Alexandra Duparc, known by her stage name Skandra, is a multitalented creator and musician. Her new single Rivers is amassing streams by the thousands, thanks to her husband’s viral TikTok video. We talked with Skandra about her life, career, new music, and upcoming projects. Check out the interview below.
Crowdsurfer: Tell us how you got started playing and writing music.
Skandra: I wrote my first song when I was twelve. It was after discovering Cat Power’s album You Are Free. It felt like the perfect avenue to express myself as I didn’t feel like facing my journal that day. I lost a loved one and wanted to say goodbye in song. I started my first band that year. I’ve been writing and playing music ever since.
CS: We found you from your husband’s viral TikTok video. How has his support helped you gain traction with your latest release?
S: It’s been quite an adventure. His video changed my life. Skandra has received over 2 million streams across streaming platforms, the music video views keep going up and almost every major label on earth contacted me within 48 hours. I don’t know what any of this means quite yet but I’m beyond joyous and floored to have a real fanbase to release my upcoming music to. It’s been absolutely beautiful. I love Ylane. Not only as my husband but truly the definition of a best friend.
CS: What was your inspiration behind Rivers?
S: Rivers is about the admission that though something may feel like true love, it’s obviously destined to end. It sorts through thought processes I had throughout that prior relationship. It’s about finding strength in this admission and being okay with it. The chorus lines “Where these rivers go, I fear we’re better off dead and since we don’t know, let’s learn with the current” really hit home to me in this time and place.
CS: What inspires you musically? Who are some artists or songs you’re loving right now?
S: I get inspired by people, mostly. I’m such a writer that I tend to start with the written before melodic. As for music that I’m listening to right now – I’ve been delving into some older albums for inspiration such as Son Lux, Alice Boman’s first EP and Dawn Golden.
CS: What’s your dream collaboration?
S: I’ve said this before and I think if I say it enough times, it’ll make sense but I’d love to collaborate with Miranda July. She’s such a soul and whether it was sonic or visual, it’d be a dream collaboration.
CS: What are your favorite songs or lyrics you’ve written?
S: I really love this line in “Ashes” that goes “I’m a girl with all these dreams. So, if you give me a match, you should expect a flame. So, here’s the fire that ends us again” and then I yell, “and I hope the whole world becomes covered in the ashes!” It’s the perfect metaphor for letting go of a toxic past and asserting my desire to become all I’ve ever expected of myself.
CS: How have you been spending quarantine – writing or recording any new songs?
S: I founded and run an organization in Los Angeles called Treehouse. It’s an art community that has popped-up monthly for over 5 years. We expose underexposed artists. When the pandemic hit, we canceled all our live events planned for the year. I launched the Quarantine Concert on Instagram. We had over 50 thousand musicians partake including Walk The Moon, The Griswolds and Meg Meyers. It was beautiful seeing all this intimate creation. Later, we began interviewing artists on their work through a series called Dialogue. We focused on spotlighting Black voices. I fundraised for families in Guatemala, the LA Food Bank and the NPAP. Now, Skandra has been launched into the world and has gone viral on TikTok and garnering over 2 million streams across streaming services. I just spent an extremely sanitized 10 days in the studio and have some really great new tracks in the works. We’ve got a wonderful road ahead.
CS: What are your plans for the rest of the year and onward?
S: We decided to give back to those who help launch Skandra to over 2 million streams. So, we’re giving out 100 mystery boxes. They consist of inside jokes from the TikTok video, games, gifts, limited merchandise, Nintendo DS, iPhone, polaroid cameras and more. We figure that we can take what Spotify is going to pay out and give back to those who supported it.
I’m going to focus on finishing the next release. There’s this rebellious side of me that wants to continue independently and try to accomplish some things that few musicians have. I like paving new roads. A damn the man, save the empire kind of thing.
CS: What do you hope people get from listening to your music?
S: I love it when people tell me that they put on headphones and listen to it with their eyes closed. That says it all. My favorite music makes me do that. To be that for anyone else is a dream.
CS: Where can people find you on social media?