Get To Know: Kat & Alex [Exclusive Interview]

"Get To Know" all about this promising new country duo!

Written by Jeremy Chua
Get To Know: Kat & Alex [Exclusive Interview]
Kat & Alex; Photo credit: Matthew Berinato

There is a certain magic about talented singers coming together as a duo. Better yet, that magic is amplified when both singers are head over heels for each other. That is certainly the case with promising country newcomers, Kat & Alex.

The duo’s Kat Luna and Alex Georgia rose to national fame during their 2020 American Idol audition. All three judges were completely smitten by their chemistry and vocal prowess, advancing them to Hollywood. Since coming off the television singing competition, the newly-wed singers signed a recording contract with Sony Music Nashville, a publishing deal with Warner Chappell, and management deal with The Artist Management Group (AMG), which formed by reputable industry professionals Rob Beckham and Bill Simmons, and is home to superstars Brad Paisley and Chris Young.

In October last year, Kat & Alex unveiled their official debut single and first ever release, “How Many Times.” A stellar mid-tempo offering, the poignant tune captures the essence of a breakup and the gripping emotions that follow after. Though both singers are happily married to each other now, they say it is something they “can relate to in [their] own separate pasts.” Since its release, the song has been spotlighted on SiriusXM The Highway’s new music discovery show, On The Horizon.

Last month, the rising country duo released two brand new tracks — the larger-than-life ballad “Heartbreak Tour” and the summery, roll-your-windows-down bop, “You and the Radio.”

Sounds Like Nashville got to chat with the singers earlier this month all about their individual journeys to music, American Idol audition, new music and of course, how they met. Hint: Kat saw Alex leading worship in a church, and thence began, as Katy Perry cheekily dubbed it, their “digital love affair.”

Introducing the next rising stars you have to “Get To Know”: Kat & Alex

How did each of you get into music?

Kat: At a very young age, I was always singing and tapping on chairs. I always loved music. When I was in middle school, I auditioned for this high school, which was a Magnet School of the Arts. I had my audition, sang for them and they were like, “OK, perfect! We want you in our vocal program.” So after that day, I knew I wanted to do music for the rest of my life as a career. Later, I jumped on a show called La Vos (The Voice in Spanish), where I [found out] I really loved performing on stage. I met Alex shortly after, and after I started singing with him, I knew I didn’t want to and couldn’t do it with anybody else.

Alex: Music has been a part of my life ever since I was little. My dad was a drum major in high school and played the cello and flute. Any instrument he picked up, he pretty much learned. He had an acoustic nylon string guitar lying around that his brother had given him. So, I saw it and said, “I want to learn that instrument!” I was maybe 11 or 12. And he was like, “Yeah, here you go! You can learn the guitar, here’s some books, and we’ll get you lessons if you’re interested in it.” So that was really the beginning of me really taking music seriously. 

Alex, you were in law enforcement before doing music?

Alex: Yeah, I got hired with the West Melbourne Police Department in Brevard County as a police officer in 2016 for just around two years. I left because of a head and neck injury. I was unable to work and do a lot of things because I had post-concussive syndrome. So after my recovery and getting back to work for a little bit, I left the force and then got hired by Harley Davidson to travel the country on a free motorcycle. I went by the name “Space Cowboy.” It was eight of us travelling around the country in these motorcycles Harley Davidson had given us. We still own the motorcycles till this day. We met so many different people around the country, went to different events, and that really inspired me to start pursuing what I really want to do—which is creative stuff, whether it’s painting or music. So I went from this social media influencer to moving back to Miami after this trip and started to paint. 

How did y’all meet each other and end up dating?

Alex: I was painting at a place called Wynwood, Miam’s Art District. So, I started attending a church in that area, got on the worship team, played for a Sunday, and it just so happened that that Sunday was the day Kat was able to go back for service since she had not been to [one] in a while. That very day, she picked that very service that I was playing at. She normally goes to evening services, but she went that morning, and that’s where she saw me on stage! So, [it went] from Kat seeing me, to her friend having her add me on Instagram, to I adding her back. We had a “digital love affair”- that’s what Katy Perry called it. (chuckles)

How did both of you end up auditioning for American Idol?

Alex: We met up to do a cover of [Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s] “Shallow” because we wanted to do something on YouTube. We honestly were super cool about it and were like, “OK, you sing? Let’s meet up.” So we met up to do this cover in a park in Miami and fell in love just doing this cover. A few weeks later, Kat gets a call from someone at American Idol [who wanted her to be on the show].

Kat: But because I had a prior commitment, I couldn’t go on the show. So I told [them], “Hey, I have my friend who’s so talented, his name is Space Cowboy. You guys should totally check him out.”

Alex: So, they called me and were like, “Hello, is this Space Cowboy? What’s up with the name?” (laughs) Anyway, I ended up getting on the show and she couldn’t do it because she had a prior commitment.

Kat: But at the end, I said, “Well, you know what? Things are kinda slipping through. What do I do? If I don’t audition, I’m going to regret not doing it. And getting to do it with Alex would be great.” So, I called the lady [on American Idol] back and told her, “the thing that I had had fallen through, do you have anymore dates to audition?” And she said, “Well, we have one more slot left,” and it was right after the phone call. So when I sang for them then, they saw that Alex was playing guitar for me, and asked if we sing any songs together. I said, “Yeah, we sing ‘Shallow’ all the time and it’s our favorite song.” After we sang that together and she went, “OK, we’re flying you out to the judges. Pick the place you wanna audition,” and we picked Sunriver, Oregon. So that’s how we ended up on the show!

We heard Luke Bryan had a part to play in the name, “Kat & Alex”?

Alex: Oh yeah, he did! With all the singing and writing music together, we never thought of ourselves as a duo. We were just in love, doing what we love, and we got this opportunity to get on this TV show and do it there as well. When we finished singing “Shallow” in front of the judges, Luke went, “If y’all were a real life duo, what would you call yourselves?” We had no name prepared, [Kat] looked down and was like, “Quick, quick, quick!” So she said, “Kat?” And I said, “Alex… Kat & Alex!” And Luke was, “I like that, that’s nice!”

How would you describe the sound of Kat & Alex?

Kat: I feel like it’s a mix of latin, soul and country. A latin fiesta!

Alex: Yeah, it’s an explosion! Imagine a cowboy and a cowgirl riding horses together on a rainbow and there’s this sound of country music flowing under it, and Adele is screaming and singing in the background! (laughs)

“How Many Times” is the introductory single to Kat & Alex. What made y’all decide to launch as a duo with that?

Alex: When we came to Nashville back in June 2020, Warner Chappell Music had teamed up with our management company, The AMG, and Ben Vaughn (President/CEO of Warner Chappell) and Will Overton (Director, A&R of Warner Chappell) had sent over songs for us to listen. There was like 16 songs, maybe even more. So, we went through the list, found “How Many Times,” and instantly fell in love with it. It was written by Robyn Collins and Jordan Reynolds. We love this song because there are references of Florida and driving in a truck—which I had down in Florida and would pick Kat up in all the time. So, there’s just a lot of relatable things. Even though it talks about heartbreak, which is something we can relate to in our own separate pasts, there are some positive things in there that we can relate to as well.

Talk about filming the spectacular cinematic music video for “How Many Times.”

Alex: First off, we want to say thank you to Doltyn Snedden and Troy Jackson. They were a huge, huge part of this video. Doltyn was the director and Troy assisted him the entire time. It was a two-week long trip. [With] “How Many Times,” we wanted to share this storyline of where each of us came from. Kat was born and raised in Miami, and I was born in Miami but raised in Northwestern Georgia, and travelled the country doing the Harley Davidson [gig]. So, we wanted the audience to really see this split world coming together. Doltyn, Kat and I sat down and came up with this storyline that involved Miami and somewhere out west in the middle of the desert. We flew to Miami, shot some stuff there, flew over to Vegas, and found some sand dunes there called the Kelso Dunes. We woke up early, left the hotel at 3AM in the morning, and drove like two hours out to the Dunes from the Vegas strip all the way to Kelso. It was pitch dark out there, no lights except the sun that was starting to creep up. We walked halfway, filmed some stuff, and walked the rest of the way up. 

Kat: And I had heels on, which was horrible! (laughs)

Alex: Yeah, it was brutal. I almost died from a heat stroke, but we’re good now! It was all worth it, for sure!

What inspired writing “Heartbreak Tour” together? 

Alex: We wrote that song in a really tough time in our relationship and career. We had just finished American Idol and COVID hit. We wanted to move to Nashville after American Idol, but with COVID, we couldn’t move immediately. We had to wait until this whole pandemic kinda just starts to settle and things start to open before we can consider moving because to move, you gotta get a job, probably at a restaurant or something like that, and maybe play some gigs. But everything was shut down. So we thought, “OK, now we just have to ride this wave at home, write music and post stuff online.” But that wasn’t making us money. We weren’t making a living. We had these all dreams and [wondered], “Can we really live these dreams writing music? I know it’s a passion that we have, but is it attainable?” It was this push and pull of “should we stay together and do this music thing or should I go back to law enforcement and [Kat] go back to work or school, and we’ll just give up music?” So we wrote “Heartbreak Tour” because it really represents what we believe life would be like had we not chosen music again. 

The music video for “Heartbreak Tour” is equally emotional as well. What was the concept behind that?

Kat: The music video depicts what it would’ve been like if Alex and I were a duo at one point in our lives, split up, and I became successful while he just does side gigs. The music video is what life would’ve been like if we hadn’t done it together.

Alex: It also mirrors “How Many Times,” if you think about it. I’ve got this rugged lifestyle, I’m in a rehearsal room, it’s kinda dark and grim and I’m probably roughing it out. And Kat’s on the more glamorous side. So it shows our own individual personalities before we both are together on stage for this moment where some may perceive, “Is it all a dream that they finally came together? This isn’t the reality but is this what they wanted? Or, in real life, did they finally come together and find what they wanted together?” It’s really just left up to the audience to decide.

How much of a role has faith played in both of your journeys?

Kat: I feel like in my life, faith has gotten me through every single thing that I’ve gone through. Every challenge and every bad thing. If it wasn’t for my faith in God, I wouldn’t be who I am today, and as happy as I am today.

Alex: Faith plays a large role [in my life]. When I was in law enforcement and got that injury and concussion, I hit rock bottom. I was depressed and wanted to commit suicide. I honestly wanted to end everything. God really got me through that season because I believe God had a bigger purpose for my life—bigger than what I could imagine. And little did I know, it was to meet Kat and start playing music that would impact so many people. And that’s why, even now, God plays such a big role in our marriage and our career. This is all faith-based. This is a purpose that God gave to us. It’s a responsibility, really, and we don’t take that lightly. So, we put all our faith and trust in Him and know that He’s got big plans for us. 

What else do you want fans to know about Kat & Alex?

Alex: As a country duo, like what Luke Combs says, “What You See Is What You Get!” We are as real as it is and we really try to be as transparent as possible with our fans.

Kat: We want people to feel like we’re a part of their family and we want them to feel like they’re a part of ours.

Alex: Yes! Because in the Latin culture, for example, if you’re going to a Latino’s house, they’re going to treat you like family. “You want to eat? You want to drink? You want a pillow to lay your head on? I got you.” So we want everyone to feel like that.