In a small town of Illinois, a young girl once turned to poetry and songwriting to help find her purpose in life and to release bottled-up emotions that typically come along with growing up. This female songstress we speak of is a country newcomer – Alexandra Kay.
Kay was not born with the “music bug”; instead, she found her love on the softball field. In fact, her long days and nights practicing scored her a spot on a nationally ranked team – leaving her on a clear path to play at a collegiate level. However, life threw her a curveball when her music career started to flourish. That’s when the budding vocalist hung up her softball mitt and made the tough decision to turn down a college scholarship to pursue her love for music.
Shortly after, Kay made a name for herself within the St. Louis R&B and hip-hop music scene. While working alongside genre-bending icon Nelly, she developed her first single, “No More,” which quickly earned high placement on the New Music Top 40 pop chart, Hot AC, and Hot 100 roundup. This top-charting hit might have been her first, but it was certainly not her last.
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Throughout the years, Kay has used her voice and return to country music to become a social media sensation. She quickly drew a dedicated fan base of over 526,000 followers to date on Facebook, charmed a new audience of country music enthusiasts with 126,000 followers on Instagram, and raked in 1.9 million TikTok users with her viral “Coffee Cover” series.
“The very first coffee cover was an accident. Someone asked how I make my coffee, so I posted a video of me pouring everything into my cup,” shares Kay during an exclusive Country Now interview. “The Chicks “Cowboy Take Me Away” just happened to be playing through my Alexa, and I sang along. I had no idea those videos would lead me to two iTunes No. 1’s, millions of streams, and meeting some of my biggest inspirations! It’s been a dream,” she adds.
After making waves with her latest mid-tempo track, “How Do We Go,” which showcases her angelic voice, the breakthrough star was eager to take a new approach when it was time to pen her next single.
Therefore, she turned to songwriters Andrew Capra and Mary Kutter to develop the next best party song of 2021. “It’s a drinking song,” reveals Kay about “Tall Boys.” “I haven’t released anything like it, and that really excited me. I take a very poetic approach to songwriting. I like to write about raw emotions and really give the listener a chance to interpret the songs in their own way. But, this song is very straightforward, light-hearted, and just a damn party. I am excited to introduce my fans to a more playful side of me.”
Kay had a clear vision of what she wanted before getting busy in the studio, as the first leg of her In Real Life Tour was about to begin with, breakthrough stars Thomas Mac and Cooper Alan. “I wanted a song that would SMASH live. I wanted something gritty and sonically wanted to keep it reminiscent of some of my favorite 90s country songs. Dirty guitars, sticky melody, and keep the lyrics very simple and light-hearted. I have always wanted to write a song with a crowd chant in the middle. We definitely checked off all of the above in the write and had a blast writing together,” she told Country Now reporter Tiffany Goldstein.
In true Alexandra Kay fashion, she utilized the demo as a marketing tool to endorse the tour. While promoting her summer tour that proved that you can turn social recognition into an adoring fan base – fans slowly started to learn the lyrics of her up-tempo banger “Tall Boys.”
“I honestly wasn’t sure if I was going to release the song, to be honest! It’s completely different from anything I have ever released, and I wasn’t sure how people would react. I started posting videos using the song on TikTok, and it blew up multiple times with millions of views, so I figured…okay, well now I have to release it,” she laughs about the decision process.
She continued to share how it felt when she actually surprised her fans on tour by singing the unreleased track. “‘Tall Boys’ became my closing song on the tour, and let me tell you… it’s really cool to see people singing along to ANY of my songs, but to see an entire crowd of people singing along to a song that hasn’t been released yet and only lives in bits and pieces on social media is WILD.”
To solidify that this is the right time to drop a track outside her comfort zone, the music Gods sent her a sign by placing her on one of her idol’s radars. After Kay casually posted to TikTok a cover of Tim McGraw’s 1994 hit “Don’t Take The Girl,” the icon himself posted a short video reacting to her voice. “See if my coffee turns out as good as she sings this song,” the hitmaker captioned the clip.
#duet with @timmcgraw so this has been the crazies 24hrs ever! Thank you Tim! 🥺
“I have been covering Tim McGraw’s songs for as long as I can remember. My very first video to ever get a million views was my cover of “If You’re Reading This” back in 2015. So it was the coolest thing ever to open my phone and see THE Tim McGraw himself reacting to me singing “Don’t Take The Girl.” When I read the quote of him saying, “Someone needs to sign this girl..” I about fell out of my chair! It doesn’t get much cooler than that,” she exclusively told Country Now about the surreal moment.
Kay confessed that a music video for “Tall Boys” and a full-fledged album are currently in the works to keep the positive momentum up. While the highly anticipated record is set to drop next year, she encourages her fans to have their eyes and ears glued to her social media, as she may tease snippets of the songs, adding more dates on to the IRL Tour, and will be sharing photos from her star-studded wedding. Music-goers can check out her party anthem, “Tall Boys,” HERE!