Alexa Carter
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Alexa Carter

Biloxi, Mississippi, United States | MAJOR

Biloxi, Mississippi, United States | MAJOR
Band Rock Pop


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"For Those About To Rock"

sstory by Lynn Lofton. Photos courtesy of The Alexa Carter Band and by John Stricklin.

18-year-old Gulfport native, Alexa Carter shoots for stardom in the Big Apple.
Get to know her now...before she’s famous.

Alexa Carter is a Gulfport girl determined to make her dreams come true. The 18-year-old daughter of Rick and Stephanie Carter is living in New York pursuing a career in the demanding world of pop/rock music. “It’s a hard business, but I believe I’m unique and the right age to get in it,” Carter said during a recent visit to the Coast. “I’m not intimidated by work. I have high energy. I’m in this mode and ready to get everything started. When I wake up every morning, I’m thinking about
it.” She always sang for her family and in the choir and vocal competitions
while a student at Mercy Cross High School. “Singing was always what I wanted,” she recalls. “I was inspired by musical theater and at first wanted to go into that.”
Additionally, she’s always written songs, thinking of melodies in her head until she taught herself to play guitar and could compose them on that
instrument. The tenth grade was a turning point when she asked her Dad to let her
sing for real. It was a difficult decision for the Carters but they allowed Alexa
to move to the Big Apple where she finished high school at the Professional
Children’s School. Students at the school are actors, models, musicians and
athletes whose school schedules are arranged around their work schedules.

“They had us do things to keep us inspired,” Alexa said, “and I did things on my own. I’ve seen every play on Broadway and a lot of movies. Plus I did things with my sister, Christina, who’s also been up there.” As a parent, Rick Carter says it was a hard decision to let Alexa move to the big city. Recently, Alexa and her sister, Christina, moved to a gated community on Long Island where they live near members of the Alexa Carter Band. “We have three sets of parents, along with her manager, Melissa Cross, looking after them,” he said. “We’re very
proud of her.” Rick and Stephanie Carter agreed to let Alexa sit out the first year of college to aggressively pursue a musical career. Her life is busy with voice, piano and dance lessons, rehearsals, work on production of a compact disc and preparations for regional tours that begin next month. As part of her preparation, Alexa is working with several professionals, including producer Josh Wilbur, whom she describes as a “spontaneous, bubbly man.”
“He made me try singing in a higher octave. He said, ‘don’t be scared, just do it,’” she said. “I wanted to experiment and it took a while to learn my voice.” At first the CD will not be available for sale but will be used to get her name out and given away on tour. Videographer Tommy Jones followed Alexa around for a year to produce a documentary-type electronic press kit to show who she is and what her daily life is like. The documentation included a visit to Gulfport to film the aspiring singer in her home environment. Manager Melissa Cross, who is also her voice teacher, pulled together the Alexa Carter Band made up of talented young guys who’ve been playing since they were children. One of the member’s family sound proofed a practice room in their home for the group to use. “They are really looking forward to starting the tour in March,” Alexa said of band members. “They can’t wait.” Another part of tour preparation is working with well- known choreographer Jermaine Brown, who’s worked
with Justin Timberlake, Brittany Spears and Jennifer Lopez. “I have a great time dancing to my music and hope my Coast dance teacher, Kellie Dickens, will be pleased,” Alexa said.
Although she has a raspy, jazzy voice, she says her style
is more rock but still mainstream. “I’ve heard the CD and loved it. It’s not too hard rock,” Rick Carter said. “I sent it to a friend in the music business in Nashville. He thinks she’s got it and can do crossover if she wants to. I like the direction she’s going now and we’ll see what comes out of it.” He also points out that entertainment attorney Joel Katz of Atlanta believes Alexa has what it takes and took her as a client. “That doesn’t mean he can guarantee she will make it, but his taking her on as a client is big,” Carter said. “Some people were surprised he did that.” For her part, Alexa is happy to have her parents’ support and counts them as her biggest fans. Another fan is Carson Cain, a childhood friend. “I think her music is inspiring,” Cain said. “I was shocked hearing the notes she was hitting on the CD. I
didn’t know she could do it but she did.” Alexa wants listeners to relate to the songs she writes and sings. “I want a lot of people to relate to my songs,” she says. “For that reason, I don’t want to write too specifically, but I try to experience things and give everyone something to which they can relate. I wrote Pour Out Your Heart about three of my friends going through hard times, but everyone goes through hard times.” Alexa acknowledges she has a long, long way to go but has no regrets about the path she’s chosen. “The stars
must line up; that’s the biggest challenge,” she says. “I have some great connections but there are thousands trying to make it like I am.” She also sees herself as something of an ambassador for Mississippi. “Maybe Christina and I are changing some perceptions of Mississippi,” she said. “People don’t know about the state and are surprised when they meet us.” Although a reality show about two girls from Mississippi was offered to the Carter sisters, they and their parents declined the idea. “We passed on that,” Rick Carter said. “We thought the show’s producers would want drama and expect a Mississippi stereotype we don’t portray.” Alexa isn’t sure when her CD will be available to South Mississippi residents but is currently working on a website to keep friends and fans informed. In the meantime, her career can be followed at


1. It's Too Late
2. Help This Hurt
3. On & On
4. Puzzle Pieces
5. Ballerina



Sitting in a cozy coffee house in Nashville’s burgeoning Hillsboro Village neighborhood, it might be easy to mistake Alexa Carter for one of the thousands of young women seeking fame and fortune as the next Martina McBride or Carrie Underwood. But while the poised, confident 20-year-old singer/songwriter has a definite love of the country music her adopted hometown is usually identified with, one listen to her songs and huge voice tell a different story. It’s the story of a young artist influenced by virtually every form of music, not to mention the worlds of art and fashion.

Always passionate about music and dance - “I came out of the womb singing,” she says with a wry smile - Carter boldly announced to her parents at 15 that she wanted to move from their Mississippi home to New York City to continue her education and hone her skills as a writer, singer and performer at the esteemed Professional Children’s School. Always supportive of Alexa’s artistic endeavors, her parents eventually accepted the idea, though filled with the trepidation any parent would feel about letting their child embark on such a journey.

“Those years were so important to my growth as a writer and a singer,” Alexa recalls. “Looking back, it was kind of a brave and crazy thing for me to do, but I knew that it was time for me to be in an environment that would push me to hone my craft and just allow me to be creative.”

Those years would prove to be invaluable to Alexa, as she found herself surrounded with creative and gifted people her own age from all walks of life. “I met so many wonderful and artistic souls from the moment I got there,” she says. “They opened my eyes to so many amazing things I hadn’t been exposed to. And being surrounded by so many talented people pushed me to really work on being the best singer and the best writer I could be.”

With her time at Professional Children’s School finished and without a definitive career path in place, Carter knew she needed to figure out how she would go about making a name for herself as a writer and performer. She put a band together started playing shows, but felt like she was limiting herself creatively. A chance encounter with acclaimed Nashville producer and music executive James Stroud while singing in a nightclub set Carter down a new path.

Stroud loved the strength and character of Carter’s voice and encouraged her to move to Nashville - a town with plenty of creative outlets that still shared the Southern sensibilities of her youth.

Carter’s growth since settling into Nashville has been both significant and steady. Her writing has taken on a poised voice that is both strong and vulnerable, sometimes even at the same time. “I feel, for the first time in my life,” she says, “that I understand my voice and what the setting for my songs should be. It’s very liberating and empowering.”

That growth has led Stroud to become intimately involved in Carter’s career. Not only did he make her one of a select few artists on the roster of his recently-launched R&J Records, he also recommended Carter when fellow R&J artist Aaron Lewis wanted to feature a female vocalist on a re-recorded version of his band Staind’s song “Tangled Up In You” for his debut solo EP, Town Line.

“I’m sure Aaron was totally skeptical of having this newcomer singing on the song because it’s such a personal song to him,” Carter says self-effacingly. “But he and James have such a close relationship that he gave me a chance and I’m thrilled he liked my parts enough to keep them!”

Lewis really must have liked Carter’s talents, as he invited her and her band to perform an acoustic set during his run of July 2011 solo tour dates.

“Playing live isn’t new to me, but touring really is,” she admits. “I loved being out with Aaron and loved connecting with his amazingly loyal audience. They had no clue who I was but by the time each set was over, I felt like I connected with more than a few of th

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