By: Consuelo Mendoza
West Side Story: When did you first start playing guitar?
Alexandra Dobre: I began playing about four and a half years ago when my dad finally gave in to my constant whining and begging and bought me my very first guitar.
WSS: How did you learn to play? Did you have lessons or did you teach yourself?
AD: Since the time I got my first guitar, I’ve been teaching myself. At first it was frustrating, but my previous experience playing the piano helped me. Time passed and I improved, so I started to incorporate singing into
WSS: How long have you’ve been playing the guitar?
AD: I’ve been playing for about four and a half years.
WSS: Who or what influenced you to start playing the guitar?
AD: It’s kind of an embarrassing story. When I was twelve years old, I was the biggest Taylor Swift fan. As everyone knows, she plays the guitar; I wanted to be able to do that, too. Taylor’s music was simple and easy to learn, making it the perfect thing to start out with. I still know how to play all of her songs, even though I don’t like admitting it.
WSS: Why do you like playing guitar?
AD: No matter how many instrumental elements there are to a song, you can always strip it down and play it acoustically. I love that you can do that with this instrument.
WSS: How does playing the guitar make you feel?
AD: Happy, vulnerable, free.
WSS: Have you’ve ever performed in front of anyone with your guitar and voice?
AD:Yeah, I perform a lot in front of my family. A lot of them live across the ocean, so I find myself giving a lot of Skype performances. I’ve played a couple talent shows, I like to play at social gatherings I’m invited to, and of course, in front of my friends.
WSS: Do you ever write your own songs?
AD: Yes, I have written about twenty songs, and I have a couple unfinished ones.
WSS: Who inspires you to write your own music?
AD: The people that inspire me are most often the people that aren’t even in my life anymore. I guess writing is a way to tell them what I’ve always wanted to say them, but never got the chance. I’m a pretty shy person; I’m better off writing a song than going up to that person and pouring my heart out.
WSS: What’s your favorite type of music to play? Favorite song to play?
AD: My favorite kind of music to sing on the guitar would probably have to be alternative/singer-songwriter. There’s just so much variety in those two genres. The song I constantly find myself singing is “Romance Is…” by Lights. It was among one of the first songs I taught myself how to play, the song itself has so much meaning behind it, even though it’s heartbreaking. The lyrics totally and completely blow my mind.
WSS: Who’s your favorite artist?
AD: Lights Poxleitner. Do yourself a favor and listen to her music.
WSS: How far do you want to get with your talent?
AD: I’m not really expecting fame or anything fancy, all I want is to make music, even if no one is listening. If I can inspire others, even better.
WSS: What’s a cool fact about you and your music?
AD: My ukulele’s name is Calvin and my guitar’s name is Hobbes. If that’s not the coolest thing in the world, I don’t know what is.