We are in love with the normalcy that the culture has been placing on Mental Health Awareness; the benefits, the resources, the necessity. We’re proud to be a platform that continues to amplify the voices of those we love who embrace healthy, holistic lifestyles along with hustle and bustle of their careers.
We had the opportunity to catch up with Recording Artist and Reality TV Star, Alexis Branch, on her personal journey and snagged some authentic “Gems” straight from the source!
We love your journey and your confidence to be yourself and still make a major impact on the masses! — Please tell us a little about how you found the footing to devote your time and belief to the career you’ve built for yourself?
Thank you so much! I truly appreciate that. Devoting myself to my career and belief in it came naturally because I started young. I was putting on concerts in my garage and doing every talent show I could. I would record music videos and learn the routines to them instead going outside to play like a normal kid lol. When you find a passion that young, it’s easy to find your footing moving forward because you know that by all means, you’re going to make it happen. I’ve always had faith in my dreams and that kept me going.
Were there any challenges along the way that caused you to move differently or switch up the plan?
ABSOLUTELY! The entertainment industry is very fickle. I made my group “BLISS” when I was 8 years old and it took me 20 years to realize I should try to exhaust ALL of my talents instead of just saying music is my only option. When I went solo, that was something I never wanted to do but I realize the things that you don’t want to do are sometimes the things you actually NEED to do. Stepping out of my comfort zone allowed me to grow artistically and discover new talents within myself which allowed me to add commas to my name. So today I’m not just a singer, I’m an actress, a writer, a director, I have a cartoon, I’m writing a book, Im a personal trainer, I have a podcast coming as well as a TV show. I’m putting my eggs in multiple baskets. I’m even spreading out into managing and that’s not even the half of it. I’m an entrepreneur and it’s always best to have multiple plans. I didn’t realize the importance of that until later on in my career.
How do you stay inspired to create as a Black woman in a highly sought-after industry? How do you continue to set yourself apart?
Everything I do is a direct representation of who I am as a person. So staying inspired to be yourself is a necessity. You have to remind yourself that you are special regardless of any outside influences that may make you think otherwise. Setting myself apart from others is easier than we think to be honest. There’s one thing nobody else in the world can be, and that’s me. Nobody can do YOU better than YOU.
Who are some of your biggest influences in music and entertainment?
Aaliyah is my number one. I loved that girl, I feel like we would’ve been best friends. Michael and Janet Jackson of course! Missy Elliot and Timbaland. I’m a 90’s girl so the 90’s as a whole influenced me and still does til this day. That was the BEST era of music in my eyes.
We love that you’re such a vocal advocate for mental health awareness! What are some gems you’d like to share with our readers when it comes to feeling stuck about getting help when needed?
What’s crazy is I didn’t realize just how much damage an unhealthy mental could do until I went through this terrible breakup after 8 years. It was absolutely the most damaging thing and it mentally, physically, and emotionally shattered me. I’m speaking more about it now because I know I almost didn’t make it out. There are a lot of people that follow both me and my cartoon page (LittyLex) and they see me as such a bubbly person. They send me messages about how I was helping them through depression and suicidal thoughts without even knowing that I myself was fighting it. My “Gem” I’d like to share is to absolutely ask for help. Let people be there for you. I got a therapist and it was the BEST decision I could’ve made for myself. It opened my eyes to why I allowed so many things to happen and why I stayed through things I shouldn’t have. I completely shut down, and I’m thankful I had a circle of friends that fought for me when I stopped fighting for myself. But even when you don’t have that circle, you HAVE to decide to fight for yourself. You’re here for a reason and you have to love yourself more than anyone or anything else. Choose you. It’s HARD and theres no way around it, you have to go through it. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It took me 395 days to even start seeing that glimmer of light. I’m putting my pieces back together.
We love that you are so versatile in what you do in entertainment, music, media, etc. — How does it feel to be a representation that women have no limits, and how do you think that mindset serves your career?
Thank you, I feel honored to be looked at in that way. If you can inspire even ONE person, you’re doing something right. That’s how you measure success, by the people you can help along the way. Women are so strong, I love us. There are plenty of people who will tell you no, and that’s ok. That’s when you tell yourself “ Cool, imma do it anyway”. Those same people will come back and ask you how you did it. The answer- I believe in myself and I’ll never stop trying. Never give up. If there’s no door, make one. It’s served me great in my career because I put in my mind that I’m the only person that can stop my destiny and the only way I can do that is if I give up.
How have you been holding up during this pandemic? Is there anything vital that you learned that you will carry far beyond this time period?
Oh it’s been TOUGH. Going through this and everything else I’m dealing with, you’re forced to face yourself. What I learned is that nobody has you like YOU. Sitting still feels like you’re not moving anywhere but that time gave me clarity. It taught me to stay calm and BE. Be in the moment. FEEL. You can’t brush anything under the rug. You have to face it, and once you’ve done that, you can move forward.
What is some advice you would give to up and coming artists that feel stuck right now, considering the current world happenings?
Use this time to hone in on your craft. Not only that, find other things to do. Start a business. Learn new things. Read some books. Self care is imperative. Set goals and then write out your ideas and plan to reach that goal. Any step you take, no matter how small you may think it is, is a step forward.
What’s new? Do you have any open projects brewing or any surprises we can look forward to in the coming months?
Oh you know it! I have a TV show coming with one of my best friends. New music of course with some pretty amazing features. A podcast is in the works along with a show for Litty Lex. Those are the things that I can mention. The rest I’ll keep on the hush for right now but just know, I’ve been working.
If you could share one thing that no one knows about Alexis Branch, what would that one thing be?
Hmm, I’m a pretty open book. What you see is what you get.
Featured Image courtesy of Alexis Branch