AleXa Is Coming For The Pop-Punk Bag In Her Most Authentic Era Yet

New year, new sound

For AleXa’s latest chapter of her career, she channels 2000s pop-punk for a poignant reminder of needing self-love in a toxic relationship.

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A red flag to watch out for in any relationship is whenever you begin to change yourself just for your partner. While there’s nothing wrong with a couple of tweaks and adjustments here and there, it becomes a problem when you can no longer recognize who you are just for one person to like you. This unhealthy kind of love can be draining, and that’s something AleXa tackles head-on in her new single, sick. And the best part? She channels her energy through the unapologetic angst of pop-punk and rock-pop, a first for the artist. 


AleXa is one of the most electric artists in K-pop right now. Aside from her bright and outspoken personality that has endeared her to many, the former PRODUCE48 contestant has given K-pop a needed jolt with exciting projects such as being the first K-pop artist to host a fan-meeting event in the metaverse via the FPS game Scavengers, being the first solo Korean artist to perform at iHeart Radio’s Jingle Ball, and winning NBC’s American Song Contest in 2022. And her latest sonic exploration of her craft continues that trend. 


sick delves into the all-too-relatable complexities of a toxic relationship, especially those relating to one-sided relationships. The raw and honest track expresses the universal struggle of feeling as if you don’t deserve the seemingly perfect partner to the point where it makes you sick. And AleXa tells it as it is as she embraces early 2000s pop-punk for a track that would make Avril Lavigne proud. It’s a new sound for the musician, but a bold and welcome one at that. AleXa kicks off her 2024 showcasing a new and more personal side to her artistry. 

Before the release of sick, we got the chance to speak with AleXa as she opened up about her pop-punk influences, her new single, recent career highlights, and more. Read on for the full interview below. 

You had quite the eventful 2023, including being the first solo Korean artist to perform at iHeart Radio’s Jingle Ball. What was the experience like?

It was really fun being a part of the tour and I would give my left kidney to do so again.

Could you share the inspiration behind Sick?

We received a lot of songs for this album but the sound of ‘Sick’ seemed to be a good direction to go towards. It was actually produced by a team of really talented songwriters and producers that I’ve been lucky to work with, and I think the brilliance in the lyrics is in the fact that it can be up to interpretation by the listener.  My personal interpretation of the lyrics are the complete opposite of its initial intent; I see the story of ‘Sick’ as the person you’re with/you love is so self-centered with a god-complex and it makes you sick.

Sick differs from your past releases as it sees you tap into your early 2000s pop-punk roots. Why did you feel that the track would serve as your vehicle to enter your pop-punk era?

I don’t personally classify ‘Sick’ as pop-punk, but more of soft rock-pop. My future releases delve more into the pop-punk feeling and atmosphere that I grew up listening to. This genre feels very organic and natural for me to experiment with, so I’m glad I’m finally releasing music that feels genuine.


How different was it to work on this song as compared to your past singles?

Singing in just one language lessened the burden of recording time haha.

Pop-punk has been seeing a resurgence in mainstream music as of late, as seen from young artists like Olivia Rodirgo. Why do you think the genre still remains relevant to the new generation?

The punk spirit is going to live on as long as an oppressive power exists over the general public. We don’t all want to listen to rules, abide by societal norms, and be told what to do. Being individualistic is something that is valued through the ages.

Which pop-punk artists would you love to collaborate with? 

If My Chemical Romance came out of hiding, I would do a backflip off a cliff to collab with them.


What advice would you give to young people out there who may be struggling with finding that self-worth and confidence?

Stop listening to those who only have negative things to say; they’re unhappy with their lives and seek power by putting others down to make themselves feel bigger and better. It’s pathetic, really. Once you learn how to read someone, you’ll know when to close their book and put it back on the shelf when need be.

Many see you as one of the artists of the new generation breaking new ground in K-pop. Where do you see the genre going in 2024?

K-pop is such an expansive and ever-growing genre…there really is no saying where it’s headed…I just hope that every artist who puts in the work and has a genuine love for the art finds success.

If the AleXa who competed on PRODUCE 48 could see you now, what do you think she’d say?

She’d probably be surprised by how much my mindset has changed; I’m a lot happier with my current mindset and state of being than I was when I first moved here.


You’re going on tour this year in the US. What can fans expect from your show and will you be extending the tour outside the US?    

Never before heard songs & sounds. Hoping to go global with part two, three, four, etc. of the tour.

If you could describe how you would want your 2024 to go in three words, what would those be?

Happiness & Mental Peace

Photos by Choi, Jong-in De Leon

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