Kay to perform at Ector Theatre

Apr. 4—Country singer and songwriter Alexandra Kay always looks forward to doing a show in the Lone Star State.

She insists that she's performed in Odessa earlier in her career but can't remember the year.

Either way, she's looking forward to returning to West Texas later this month.

The Illinois native, who has quickly built a promising music career, will be performing live at the Ector Theatre at 8 p.m. April 24.

Tickets for the show can be purchased online at https://theector.com/event/alexandra-kay/.

"I'm so excited," Kay said in a phone interview. "Literally, any Texas show is my favorite. I love visiting Texas. The crowds in that state are out of this world and I know everybody says that but there's a different appreciation for country music in Texas. I don't believe that this is my first show in Odessa. I want to say I've played another show in Odessa years ago but it's been a long time but I'm super excited to come back."

For Kay, being a country music star wasn't always her goal from her childhood.

She just wanted to be involved in the entertainment industry, one way or another.

It wasn't until age 16 when Kay, who grew up in Waterloo, Illinois, fell in love with music and her career would slowly take off.

Her early work in the entertainment world included voiceover work for commercials to modeling.

"I mean, it's always been my goal to be involved in the entertainment industry in some way," Kay said. "I had a commercial agent when I was young and I would do commercial spots and voice over work and things like that. I did some modeling. I was more in the acting space when I was younger."

It wasn't until she went into musical theater in high school when Kay knew she wanted to pursue a career in music.

"I fell in love with music and that was when I was 16 or 17," Kay said. "That was when it clicked to me that I wanted to be an artist. I wanted to write and sing my own songs and this is the direction I wanted to go to. I started to pursue that heavy at 18 and I started working my way through the St. Louis (Missouri) music scene ... my name and my voice got passed around ... I signed my first record deal in 2012."

She didn't stick with her major record deal for long.

Today, Kay works as an independent.

Her career has also included two failed major record deals but she also gained fame when she was discovered after her cover of Dolly Parton's "9 to 5" made its way around social media in 2013.

That would lead to her appearance in a Netflix Original series "Westside", a music reality television series that followed the journey of Kay and eight other musicians that were trying to break through and become stars.

"I was leaving my first record deal in 2013," Kay said. "Then, I started uploading covers to Facebook which is where I had my first viral moment of me singing Dolly Parton's '9 to 5'which got 80 million views on Facebook. It was huge. That's how I was discovered by 'The Voice'. I went on 'The Voice' for a short amount of time. 30 days after that, I got a call from a producer who wanted to cast me in a Netflix show. I ended up going on the series 'Westside' and it was a such a life-changing event. I met some of my best friends and learned so much about myself. We did that in 2018. I ended up signing another record deal and then leaving another record deal and I've been independent ever since."

Kay has since cemented her status as an independent force in the industry by sharing her music and life online and massing over six million followers on social media.

Kay has kindled a profound connection with listeners through her heartfelt melodies and evocative storytelling.

She said fans can expect to hear a lot of songs from her recent album "All I've Ever Known".

"You can definitely expect a lot of songs from the new album as well as some previously released songs from a couple of years ago such as 'Backroad Therapy' and 'Skip This Part'. This is an extension of my 'All I've ever known tour. This is just an extension of that and we're going to play a lot of songs from that record. There's going to be a lot of emotion but there will be some high-energy moments and a lot of story-telling. It's going to be an emotional show. I'm excited. There's a lot of connecting moments with the crowd."

Kay's recent album came about after she and her husband divorced.

"When the relationship ended, it was a journey of self-discovery that I embarked on, unknowingly," Kay said. "I've been writing songs to cope with big feelings and this is no different. I was writing songs to get through the situation and to express myself and the pain I was feeling."

Originally, Kay didn't expect "All I've Ever Known" to become an album.

However, after listening to the songs and showing them to her friends and family, they convinced her to change her mind.

"They said I couldn't keep these songs to myself," Kay said. "These songs can really help people who are going through what I was going through so it was a no-brainer to put the record out. It truly is a journey from top to bottom."

"Painted Him Perfect" is the top song of that album as Kay described it as a "a letter to my fans".

"I never talked about my divorce," Kay said. "Everybody was catching on that we weren't together anymore because we were living in different places. Everybody was commenting on that so I wrote 'Painted Him Perfect' as a response to everyone's questions and it became the first track of the record. I wrote it over a year's time. We ran the recording process down to the wire. I think I submitted it like six days before the release date. We were pushing it and getting it done but I had to make sure it was what I wanted and that it was perfect."

Growing up, her musical influences included Garth Brooks, Martina McBride and Jo Dee Messina, just to name a few.

"I love Garth Brooks," Kay said. "I've been a Garth Brooks fan forever. I love all the women that I grew up listening to on the radio like Martina McBride and Faith Hill and Jo Dee Messina which is crazy because I've met those singers. Messina is a friend and it's crazy to think that I grew up listening to her and was inspired by her. It's crazy to look at my life now and being able to call these people friends and peers."

Her current tour has been busy.

"The tour's been really good so far," Kay said. "The first extension leg of the 'All I've Ever Known' tour, we ended up selling over 30,000 tickets which was huge for us. That album has been crushing it and it's been amazing and the best experience of my life. It's a different record. It's very personal to me because it's my journey through divorce over the last year-and-a-half. It's just fused me with my fans in a strong way."

Later this year, she plans on going on tour with country singer, rapper and songwriter Jason Bradley DeFord (better known as "Jelly Roll").

"I'm going on tour with Jelly Roll in the fall," Kay said. "That's a huge thing as an independent artist. I'm going to be opening for Jelly Roll in arenas so I'm excited for that tour. We're going to be playing at a lot of major festivals this year leading up to that tour. Jelly Roll is a good friend and I know I'm going to learn a lot from him. I'm excited to embark on that new adventure and see where it takes my career."

For more information about the concert, go to https://theector.com/event/alexandra-kay/.