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Alexandra Frederick

How would you describe your music?

Classic pop-rock and jazz standards

What is your role in your band? In the studio? In business or marketing decisions?

Usually the leader in all of the above

Describe your gear.

Yamaha P-85, or acoustic piano, mic set up.

Related Themes: Gear

Do you think being a woman and a musician is different from being a man and a musician? If so, how? Was there a moment that made a difference clear to you?

I think you get automatically rejected as a woman in music in some situations, but there are also clear advantages. When I work piano bars I feel I can cover all the music that the men do, as well as music by women that they wouldn't touch. There are a lot of songs that I've never heard men do e.g. "Natural Woman" - how many piano bar guys are going to do that? but I can pull it off!

Related Themes: Behind The Music

Do you see differences between generations of women musicians?

Not really. I think these days women are less afraid to appear "tough" in the music arena, but I think the fact is that underneath we always were. However, maybe things have changed a bit, because when I was playing bass in London many years ago, I used to post ads on the wall of the music shop in Picadilly for my services, signed "Alex" and guys used to call and ask for the bass player and when they heard a female voice would sound confused and hang up. I know some young people are "gender-cliquey" but hopefully that wouldn't happen so much now.

Related Themes: Off The Clock

Did anyone ever give you any valuable advice about making your way in the music industry? What advice would you give to a woman musician just starting out?

I've been told so many times to stop apologizing for myself, and I would definitely take that stance with someone younger. In this business, a lot of "civilians", i.e. prospective clients, people who want to hire you for education purposes, etc. don't really know how to judge good music or musicians, so they take you on the terms that you set yourself. People who are hiring often don't know what they want, so you have to be very clear in explaining to them. If you're not what they want, also don't try to just fit into another mould - they'll ultimately be unhappy and so will you with the product. Define yourself and your music and be who you are.

Related Themes: Advice

Why did you choose to play the instrument you play?

My parents were given a Steinway Grand when I was a child

Related Themes: The First Time