After run-ins with high school heartbreak, Alex Calderone, now a junior majoring in kinesthesiology began writing music to track her experiences. This summer, her hobby was exposed after her collaborative song “SunSoaked” played on Sirius XM Radio.
Calderone said she was inspired to write after finding comfort through music. She later taught herself to play the guitar to accompany her lyrics.
“Senior year, I started writing, and that just opened a whole new door for me because it’s a release,” Calderone said. “You can use a diary and write things; you can go for a drive or go running or work out to release tension, but for me, it was always writing down what I needed to get out and physically sing it. That was just the best form for me to do anything.”
Matt Calderone, Alex’s brother and former University of Alabama SGA president, said some of their best times were spent making music together.
“Growing up, Alex and I would play guitar and sing in the basement of our house and at high school and family get-togethers,” Matt said. “Alex and I are very good friends and are separated by just a few years in age. Playing guitar with some of our best buddies was certainly something that brought us closer.”
Calderone’s family encouraged her to reach out to Lexington, Ky.-based pop singer Ali Lee and send her a song she had been working on.
“I like to write whatever is relating to me at that time,” Alex said. “At that time, finals were coming up, I was ready to blow my brains out, it was raining every day and I was like, ‘This is ridiculous.’ I would much rather be on a beach with a drink in my hand, just hanging out, relaxing, dropping everything behind me, not thinking about it, and that’s how ‘SunSoaked’ came about.”
She was able to watch her writing come to fruition on set of the “SunSoaked” music video in Ponce de Leon, Fla. Alex can be seen playing the guitar next to Lee.
“It was really nice. We had all the bungalow houses set up. It was a perfect scene,” Calderone said. “We made a day out of it and had the best time. It was so surreal to be able to meet [Lee], somebody I’d written songs with over text messages, and get to hang out with her.”
After hearing her song on the radio, Alex said she cried.
“I am not sure there was a prouder brother around when I heard Alex’s song on the radio for the first time,” Matt said. “It was one of the coolest feelings to hear a song on the radio that I had heard rehearsed and perfected right in front of me.”
Matt said he believes this is a great step toward getting more of his sister’s music noticed.
“It makes me excited for people to hear her other music because she has written some very powerful songs. I am without a doubt one of her biggest fans,” Matt said.
Although Alex does not aspire to be a songwriter – she has plans to go into chiropractics – she has 17 songs registered in the Library of Congress just in case she has another run-in with fate.