You may not know her, but you know her famous last name. Alexis Houston is a singer who comes from a family of superstars. As the late Whitney Houston's late half sister, she has followed in the musical footsteps of the ones who have gone before her.
In fact, she says of her life that“I decided to pursue this because I had a passion for music, it made me feel good – it moved me. I haven’t found anything else that has brought me nearly this much joy,” says Alexis Houston. What might have brought her parents more joy was the ability to call her ‘Dr. Houston’ as she was studying medicine before her full-time foray into the arts. This great love made it impossible to pursue anything else and made the directive to step out and use her intellect and creativity to bring something special and unique to each and every performance. This young singer/songwriter is putting an interesting spin on today’s popular music.
This New Jersey native has been delighting audiences since she was six years old and credits singing in church choirs at New Hope Baptist Church (Newark, NJ) forgiving her the desire and commitment to perform. It was here under the watchful eye of Anne Drinkard Moss and her sister, Soul and Gospel Legend, Cissy Houston that she further honed her music skills, singing in the various choirs of the church. It is from this very same church background that the world got the likes of Dionne and Dee Dee Warwick, and Whitney Houston; members of a family that have truly madean impact in the world of contemporary entertainment.
While away in school, Alexis continued to develop her love for music by singing and eventually composing. Both skills led her to opportunities to write and record music for numerous advertising firms as well as scoring music for television. Alexis has managed to ‘rack up’ an impressive resume that includes penning and recording jingles for many major advertising campaigns including: AT&T, Diet Coke and McDonald’s. She has been an assistant musical director, and arranger for tours of various artists. Scoring music for theatrical productions for the Negro Ensemble Company’s ‘Ensemble in Black’, Jean Cocteau’s ‘The Human Voice'. Alexis will also be appearing in the film ‘My Guaranteed Student Loan’ with acting legend Celeste Holme and Rain Pryor.
Getting her start as a songwriter and producer, Alexis was convinced to take the foreground by prominent friends. Paul Russell of SONY ATV Publishing was one such champion. “I had something to say,” adds Alexis. Between that, her four and a half vocal octave range and a voice that embodies the soul of Aretha Franklin, the sultry depth of Sarah Vaughan (a fellow New Jersey native) and a dexterity that is unmistakably Houston, Alexis has been a most sought after performer.
Comparisons to Vaughan are a delight for Alexis, whose mother once noted the
similarity of her voice to that of Vaughan and Anita Baker – another favorite of hers. “You gravitate to voices that are similar to yours, that speak to you, I suppose,” she concludes.
Alexis’ solo, debut project ‘Speak Love/Life Lessons’, was created as a ”musical autobiography”. The songs reveal the growth of a young woman through the experiences of different relationships in her life and how ‘love’ in all its various forms plays a key role in this process. “Not only did I want the songs to reflect me,but the production as well,”says Alexis. “I wanted that to reflect my experiences and my tastes just as much. I believe we achieved that on this album.”
On this debut, Alexis pulls from all her musical influences: Pop, Jazz, Gospel, Electronica and Rock and blends them into mix that is uniquely her and undeniably special. To compliment Alexis’ own writing and production, the project benefits from collaborations with Grammy nominated songwriter/producers; Gregg Pagani (Charlie Wilson, Patti LaBelle, Kenneth ‘Babyface’ Edmonds,), Ivan & Carvin (Justin Timberlake, Musiq Soulchild) and The Insomniax ( JoJo, Bobby Valentino) and Jake Ridley (Christina Aguilera).
Alexis Houston grew up around music and although it did not seem apparent back when she was a child, but she was soaking up all the experiences that combine to color her natural talent. “As an adult, I am realizing and appreciating all that these experiences have done for me,” she says. Currently on tour promoting 'SPEAK LOVE...' with a listen, we believe you too will come to love and appreciate this young and gifted artiste.