2015 has been a huge year for some of the biggest names in pop: from Selena Gomez to Carly Rae Jepsen and Ryn Weaver, the genre has been busting with talent. Next up on the radar is a 22-year-old from LA via Florida who lands on the edgier side of the pop spectrum. Coming off of the release of her debut EP Like We’re Famous last week, it seems like it’s only the beginning for pop chanteuse Alexx Mack. While Mack’s name might bring to mind a certain ’90s cult TV show, her name has nothing to do with it (though it does give us some great memories courtesy of Nickelodeon). With her love for fashion, romance and (sometimes) being a bad girl, Mack is bringing the kind of fun we saw in pop music in the ’90s (think the Spice Girls era).
Though Mack will release some more tunes coming up, we wanted to catch up with her before she hits full-Miley status.
On making music: I’ve been making music since as long as I can remember. My parents said as soon as I learned to talk I would sing everything. They realized like, oh boy we’re in trouble because she won’t shut up now. I’ve just been singing forever. When I was 7, my parents got me an acoustic guitar. I would play it all the time, and I would ‘fake-write’ songs. In high school I was in bands. As a kid, you’re al ittle bit rebellious and I didn’t know that being fully a ‘pop’ artist was something I really wanted to do until about three years ago. I always go back to pop music. I love pop music.
First album: When I was 10 or 11, the first CD I ever bought was The All-American Rejects album. I listened to that on repeat and it inspired me to write my songs. Tyson Ritter, you saved my life because I wouldn’t have been able to express my feelings like you in that way.
Pop crushes: Bruno Mars, obviously. I consider Cher a pop icon. Britney Spears—she’s the quintessential pop star. NSYNC and Spice Girls. That’s what I’ve always gravitated towards. Currently, I’m listening to The Weeknd.
Starstruck: The first time I was starstruck was at Perez Hilton’s birthday party a couple of years ago and I was across the room from Tyson Ritter and I had an emotional breakdown. I was like, ‘do I go up to him? Do I say something?’ I was so starstruck because he truly ignited my passion for writing. I was shaking and was almost about to break down in tears, so I couldn’t say anything. He’s so beautiful, and he has a beautiful wife now. She was on Revenge.
Relationship stages: Like We’re Famous is about the stages we go through in a relationship. It’s a personal journey for me. “Bad” is about really making that connection with someone and letting go of your inhibitions. It’s about being with someone on a whim. “Sunglasses” is about bringing that person into your world and seeing if they can keep up with your friends. The other two songs are about falling in love and breaking up. I think that “Sunglasses” was the second single because it was the second on the EP. It’s being released in chronological order. It’s about being free—inviting that person into your life and being playful, sassy and sexy and having fun with them.
Favorite sunglasses: I recently went thrifting with my friend in Long Beach, and I found these beautiful, vintage glasses from the ’70s. The person who was selling them didn’t know what treasure they had. I rock those all the time. They have no brand—they’re a random pair of glasses I found.
Style inspiration: I’m kind of all over the place. I love everything from going to garage sales and sifting through stuff to Opening Ceremony and Nasty Gal. I really like mixing and matching higher brands with things from flea markets. I hit up an amazing flea market on Melrose all the time. For me, it’s about meshing all of my worlds together—everything that’s in my brain coming to life.
Dream Collaborations: Nick Jonas, Adam Levine or Bruno Mars. I love Bruno Mars. That’s probably another time I got starstruck. I saw him at Urban Outfitters, and he winked at me. I died.