Sue Bonzell:                 This is Up N Country on 93.7, The Bull. It’s powered by V Livecast. I’m your host, Sue Bonzell. Let’s get this show started. She has 11 million collective streams of her songs. And she’s going on tour with Tim McGraw. Oh my God. It’s Alexandra Kay. Hey, Alexandra.

Alexandra Kay:              Hi, how are you?

Sue Bonzell:                 I’m fantastic. Oh my God. I’m so excited for you. What was it like to get that phone call? Because you got a phone call from Tim McGraw, right?

Alexandra Kay:              Yes. It was the best phone call I’ve ever received. Honestly, I was on the tour bus getting ready. I was probably about 10 minutes away from going on stage. And it was the opening night of our third leg of the In Real Life tour. And so it was a sold out show in Grand Rapids. And I was like, “I can’t take a call. I’m going on in 10 minutes. What do you mean?” And they were like, “You need to take this call.”

Sue Bonzell:                 Wow.

Alexandra Kay:              I was like, “Okay.” And little did I know would be a life changing phone call. So I’m so excited.

Sue Bonzell:                 That is so awesome. And we actually just met Brandon Davis. We just met him a couple weeks ago, and he was excited. He said the same thing. He was like, “I can’t believe I got a phone call from Tim McGraw.” I mean, that’s mind blowing.

Alexandra Kay:              I know. I know. And Brandon is so great. I’m so excited to get to share the stage with him. He’s so talented. And I’m so excited get to know him and his wife a little bit more. Yeah. It was absolutely mind blowing, and I think it’s going to be really cool that we have that to kind of bond and kind of come up in this experience together. It’s going to be great.

Sue Bonzell:                 Oh, totally. So you’re no stranger to the stage and in front of a camera, in front of a mic, in front of everything. So a couple of things we’ve got to cover here. So did you try out for American Idol?

Alexandra Kay:              I did. I tried out for American Idol in 2011, but I only made it for the first three rounds. So I got cut right before the television portion.

Sue Bonzell:                 Okay. Well that’s pretty darn good. I mean, honestly.

Alexandra Kay:              It’s further than I thought I was going to get, that’s for sure.

Sue Bonzell:                 Hey, you threw it out there. And then did I see that you also were on The Voice? What was that about?

Alexandra Kay:              Yeah, so I did The Voice in 2017. And that all kind of stemmed from me going viral on Facebook. So that was a really cool experience, and I was super happy to do it. It kind of gave me the on camera experience I needed to roll into the Netflix show that I was on. So it was cool.

Sue Bonzell:                 Yeah. So then I’m like, “Okay, this girl is so dang talented.” Okay. So you had the starring role on a Netflix series. Tell us about that. Oh my gosh.

Alexandra Kay:              Yeah. That was probably one of the most influential experiences that I’ve ever had in my life. And I grew so much as an artist and as a person and getting to work with eight other incredibly talented human beings from all different genres. And I think it just really made me more well rounded. And I got to live in LA for a while, sunny Los Angeles. So that was fun. And I think I just gained a lot of experience and definitely came out of it a better writer and a better artist for sure.

Sue Bonzell:                 That’s so cool. So any plans to do anything in front of the camera? Any additional shows or anything like that?

Alexandra Kay:              There are always plans to be in front of the camera. I’ve actually got some great opportunities coming up with a musical that’s happening in Nashville that I’ll get to talk a little bit more about. Oh, my dog’s coming in to say hello. I’m sorry.

Sue Bonzell:                 Oh, yay.

Alexandra Kay:              That I’ll get to talk a little bit more about as the show kind of progresses. But I’m excited to have a role in that and kind of get back into musical theater since those were my roots.

Sue Bonzell:                 Okay. I’m very, very impressed. Now I understand that you were a major softball player back in the day.

Alexandra Kay:              Yeah.

Sue Bonzell:                 And got some scholarships, things like that. Did you take those scholarships?

Alexandra Kay:              I didn’t. I didn’t, actually. I found a school that I really wanted to go to. It was Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois. I really wanted to go. And part of the reason I wanted to go so bad was because they had an incredible theater program. And that’s what I wanted to major in at the time. And so I decided not to take the scholarship when they told me that I couldn’t major in theater and go on scholarship. And I think it was that moment that I decided I’m going to go full throttle to this music career and see what happens.

Sue Bonzell:                 Nice. And here you are going on tour with Tim McGraw. Oh my God. Good gamble. Good gamble. I like it. So now you’ve been compared to Dolly Parton, Alison Krauss, Lee Ann Womack. And tell us about you going pretty much viral on it was YouTube where you were singing these covers. I watched a couple of them. I’m like, “Okay, dang.” And that was how many years ago?

Alexandra Kay:              Thank you. That was six almost seven years ago.

Sue Bonzell:                 Wow.

Alexandra Kay:              So I’ve been really in the social media game for a long time. And it was after I left my first independent label in 2014 that I decided I was going to start uploading to Facebook. And I did a lot of nineties covers of nineties country songs, eighties country songs. And then that’s kind of when I started to get the comparisons to, “Your voice sounds like Dolly’s.” And I was like, “Oh, I’ve never heard that before. Okay, well let’s try Jolene.” And then it kind of spiraled from there.

Sue Bonzell:                 That was one of my favorite ones because, I mean, honestly, I’m not a singer by any means. Anybody can tell you. But I loved karaoke, and that’s one of my favorite songs.

Alexandra Kay:              It’s a fun one to sing. It really is.

Sue Bonzell:                 It’s fun. It’s fun. I mean, I butcher it every time. But you know what? I don’t care because I’m having a good time, right?

Alexandra Kay:              Sure thing.

Sue Bonzell:                 Awesome. So you’ve got a new song, Tall Boys, which I’m listening to the song and I like, “Man, this is like Gretchen Wilson.” You’re a badass.

Alexandra Kay:              Thank you.

Sue Bonzell:                 Tell us about that song and how all that came about.

Alexandra Kay:              Well, I’ve written a lot from personal experience, heartbreak, and that’s kind of just been where I dig all of my emotion to put into all of my songs. And so they’re usually very sad, sad girl country is kind of my brand. And I say a lot of the things in my songs that people don’t like to talk about. And so a lot of my stuff is kind of heavy.

                                    And so we went into a [inaudible] and I was like, “Guys, I want to write a song.” I also like to go out and hang out with my friends and I like to crack some Miller Lights at the end of a long day. And so I want to write a song like that. And so we sat down, me, Mary Cutter, and Andrew [Caprun]. And we wrote it. And I listened to it once and was like, “I love this song,” once I got the demo back. But I showed it to my husband and he was like, “You are cutting this. You have to cut this.” And so we did. And it’s my closer every night on tour and people go crazy for it.

Sue Bonzell:                 Oh, I bet they do. I bet they do. Well, how great that your husband’s a full on cheerleader for you. So what’s it like? Is he in the music business? How’s that all going with going on tour and everything? He’s going to go with you?

Alexandra Kay:              Yes. He will. He will. And he tours with me a lot. And we’re very lucky that right now his job kind of allows him to have that flexibility to go with me. And I always tell everybody on my team, I’m like, “I perform better when Indy’s there. So we got to get him there.” I mean, my morale is just higher. I’m a happier person, obviously, with the person I love by my side. And so, Indy’s been my cheerleader from day one. We’ve been together for 10 years. We just got married in September, but we’ve been together for it’ll be 10 years in July.

Sue Bonzell:                 Wow.

Alexandra Kay:              So he has been with me since before I signed my first deal. The very first song I ever put out, he’s been there. Some of the only people standing in the bar watching me. So to now get to see me at Hollywood Casino Amphitheater in our home city, I think, is going to be a real full circle moment for us.

Sue Bonzell:                 That is so awesome. I just love that. So now you’re talking about singing in a bar, because I think most people starting out, you’re in a bar, like you said. There’s nobody here.

Alexandra Kay:              No one.

Sue Bonzell:                 So when you were in that position, what do you do to keep that momentum going and to continue to believe in yourself?

Alexandra Kay:              Man, I think that just looking at those as your practice moments. You have to just know that everybody starts here, everyone starts there. There were plenty of bars that Willie Nelson was singing at, that George Jones was singing at in going into the nineties. Garth played saloons too, so did George. I mean, everybody starts there. And you just have to keep that mindset. And I think that what has kept me going in those nights when two people are standing there and they’re just talking over my songs and not listening is, one, the check, whether it be small, I still have bills to pay.

Sue Bonzell:                 Right.

Alexandra Kay:              And at that time, it was next to nothing, but it was something. And just the thought that I really, really love this. You just have to hold onto the love for what you do, and that’ll get you through with the hardest times for sure.

Sue Bonzell:                 Yeah. I think that’s huge for just about anyone, whether you’re in music or entertainment or anything like that. Finding the passion, because when you got the passion, you can make it through anything, even the hard stuff. Even the hard stuff.

Alexandra Kay:              Absolutely.

Sue Bonzell:                 Yeah.

Alexandra Kay:              Yeah.

Sue Bonzell:                 Well, awesome. Okay. So we’re going to play a game. You ready for this?

Alexandra Kay:              I love games. I’m excited. I’m excited.

Sue Bonzell:                 Okay, good. All right. So now, as you know, Betty White just passed, which was so sad. I just absolutely love her. And you may be a little bit too young to remember Match Game. She used to do Match Game. That was celebrity Match Game on TV, right?

Alexandra Kay:              Right.

Sue Bonzell:                 So we’re so we’re going to play Match Game.

Alexandra Kay:              Okay. I’m excited. Yay. Let’s do it.

Sue Bonzell:                 So I already, let me see here. I already got put, whoop. I put my answers on my little cards right here. My little pieces of paper.

Alexandra Kay:              Okay.

Sue Bonzell:                 My answers are already locked in, if you will. And so I’m going to read these off and I’m going to give you a blank to fill in. You fill in the blank and we’ll see if we can match.

Alexandra Kay:              Okay. All right.

Sue Bonzell:                 Sound good?

Alexandra Kay:              Yes.

Sue Bonzell:                 Okay. All right. Here we go. Everyone else was dancing cheek to cheek, but they were dancing blank to blank.

Alexandra Kay:              Heart to heart.

Sue Bonzell:                 Oh, that’s cute. I said elbows to elbows just because of COVID. Hey, COVID. Hey.

Alexandra Kay:              And that’s the song writer in me being like, “George Straight from the Heart.” I don’t know.

Sue Bonzell:                 Yeah. No, I like that. It’s like, “Aww. She’s so sweet. I like that.” All right. Okay. Eating at mom’s diner is a strange experience. Right after you finish eating dinner, mom makes you blank.

Alexandra Kay:              Oh, and I’m supposed to think of what you might have said, right?

Sue Bonzell:                 Yeah. Sure. Yeah.

Alexandra Kay:              Okay. Right after eating dinner, mom makes you clean the dishes.

Sue Bonzell:                 Oh my God. Look at that. Do the dishes.

Alexandra Kay:              Yes.

Sue Bonzell:                 Yes. We have a match.

Alexandra Kay:              Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding.

Sue Bonzell:                 Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. Where’s the bell? We need a bell. We didn’t get a bell. Okay, good. See, you were tuning right in there. You got it. All right. Okay. The princess said to the frog, “I’m not kissing you. You have blank.”

Alexandra Kay:              I’m not kissing you. You have warts.

Sue Bonzell:                 That’s close. But I was thinking about, I don’t know. Maybe this was a bad date. I don’t know. Bad breath.

Alexandra Kay:              That’s good. I was focusing too much on the frog. I’m like, “What do frogs have?”

Sue Bonzell:                 Yeah, right. Well, I was thinking warts, but then I was like, “Okay. Frog is a metaphor for those dudes I’ve been dating.”

Alexandra Kay:              Right.

Sue Bonzell:                 Right?

Alexandra Kay:              Yeah.

Sue Bonzell:                 Okay. All right. We still have one match. So we’re doing pretty good. All right.

Alexandra Kay:              Right. We’re a roll.

Sue Bonzell:                 We’re on a roll. Rudy has given up being a pick pocket. Instead of picking your pocket, Rudy now picks your blank.

Alexandra Kay:              Nose.

Sue Bonzell:                 Almost said that too, but I didn’t. I said lottery numbers. I’m just making stuff up. Seriously.

Alexandra Kay:              I love it. I love it. But I’m trying to be in your brain.

Sue Bonzell:                 Right? Like, “Oh God, do not.”

Alexandra Kay:              [crosstalk].

Sue Bonzell:                 I don’t know if you want to go there. Whoo, boy. Okay. So we’ve got one more and then we’re going to do lightning round. Okay?

Alexandra Kay:              Okay.

Sue Bonzell:                 Okay. At the hospital, Steve passed out when the nurse showed him his blank.

Alexandra Kay:              At the hospital, Steve passed out when the nurse showed him his needle.

Sue Bonzell:                 Oh, I said his bill.

Alexandra Kay:              His bill. That’s good. You’re good at this.

Sue Bonzell:                 Well, I kind of had a little time to prepare, so I’m putting you on the spot. Okay, but we-

Alexandra Kay:              Well, we got one.

Sue Bonzell:                 We got one. I think that’s winning. I think that’s winning. I think we win. But we do have the lightning round. We’ve got five lightning round. You ready for this? Okay.

Alexandra Kay:              I’m ready.

Sue Bonzell:                 Me, me, me. Okay. All right. It’s blank snack.

Alexandra Kay:              Blank snack.

Sue Bonzell:                 What’s the blank?

Alexandra Kay:              Midnight snack.

Sue Bonzell:                 Boom, midnight snack. Whoo.

Alexandra Kay:              Yeah. Blank snack.

Sue Bonzell:                 What’s what’s the blank?

Alexandra Kay:              Midnight snack.

Sue Bonzell:                 Boom, midnight snack. Whoo.

Alexandra Kay:              Yeah.

Sue Bonzell:                 All right. Okay.

Alexandra Kay:              Okay.

Sue Bonzell:                 Lightning rally off to a good start. Here we go. Okay. Sleeping blank.

Alexandra Kay:              Beauty.

Sue Bonzell:                 Ah, I dropped it. Sleeping beauty.

Alexandra Kay:              Yeah. Two for two.

Sue Bonzell:                 You’re good at the lightning round. This is good.

Alexandra Kay:              Yeah.

Sue Bonzell:                 This one. Okay. All right. Blank president.

Alexandra Kay:              Blank president.

Sue Bonzell:                 You’re going to love this one.

Alexandra Kay:              Oh, no. Bad president?

Sue Bonzell:                 Close enough. Not my president. I don’t know.

Alexandra Kay:              Okay. So my first thing I was thinking was my president.

Sue Bonzell:                 Right.

Alexandra Kay:              Not my president. So yeah. I was thinking that whole thing and I’m like, “Good president, bad president. I don’t know.”

Sue Bonzell:                 You know what? I’m going to be the judge and I’m going to say we’re going to call that a match too. So we’re doing really good. Okay. Here we go. Lip blank.

Alexandra Kay:              Balm.

Sue Bonzell:                 I said lip service.

Alexandra Kay:              Lip service. Lip injections.

Sue Bonzell:                 Yeah. Lip injections. Okay. Okay. And the last one for the win, because we’re winning no matter what.

Alexandra Kay:              Yes.

Sue Bonzell:                 Road blank.

Alexandra Kay:              Road kill.

Sue Bonzell:                 Oh, so close. I said road warrior.

Alexandra Kay:              You know what? We killed it anyways.

Sue Bonzell:                 We killed it. I’m going to say that we won the game, basically.

Alexandra Kay:              Yeah.

Sue Bonzell:                 We won at the match game. I think you were a incredible player with me. Thank you for indulging and having a little fun. A little shout out to Betty White. She’s much funnier than me, but whatever. It’s good.

Alexandra Kay:              I don’t know. I think you’re amazing. You were so great.

Sue Bonzell:                 Well, good. Thank you so much, Alexandra, for your time and hanging out with us, telling us a little bit about your music. And I’m super, super excited about your tour with Tim McGraw. Make sure you go get her new song, Tall Boys. Awesome. And you’ve got so many other songs that you can go get, too. I mean, how many you got out there right now?

Alexandra Kay:              I have a lot of songs out right now. My most popular song, I think, right now is a song called How Do We Go? But they’re available on all streaming platforms. So you guys check it out and hopefully I’m your cup of tea. We’ll see.

Sue Bonzell:                 Awesome. You are fantastic. Thank you so much, and best of luck on the tour.

Alexandra Kay:              Thank you, Sue. Thanks for having me.

Sue Bonzell:                 Thanks for tuning in to Up N Country where we have new episodes every Tuesday. And be sure to visit for all of the episodes and information about our VIP club, where you’re going to get exclusive backstage access. And if you’re on Instagram or TikTok, make sure to follow me, Sue Bonzell. I’ll see you next week.