By Rachel Galvin
For Katherine Alexander, music is all about connection. From international roots, with a Cuban mother, a pianist, and a Greek/ Turkish father, Alexander began her love of music as a child, inspired by Selena and, later, Christina Aguilera. As for opera, she gravitated to Maria Callas.
After attending Dr. Michael M. Krop High and Dillard Center for the Performing Arts, she went on to the New World School of The Arts (NWSA) to hone her craft as a singer and ended up winning the school’s Concerto Competition, and, later, Univision’s Idolo Del Pueblo talent search. Dual enrolled at the University of Florida, she graduated with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts.
“My mom once asked me if I had a Plan B. I replied, ‘there is no Plan B because I’m not going to fail,’” said Alexander.
She made her mark in opera when she went to Italy on a special program, attaining leading roles in Puccini’s Suor Angelica and Händel’s Partenope. She also performed leading roles in every year of her studies at NWSA. But opera is not all she does; her pop single, produced by Maffio, “Put It In A Kiss”, ended up in the No. 1 spot for three consecutive weeks in a row on Billboard charts a few years ago.
“I came into the studio with a completely different song, but when [Maffio] started playing the piano, I took out my pen and paper and the song was born. You know when something rolls out of you and you don’t want to put the pen down. It’s like it isn’t me; it’s coming through me,” she said.
Asked which genre she prefers, she said, “Opera strikes more that zenith of emotion whereas pop is more modern and flexible. As far as risk and enjoyment, I like opera because it is live, but I love all genres of music. If I am singing it, I love it whether it is ‘Over the Rainbow’ or ‘Carmen‘.
Alexander performed last fall at Duende in Fort Lauderdale and has also worked with Enrique Iglesias, Carlos Vives, Wisin and Yandel, among others.
“What gives me the greatest pleasure is the synergy between audience and performer,” she said, adding, “In the recording studio, it is not as exciting. In fact, it is painstaking at times; if someone opens a candy wrapper or makes a sound … [we re-record it as many times as necessary]. Although it is enjoyable working with a good team, I make them turn off the lights so I immerse myself in the music. The audience knows when a performer is faithful or not. If I don’t feel I’ve moved you, or enlightened an area of your life, I don’t feel I’ve done what I am here to do. My purpose is to spread light through my voice.”
Alexander often awakens to scroll lyrics in lipstick on her bedroom mirror or record part of a remembered melody on her nearby recorder.
“If I forget the melodies and lyrics that come to me, I become depressed for days sometimes and I feel my life is over,” she mused.
Alexander works on her “instrument” daily.
“If you don’t use it, you lose it; if you use it too much, you lose it. I teach private lessons to children also so I have to maintain my technique. I have to show them how to sing and take care of their voices,” she said.
Alexander, who moves between Miami Shores and Cooper City, finishes every correspondence with her motto: “May everything you do honor the music of your soul.” When not performing, you might find this vegan meditating, belly dancing, watching a movie or curling up with a good book and a cup of coffee.
For more information about this soulful singer, visit www.katherinealexanderglobal.com.