Southern California singer-songwriter Alex Woodard sat down with SheKnows and talks about bringing his fans to tears with his new release, "Beautiful Now." A piece of music that truly serves as a love song devoted to all mothers.
The "Beautiful Now" video features celebrity moms such as former Miss Universe Dayanara Torres, model-TV personality Cindy Margolis, actress Jodi Fung, Alison Sweeney and McKenzie Westmore and their children. The shoot was directed by Roman White (Carrie Underwood).
SheKnows: What was the impetus for "Beautiful Now?"
Alex Woodard: Well it really came about through a request made by a friend of mine. There is a website called the Hot Moms Club(www.hotmomsclub.com) and the woman who started it, Jessica Denay, was a big fan of mine before we even met. I invited her to a show up in LA that we did at Hotel Cafe. She came out, had a great time and we began a standing friendship. Around that time things started blowing up for her with the Hot Moms Club as a social networking place for mothers and she asked me to write some kind of theme song for the site. I didn't do it right away and one day a few months later she was about to go on the "Today Show" and she called me up and was like, 'You know that song we talked about, well I kind of need it... now.'
SheKnows:And that started the ball rolling for you?
Alex Woodard:Yeah, pretty much. I went into my little home studio, put the song together and sent it to her (Jessica). I wrote it really quick, in like 10 minutes, recorded it and sent it off. She really liked it and everybody else really liked it, so we went back in the studio a few months later, re-recorded it and got it sounding pretty good. The song was a little bit out of character for me, so the response was surprising, but really good.
SheKnows:From a mother's perspective, the lyrics are quite flattering. Did you have anyone in particular in mind when you wrote this song?
Alex Woodard:Since I don't have kids or anything I had to basically imagine what I would say to my wife or my girlfriend or whoever was the mother of my kids someday…I had to imagine how I would feel (toward her) and what I would say to her. That was really the impetus of the whole song. I had to put myself in that position and then once I did, it just flowed. If I was married and I had kids, what would I tell the mother of my kids? That was it.
SheKnows:Well considering that you wrote this song from pure imagination and emotion, I would have to say that whoever ends up being that lucky girl will probably be very impressed.
Alex Woodard:(laughs) A lot of my friends have kids already and my sister's been a mom for 10 years now. You see what people go through and how being parents effects people and although it's a beautiful thing, it's really hard. You go through a lot of changes -- social, physiological -- what happens to your body as a woman, etc. It makes sense but at the same time is ridiculous to me that someone who just had a baby might think of themselves as less beautiful. Having a child is like one of the coolest things you can do. Maybe because I'm so far removed, it is easier to look at the experience that way, but really it would be an injustice not to. What a beautiful thing -- creating a life and being a mother -- and that's where the whole "Beautiful Now" hook came from. You are more beautiful now than you ever were because you have kids. It opens up a whole new world.
SheKnows:In this day, instead of loosing their dreams, parents' dreams become more fulfilled by having a family. That's something you tease to in the lyrics of "Beautiful Now." How the "dreams are all around you." Is that aspect something you were trying to embrace?
Alex Woodard: Absolutely. It's funny that you express that sentiment because that's what the Hot Moms Club is all about. It's all about identity and how having kids can magnify, not diminish who you are and what you are. Jessica talks about it all the time; how many celebrities and people in general are having kids and how cool it is these days. I mean People Magazine has some new spread like every issue on babies and celebrity kids. Motherhood is being celebrated more now than it ever was. It used to be that people would have their little baby showers and that was it. It was almost like a commiserating event and how sad is that. Now it is totally different. It is a celebrated event. It's almost like an honor.
I know that I am not totally plugged into this, but it seems like there are way more options for moms and even moms to be fashionable. There are books about different ways of living when you are pregnant and after you give birth, ways to stay in shape, ways to be healthier and just ways to still be you as a parent. This stuff wasn't around when I was younger, not in the respect that it is now. Being tapped into this whole industry while still looking out for the best interests of mothers, that's what Jessica (HotMomsClub.com) is all about and that's what this song is geared toward. That's why she is affiliated with all these celebrities like you see on the video ("Beautiful Now"), because she knows that there is something to it all. These celebrity moms like Dayanara (Torres) are so strong and independent and proud. There is no more hiding the kids behind your skirt. Those days are over.
SheKnows:This song is very empowering for women in many different respects, but I think the fact that it was written and delivered by a single, young, Southern California-based musician is especially powerful because you are surrounded by beautiful things and beautiful people in your everyday life. Yet, you have found beauty in something so meaningful to so many people.
Alex Woodard: I am single and relatively young (laughs), but everyone is connected to motherhood in some way, so it would be kind of dumb to deny it. I mean, I have a mom. Everyone has a mom…or your girlfriend is a mom or your sister is a mom or your wife is a mom or you are a mom. We are all undeniably connected to this beautiful thing called motherhood.
SheKnows:Let's switch gears a bit and talk about the "Beautiful Now" video. It looks like you guys had an absolute blast filming this song. One of my favorite parts is when Dayanara and her two sons are jumping up-and-down on her bed playing air guitar and singing along to your song. What was that like for you?
Alex Woodard:Awesome. And I am completely there with you…I have to tell you, Dayanara is a super rad lady and her two boys are the sons that she had with Marc Anthony. Well, the first time I met her was at the Hot Moms Club launch party or something like that and she told me that when she wakes up with the boys in the morning, she turns on the CD player and plays one of my albums. By the time the album is finished playing, the rule is, the kids have to be finished getting ready for school. So she's telling me this and I'm thinking, 'yeah, this is pretty cool.' So when I go up there, I start teaching one of her sons how to play the guitar and then they start singing one of my songs, "Lift." I am recording the whole thing and thinking to myself, 'no way this is happening right now.' But it was and it did. Which leads me to thinking that from this song, "Beautiful Now," doors have been opened for me that I could have never opened myself.
SheKnows: "Beautiful Now" is being released just in time for Mother's Day, along with the video which you can find on YouTube, but what about fans who want to hear more from your new album, when can we expect a release?
Alex Woodard: August 19th. Rick Devo (Blink 182) got really excited about this song and through it had found a hook for launching the new album. Originally I was just going to have a compilation of older songs to back the release of "Beautiful Now," but one thing lead to another and I got this idea about writing an album about growing up and growing older. It's a coming of age kind of deal...David Thoener (Aeorosmith, Faith Hill, Jason Mraz) got on board to mix the album, which is just amazing to me. Along with Brian young (drums), Patrick Mcclory (bass) and Ike Marr (violin/banjo/guitar), it wouldn't have happened this smoothly; these guys are my backbone, for sure. One thing after another just fell into place. I feel really lucky to have the support of the people around me to have made it all happen like it did.
SheKnows: And the album will be titled..?
Alex Woodard: Alex Woodard.
SheKnows: How appropriate.
Alex Woodard:(laughs) It really is isn't it.
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