by Katherine Jaruzelski
Many people dream of being a rock star, but few make it beyond singing in front of the mirror with a hairbrush. Junior Oria Alexander took her passion a step further with the release of her first single, “Be My Rock Star,” on Oct. 5. “Be My Rock Star” is also the first single off Alexander’s upcoming album, Yellow Paint, out Nov. 5.
Alexander, who performs under the stage name Oria Aspen, said that she wrote and recorded “Be My Rock Star” in eighth grade but did not have time to formally release the song and finish Yellow Paint until this year.
Said Alexander: “My dad [Guitarist Glenn Alexander] is a professional musician, so [music] has kind of been in my life the whole time. When I was five I would write songs just for fun; it got more serious when I got older.”
According to Alexander, “Be My Rock Star” is about “having someone in your life that you really feel like you can’t let go of.” Although Alexander originally wrote the song about her family and friends, she said that she decided to go in a different direction with the song’s music video by making it about a love interest. The video for “Be My Rock Star” was released on YouTube Oct. 9.
Alexander said of her experience filming the video: “There was no script, it was just what felt right…. It’s more fun having [the video] be about someone you love; singing to someone you just really feel a connection with.”
Alexander said that releasing her first single was “the best feeling in the world.” Said Alexander: “When I saw [the video] for the first time, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I can’t believe that that’s really me.’… I was just absolutely struck with amazement.” Alexander hopes to reach 1 million views on her video by the end of the year.
Senior Joy Binder said: “I've known [Alexander] since she was a sophomore and I know how much passion she has for music…. [“Be My Rock Star”] is an optimistic, upbeat song that keeps me going when I'm feeling a little down. I even find my mom humming the tune throughout the day.”
Yellow Paint will include 13 original songs and a cover of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World,” according tooriaaspen.com. The album will also feature accompaniment by many professional musicians, including Drummer Shawn Pelton, who has worked with artists like Shakira and Kelly Clarkson, Conan Keyboardist Scott Healy and Alexander herself on flute.
Alexander said that the songs on the album are varied, ranging from upbeat to dark in tone and exhibiting influences from many genres, including country and punk.
Said Alexander: “[Not all the songs are] like ‘Rock Star,’ but they’re really fun and a lot of them are pretty catchy. I just feel like it’s something you could dance to, enjoy and have fun with.”
Alexander hopes that the release of Yellow Paint is only the beginning of her musical journey. “I plan to pursue pop music for the rest of my life,” said Alexander. “That is my dream and I wouldn’t give it up for anything.”
"Be My Rock Star" is available for purchase on iTunes and Bandcamp.com.