Name: Alexandra Soulfire
Where are you from and where are you based?
Originally, I am from Houston, Texas. However, I have just left Chicago after three wonderful years to return back to the Austin, Texas area. Currently, I am between Lisbon and Austin. The Chicago DIY art scene is like no other I have experienced. The city is bursting at the seams with creatives and a thriving underground arts scene. Lisbon actually has many traits in common with Chicago in regards to the artistic culture. Although (obviously) a much smaller city, the sense of community amongst creatives here is very reminiscent of that in Chitown. There’s always many someones to run into at each event and tons of collaborative efforts happening with visual arts, poetry, and musical gatherings. I suppose it’s why I chose Lisbon to further my artistic endeavors.
When did you start writing and performing poetry?
I have been writing poetry and songs since I was very young (maybe 7 or 8 years old). I remember giving poems for gifts to my second-grade teacher. It wasn’t until I became an older teenager that I began to recite poetry to others.
What / who are your major influences?
Life experiences have certainly been the greatest of all influences for me, but above any one artist or writer, hip hop became the greatest influential outlet during my childhood and adolescence. Old school, conscious, and lo-fi hip hop artists like Outkast, J. Dilla, and Talib Kweli changed my life and the very way I understood lyrics and poetry. Poets like Maya Angelou and spoken word artists from the East Coast of the US were also major contributors to my writing style.
What’s your most memorable performance to date and why?
My album release show last year at The Den Theatre in Chicago has to be the most memorable of all performances. It took me many years to release a complete project and that particular show was a career-high for me. It was an overwhelming feeling to perform for a crowd who had shown up to support my original art.
Is there a poem that you’re particularly proud of or that means a lot to you? Why?
I would have to say that the last poem I performed for the Garden Collective in September, This Pleasure, is the most special to me because it was my first spoken word style piece that I ever created and performed. It was around that period in my life where I came to the realization that my music and my poetry were, and could always be, one and the same instead of two completely separate crafts.
Do you have any other projects outside of your poetry at the moment? What are they?
I released my debut R&B album, Reclaim My Love in the fall of 2018 and am currently completing my second independent EP (which currently remains nameless). My next project is set to release in the spring of 2020, produced by Chicago super engineer, Brad Kemp.
I also am an independent event producer and experience creator. Having just left the full-time work field in the US, I am passionate about pursuing my dream to create memorable and meaningful events. Even more so, I am intent on creating a platform for artists of all disciplines to share their crafts and be paid fairly for their work. Beautiful Lisbon is the first of many cities where I will be working to bring this vision to fruition.
Have you got any upcoming performances that Garden Collective members should check out?
I am currently taking a break from performing to focus on the development of my events. However, you can find me in October at the last open jams (Thursdays) at Arroz Estudios in Cacilhas and follow my social media to see what I’ll be up to next!
Anything else you want to tell us about?
You can find my album, Reclaim My Love on all streaming platforms!
Here’s a quick link: Alexandrasoulfire.hearnow.com
As well as on Facebook @Alexandrasoulfire and @soulfireconcerts