Currently I’m in New York and feeling rested after a night shooting a music video!
2. You grew up with music, even writing your first song called “Change The World” in fifth grade. Do you remember the moment or a memory where music impacted you?
Most of my favorite moments in life have been around music! It is so impactful and I believe it was designed to bring people together. I love looking back on how my dad and I would sing along to The Beatles tunes on family road trips. My fifth grade reflections project marked a time in my life where I was finally breaking out of my shy shell, the girl I was then still inspires me today.
3. Singing allows you to truly feel like yourself. What about singing allows you to be authentic?
Every voice is different, I am so grateful I get to use mine! Performing not only allows me to share my life and experiences unique to me, but also to have conversations with people who relate via lyrics and melodies.
4. Kelly Clarkson is a big inspiration of yours. How did it feel to go from buying one of her CDs to being on Team Kelly on The Voice?
Kelly was my biggest vocal inspiration growing up. I loved how positive her songs were and how powerful I felt singing along to them. Being on her team really only emphasized that by how down to earth she is. It felt very full circle to me.
5. Mustard is a vegan condiment. You are a vegan. Could you tell us more about your experience? Do you have a favorite vegan recipe or brand?
Mustard is actually my favorite condiment, so that’s a win! I’ve been vegan almost 4 years and I will be for many years to come! Animals are so important to the ecosystems needed for earth to thrive, and there is no better time than now to try the vegan option! My favorite thing to make for my friends is lasagna, and they all love it too.
6. You often begin with a concept for your songwriting process. What inspires these concepts?
My life experience. Talking with friends, and collaborators. I love starting with concept first so I can stay focused on exactly what it is I need to say to move forward on my journey.
7. Mustard is one of your 474.7k followers on TikTok. How did you initially feel joining TikTok? What trends worked best with your music? How can an artist use TikTok (or other social media) platform effectively?
When I joined tiktok, I would post trends and duet singing videos for funzies. Eventually I learned that I could use it to share my music! I love going live and connecting with people in new ways. Showing up consistently is key.
8. Your content, along with your music, highlight the duality of humans. What are thoughts on advertisements and other factors within society that try to portray a “perfect” world or image?
I really do love the songs I’ve put into the world. Lyrics that are real to my messy life, with production that makes you wanna “run through a wall” (in the best way), as my manager Jaime would say. I know advertisements are a big part of growing audiences, but at the same time, “perfect” simply doesn’t exist in a human capacity. I am flawed, but I know I am loved regardless.
9. How does it feel to be called “the voice of their generation” by MTV?
That was high praise! We’re all our own worst critic, but it was truly an honor to receive such words. I can’t wait to keep growing into my voice.
10. Your EP Confused @ 22 is catchy and poppy while the lyrics are vulnerable, raw, and honest. Could you share more about the process behind this EP? Was sequencing a factor taken into consideration?
When I wrote SAY SOMETHING, I wasn’t planning on releasing the EP. As a young adult, the more I wrote and kept sharing my music online, it became clearer and clearer which songs I and my fans resonated with. I am so proud of this body of work!
11. On “broke and lonely” you claim “trying to figure what nobody told how to be.” Do you think it is possibly to be properly trained for adulthood and all its curveballs?
The hardest parts of adulting for me haven’t been things that I could learn from a textbook. Life curveballs in general are unpredictable as I’m sure you’ve all experienced before. Logistics things like taxes and rent are teachable, but how to handle loneliness and big life changes aren’t so cookie cutter.
12. How do you handle Imposter syndrome when it hits? What are some ways you think humans can work on being a walking contradiction?
Journaling every morning is such a grounding practice for me. I tend to go through the motions when I don’t, forgetting parts of who I am and what I stand for. I strive to be very intentional about what I do to get out of my comfort zone, walk the walk as myself, and not be a contradiction.
13. In a previous interview you let it be known that “Whiplash” was inspired by joining bumble and your friend attempting to do a double date with you. Was this sprung upon you, causing the whiplash? Or did you have an idea before it happened?
When I got bumble for the first time, I felt flattered to say the least, but also very overwhelmed. The whiplash began when I deleted it after 4 days, and then got it again weeks later to delete it a second time & so on. It was the process of me self-sabotaging any potential relationship that could develop, and apologizing to me and any others involved.
14. Body language is an important form of human communication. How do you decipher what is genuine and what is not? What are some red flags?
Genuine forms of communication to me looks like eye contact, really leaning in when listening, going out of your way for the other, and of course saying what you’re thinking of them when needed. It’s hard to see these things from a distance. Red flags to me are opposites of these.
15. You get the call (or email) that Arista Records wanted to meet you. What was your initial reaction? How does it feel to be recognized and signed by a label such as Arista?
I felt very loved and encouraged by all the people who’ve reached out to me about my music! So grateful for the team at Arista and how they’ve invested in me and the longevity of my career.
16. Mustard loves how empowering your latest single “Could’ve Just Let Me Alone” is. Was this single by actual events?
The week before writing this song, I was talking with a friend who had recently been ghosted by someone who strung her along, and I couldn’t help but empathize with her situation. Also, if I could go back and tell my heartbroken 16 year old self that Alexa today released this song into the world, it would’ve been game over. HA!
17. What’s next for Alexa Cappelli?
A whole world of things. I cannot wait to release my first album. My next single Temporary is a favorite and represents so much of what I’ve been living through over the last year or so. I’ve been talking about wanting to tour for the longest time and am looking forward to when that will begin!
18. Where can readers listen to your music? Do you have a preferred platform?
Any and everywhere! Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, Pandora, Sound Cloud, and of course Tiktok for you to make videos of your own with! Make sure to tag me though, I love seeing how my music impacts people 🙂