See the new Degrassi intro - right now.
You have to wait until July 18th to see the new episodes, but you can watch the new intro RIGHT NOW. The new theme song was recorded by singer-songwriter Alexz Johnson, and it's pretty much amazing:
Alexz is in NYC this week, but she had a time for a quick chat with me. After I fangirled out for a minute about being on Skype with Alexz Johnson, we got down to business:
I just watched the new Degrassi opening, and I love it! How did that come about?
It came up very naturally; it wasn't planned. I was sent the track, and they said "Can you do anything with this?" Demo Castellon was producing it, and he remixed my indie Voodoo album, and so I think I was just in the right place. They asked if I'd put a vocal on it, and then they liked it the best.
The latest promo for Degrassi: Now or Never is really intense, and I know some of the fans are worried about what's going to happen to their favorite characters -- but when I listen to your version of the theme song, I'm like, "They will make it through! I believe everyone will get through all this drama somehow."
That's so funny you say that, because that's what the feeling behind it was. I've been through my own hell on the career and music end, when it comes to major labels, and my own ups and downs, feeling like "Can you do it anymore?" I really pulled from my own experiences as I sang it, and it's like... "Screw it! You can do anything!" I wanted people to feel that when they heard the vocal. I really wanted it to be strong and powerful.
So we know Degrassi's going to have a crazy-intense summer. What about you? What do you have planned?
I'm working. I just released an album called Voodoo: Reloaded, which is really exciting. When I get back to Toronto, I play The Drake on the 27th, go to Nashville to do some songwriting, and then I'm back in Toronto to do a music video for "Look at Those Eyes," which is my next single. I'm expanding my reach to the States this summer. Being located in Canada can sometimes be difficult, but I'm hoping to do a U.S. tour and either open for someone or be a co-headliner.
I'm also working on my next record, and I have maybe 40 songs that are done. I have some songs with Bruno Mars, Mike Elizondo, and Toby Gad... some pretty strong writers, so I'm excited. I'm excited to put them all together and see where my head is at, and the kind of record I want to make. Being indie and being Canadian, I'm trying to really expand my reach. It's so exciting to be doing the Degrassi theme. I'm just finding a way to get my music out to people.
I know a lot of TeenNick fans were excited to see you trending on Twitter a few months back. What was that like?
It was crazy! I have some pretty awesomely loyal fans. I just did an online show yesterday, and it was really cool. I'm trying to find innovative ways to reach my fanbase, which is all over the world -- but being on an indie label, I can't just pack up my band and fly us to Europe to do a tour. I'm trying to find a way to do it all, but sticking true to my sound.
I love that you can perform live shows online, and that we can talk on Skype and see each other, even though we're a country apart. It seems like a cool time to be an indie artist. Yay, the Internet!
I have some friends who are filmographers, so I've also been making a lot of videos and putting them online, just hanging out and singing songs. It's one of those things where like... you come to terms with the fact that you don't know if you're going to make a living. You don't know how things are going to unfold, but you do it because you love it, and there's nothing else you can do. I'm at a point in my life where there is no alternative. I'm just going to keep doing music. I'm not as hard on myself as I used to be, and the last couple years have just been so much fun and creative. It's been great.
Alexz, thanks so much for talking to me. I can't wait for the fans to see the new open!
I'm so excited. This really happened out of nowhere and I'm so excited to be a part of it.
So... what do you think of the new open?