We had the good fortune of connecting with Thana Alexa and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Thana, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
As an independent artist it is important to establish a brand with your music very early on. This brand grows and changes over time, just like your art grows and changes as you develop as an artist, but from the very beginning of my career it has been important to stay true to my artistic integrity. For me, my music serves as a platform for a larger discussion around social justice, Women’s rights, equity and equality.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’ve arrived at this moment in life after years of hard work, getting rejected left and right, not having the support of a record label behind me, getting my album’s crowdfunding money stolen by the now defunct PledgeMusic platform, and not being able to tour my 2x Grammy nominated album because of COVID. Notwithstanding these immense struggles, I deeply believed in the stories I wanted to tell through my music to give a voice to the soul of women everywhere, beginning with the immigrant women in my family. My latest album “ONA” (the word for “she” in my family’s native Croatian language), explores the complex theme of what it means to be a woman.
The songs reflect on my Croatian-American roots, yet resonate with the many cultures of women who have come into my life and influenced my music. The record was widely received since its release in March of 2020 with feature stories in Forbes and Downbeat Magazines as well as a critic’s poll ranking on NPR, to name a few. The album was also nominated for two Grammy Awards, including Best Jazz Vocal Album and Best Improvised Solo for violinist Regina Carter’s performance on one of my compositions.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I wouldn’t be where I am without the support of my parents and my husband. From a very young age my parents recognized my love and talent for music and nurtured that talent in every way they could. It must be daunting when your child announces to you that they want to be a jazz musician… even if your child is extremely talented, you know that the life they are choosing will be a difficult and unpredictable one. Every parent wants what is best for their children and I am deeply grateful to mine for recognizing that what was best for me was to follow my heart.
Other: Merch Store: https://www.thanalexa.com/ona-physical
Justin Bettman, Brian Friedman, Fernando Acedes