In today’s oversaturated music industry, _real_ singers and musicians are now appreciated more than ever before. Insert [Alexia Jayy](https://www.instagram.com/alexiajayy__/), the powerhouse vocalist who’s gone viral on all the biggest social media pages time and time again… and with good reason. Her debut single “[Who Raised You](https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=JCexlDYXf1g)" speaks volumes to single mothers all around the world, inspired directly by her own experiences raising a black child in America today.
Hailing from Irvington, Alabama, Alexia commands attention when she walks into the room, sporting her signature afro and undeniable presence. Describing herself as “a super country girl from a small town who loves to sing,” the rising star has been singing since the young age of 2. At just 9 years old, she joined a group and even performed at the world-famous Amateur Night at the Apollo Theater.
She states, “I went to college, sang again. Just kept singing. I've been singing the majority of my life, and I'm trying to continue to do that.”
Inspired by the greats such as Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, and Sam Cooke, it wasn't until she began sharing videos on social media (an acapella performance of "Who Raised You?", being one of them), that her career truly took flight.
_Flaunt_ caught up with Alexia via Instagram Live, who was posted in her hometown in Alabama where it was raining. Read below as we discuss her sound, her roots in Irvington, performing at age 9, "Who Raised You" going viral, the moment Chris Brown reposted her, studio essentials, top artists in rotation, and more!
**How would you describe your sound?**
I’ve never been asked that question! I’d say pure. Anytime I sing, I try to sing straight from my heart, so I’d hope that it comes out pure.
**What was it like growing up in Irvington?**
It's a super small town. Everybody knows each other. Everybody went to school together. It was pretty cool growing up now that I'm older. I know all my kid’s parents. Everybody I go to church with is a part of my family. We're all cousins in there singing and everybody sings. I grew up around a bunch of family and a lot of friends that I don't have to get rid of. I know in the city, they come and they go. You never know who you're going to meet. But down here, everybody knows each other. So it’s pretty good.
**Talk about performing at the Apollo at 9 years old. Do you remember it?**
Yeah, it was amazing. Out of all the things I did, I think that's the only thing I remember. ‘M like "Michael Jackson was here, and I'm here! Why am I here?!" \[laughs\] I had to perform against the adults at the time, because I don't know what happened as far as the kids show. I ended up performing with the adults. I ended up winning and I got McDonalds afterwards, so I was super giddy as a kid. You don't really know what's going on.
**Where did the name Alexia Jayy come from?**
My middle name is Alexia and I've always loved it for some reason. I always loved it more than my first name. When my mom asked me "What do you want your artist name to be?" I think I like Alexia. My last name is Jackson, so Jayy adds on to that effect.
**"Who Raised You" out now! What were you going through when you recorded that record?**
Oh man, I was sitting in my car, going through the motions that most single moms go through everyday. What am I gonna do next? I have a kid. I’m the only one doing it. Most of the time, I try to put all of my feelings into my music so I won't go crazy. At that time because of what I was going through as a single mom, if I had to say something to the person that put me in this situation, what would I say? It just came to me, who raised you? You watched a woman do all of these things and you turned out to be the same person. I’d like you to look back and see, look at your mama. Look and see what she had to go through. I’m telling you, it was a lot, but I'm glad I got to put it on a piece of paper.
**How’d it feel getting picked up everywhere?**
I posted it and a month later, it went viral. Scared the crap out of me, but it went viral. \[laughs\] I did not expect what happened, to be completely honest. I was saying in my head, “I know that I'm not the only one.” My brother confirmed it for me, he said "you need to post this!" When I posted it and it went viral, I thought "oh wow, so I'm not the only one feeling this way." It feels really good a lot of people can relate to what I was going through.
**Where did it go viral? People die to be on those platforms.**
The R&B HUB shared it. After that, that's when they started to pick it up. Even when the R&B HUB shared it, I was crying. I was bawling. “What? Oh my god, people love the song! That's crazy!" So they picked it up from there.
**How do you feel about it now?**
I feel good. I feel really, really good, because in the beginning, I didn't expect what happened. As of now, seeing how many people hear my music is touching, it feels so good, considering I'm from Irvington, Alabama. Nothing happens here except people retire, so it's amazing for people to hear my voice and love it. It feels real good.
**Talk about how Chris Brown cosigned you as well.**
Oh man, I posted a video one day of me singing Aniya's song. Listen, let me tell you this story. I'm in my bed, I start seeing people commenting and saying “Chris Brown shared your video!” Nah, I'm not gonna go look. I’m not looking, y’all gotta be lying. \[laughs\] When I looked, Chris Brown shared my video! It was 3am, and I stayed up the entire day. I was trying to find stuff to do, because I was so excited, and I didn't want to bother anybody until 8am. I couldn't wait! I called my brother at 5am like "I know you're sleep, but I gotta tell you something." It was pretty cool.
**Do you put out good energy? People who put out good energy get good energy back.**
I try my best. I try to do right by people. I've been through a lot since before this so I take it as God is trying to bless me at this point. I’ll take every blessing he wants to give me.
**What was your creative vision with the visual?**
I wanted men to understand that I'm not coming for all fathers. I wanted to share my personal experience. I didn't want the visual to be too much, going after a man like “you're doing this, you're doing that. You’re wrong!” I wanted people to understand that people go through these situations everyday. There are great fathers out here doing their jobs, shout out to the good fathers out here. But there are some that aren’t, some are sometimes-y fathers. I wanted them to understand from a different perspective, from the women's perspective and the child's perspective that we have to listen to this. We have to hear our children ask these questions that are hard to answer. I wanted people to get a visual of the other side.
**How old is your kid now?**
He's finna be 6 next month. You know, I've cried the past couple of days. People have been laughing at me but every time he walks by: oh my God, he's getting so big. Jesus Christ, what is happening? Time just doesn't slow down. They grow so fast, it's ridiculous. One day you're looking at them and they're so little. The next day, they're having full blown conversations, doing things on their own and telling you, "Nevermind, I got it."
**Does he like the record?**
He loves it. He tells me, "So Mommy, did everybody see me on TV yet?" Because he's in the visual.
**3 things you need in the studio?**
Definitely water, water is detrimental. I try to keep the lights dim because I like to have a vibe. Usually when I write, I have my lights really really dim. I don't where it takes me, but I like being there. The third thing is my phone because I need motivation. Sometimes, my mom texts me and sends me little motivational things. I like to keep my phone by me so when I get nervous or if I'm feeling like I'm not doing a good job, I can look at those texts.
**Top 5 artists in rotation currently?**
I like Lucky Daye. I listen to him everyday. I love Jazmine Sullivan. I like Big K.R.I.T. I love Lalah Hathaway. I like real subtle music. The last one, that’s so hard. I'ma have to go with me, because I love hearing my music, I'm not gonna lie. I listen to it everyday to see what I could’ve done better or what people actually hear. I love my music as well.
**How much music do you have in the vault then?**
I've been writing since I was 12. My mom was pretty free when it came to writing, she didn't really care what I wrote about because she was a creative as well. She said “you could be listening to the TV and write a song from that.” I have a lot in my vault, it just has to come back to my memory because I was pretty young when I started.
**How's the independent grind?**
It's a grind. No sleep, no sleep whatsoever. Always practicing to make sure that I'm on top of my game. My team is amazing, they make sure I’m straight. They make I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing. It's been really really good. It's been flowing, I’m having an amazing time.
**What can we expect next from you?**
I'm going to keep putting out music man! It's been super fun. I've been in the studio recording and getting my image together. I'm going to keep putting out music and hopefully, everybody loves everything I put out.