© 2024 254 North Front Street, Suite 300, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 910.343.1640
News Classical 91.3 Wilmington 92.7 Wilmington 96.7 Southport
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
CAPE FEAR MEMORIAL BRIDGE: Updates, resources, and context

WHQR's new arts reporter interviews Lumbee singer-songwriter Alexis Raeana

Alexis Raeana
Alexis Raeana is a singer-songwriter, model, business owner, and philanthropist.

This week we introduce our new arts reporter — Demia Avery, who will be covering emerging and lesser-known artists from around the Cape Fear region.

Today, Demia interviews Alexis Raeana, a multi-talented artist, former American Idol contestant, and a member of the Lumbee tribe who advocates for indigenous issues.

You can find more about Alexis Raeana here.

Listen to Demia Avery's full interview with Alexis Raeana

Demia Avery: This phenomenal woman is often referred to as the total package. But I title her as a total powerhouse. She is a singer-songwriter, a model, a philanthropist, and so much more. Alexis Raeana – Am I pronouncing that right?

Alexis Raeana: You said it so perfect, thank you.

DA: You're welcome. You're welcome. I remember meeting you at a Wilma event. And one of the things that I noticed about you was your presence. Is that something that you're just kind of born with? Or do you just work on that as an artist?

AR: Looking back, I do recall, people coming up to me and being curious about my nationality. People are curious about who I am and what my background is like, and definitely when I talk, they're just they're honed in. But I don't think I've ever gotten a lot of 'Wow, your, your physical appearance, you just stand out.'

DA: Now listen. So, reading your resume and your background, you have several different passions. One in particular that I want to talk about is your love for singing. When did that start for you? And how did you know that you had a gift like that?

AR: So my mom's a singer, I come from a musically inclined family, I would say, but I really got it from my mother. And I remember singing since I was a little girl, maybe six or seven as far as I can remember. But I've always been a little shy when it came to that. So it wasn't like ‘hi,’ I popped out and I was just performing all over — performing in church — I was always so nervous and a little reserved and shy. But I've been singing ever since I can remember.

DA: Okay, so when did you pop out of this shyness, because it had to come from somewhere?

AR: I don't think I ever came out of it. Because I still struggle with it so much, I still get the worst performance anxiety leading up to performance. I'm just always constantly overthinking. And my nerves are just all over the place. But really I think that attributes to just me making sure that everything is perfect, and that I am pleasing, not just the crowd, but myself, and you know, everybody who's involved in a project, whatever that may be.

DA: Well, okay, so with that kind of nervousness, I have to ask you, American Idol — how in the world, if you're that nervous, what made you actually you know, audition for American Idol. Tell me about that experience.

AR: So when I auditioned for American Idol, that was like my fifth time, I believe, and it was a very spur-of-the-moment decision it was my senior year at UNCW, so it was a big risk, didn't think much of it. And then after each casting around, I was getting further and further. And I was, like, ‘oh, gosh,’ and then the big thing that makes you nervous is not knowing what to expect. Especially with it being a reality TV show — and the more I got involved in it, I was like, oh, yeah, this is definitely a reality TV show - but after that first celebrity judge audition. We were good to go by then.

DA: You know what I love, I can tell I hear it in your music. I see it in your clothing. I see it in your videos that you love, representing your heritage.

AR: It is my obligation to ensure that I represent my people in the best way that I can and educate others because, you know, our system doesn't – this government was founded to make sure we didn't survive, kill the Indian, save the man. So I really do think it is amazing that, I mean all tribes being able to represent who they are and, and be grounded in that, but like East Coast tribes being first contact tribes – it's by the grace of God that we're still here. Yeah. So that's, that's really my big thing to let people know, we're still here to fight against the misconceptions of Indigenous people and some of those stereotypes.

DA: We want to thank you so much for joining us today. This has been absolutely amazing.

AR: Thank you.

DA: You're welcome. All right, everyone, we want to thank Alexis for dropping by today as we wish her as always a tremendous amount of success. This has been Demia Avery with WHQR.

*This project was supported by the North Carolina Arts Council, a Division for the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

Demia has over 20 years of entertainment experience. She has worked in almost every facet of the entertainment industry, from radio promotions to talent coordinator, publicist, podcasting, and now to journalism.

In addition, Demia is co-founder of The Avery Agency, a SAG franchised talent agency located in Atlanta, GA, alongside her partner/sister, Gerra Avery.

Demia is the author of two motivational eBooks entitled, "The Roadblock is You," and"Meditations For the Right Now", as well as a twice being a nominee for the Delaware Black Awards and recently a Wilmington Chamber of Commerce Minority Excellence in Business Award nominee.

Lastly, Demia is CEO/Host of the local podcast Whatchu’Doin NC (formerly Whatchu Doin Wilmington).