Growing up in what seems like San Diego’s own Partridge Family, Alexa Villa always had music in her blood. From being a classically trained pianist from age 7 to playing clubs with her parents’ band, she spent the majority of her childhood crafting her impressive skillset. So, when the now Los Angeles-based rocker ventured out on her own, she proved ready to showcase her vulnerable yet unapologetic sound— qualities present in her latest single, “Invisible.”
“’Invisible,’ for me, comes from a place of clarity, strength and understanding,” Villa reveals. “I spent far too long in a bad situation, and writing this song, though it came after the break-up, gave me the push I needed to move on.” Your apathy is annoying me, you’re practically invisible to me, she sings in the track.
The idea for “Invisible” came about when lounging around with her guitar player, Dre Dimura, on a day off. “My guitar player ended up staying over after a show that we played in Hollywood. The next day, it was rainy, and we watched Harry Potter, painted our toes and got ramen,” Villa shares with American Songwriter. “And he [Dimura] had his guitar from Madame Siam the night before, pulled it out and started playing some chords that he had. I was like, ‘Oh, that sounds really cool.’ So, I started singing over it, and it just came together really quickly.
“The next day, we went to his house, and we used an oatmeal shaker and paintbrushes for the snare—whatever we had lying around the house to make noise,” Villa continues. “We wanted it to be organic. I think we really wanted to let the music speak for itself.”
Crafted in only two short days after the initial strums, the song was then taken into the studio to round out the sound, adding some real drums to accompany the shakers, all while still keeping the authentic feel Villa was after. “Invisible” even produced an orchestral reprise, remixed by Daniel Heath, a frequent collaborator of Lana Del Rey (“Blue Jeans,” “Ultraviolence”).
“I’m thankful for Daniel Heath and the work that he’s put into the song. He’s such a great writer and producer to work with,” Villa shares.
Looking back at her decade-long solo career that includes landing a spot on the 2011 Vans Warped Tour with her first band ever, Villa shows her willingness to accept, and laugh about, the growth in her sound. “At that time, it was a lot heavier music and a whole different vibe,” Villa said of her earlier releases. “To see the evolution of my music is so funny to me.”
In Villa’s new era, she hopes to make just as much of an impact, this time as a more authentic version of herself in “Invisible,” as well as her upcoming EP (title yet to be revealed). “It’s got a lot of energy and a lot of impact,” she says. “It’s kind of in your face, and I’m hoping it kind of shakes things up a little bit.”
Listen to Alexa Villa’s latest single, “Invisible,” below.