By Martie Thompson
Katryna Alexis has a busy summer ahead in her quest to meet her goal of having an album completed by the end of 2021. The rising senior at Bartram Trail High School has been singing since the age of seven and performing regularly around northeast Florida for the past few years. Adopted through the foster care system as an infant, she said she is promoting awareness of foster care kids through her singing. Her older brother, whom she calls her best friend and biggest supporter, has autism and she sings to raise awareness for people with autism as well.
Q: How did your parents let you know you had been adopted?
A: I’ve just always known. They told me they always wanted a baby girl since they already had a son so they were waiting for me. This made me feel so special. It took awhile and finally they thought that the next call they received for a baby boy they would take him — but the next call they received was for me. So it was meant to be!
Q: How did you know that you wanted to be a singer?
A: My parents put me in all the activities when I was young … sports and dance, but not singing. When I was seven, I entered myself in a talent competition at the San Juan del Rio Fall Festival. My friend was entered in the dance category and wanted me to participate also, but I didn’t want to be in the same category so I entered as a singer. I sang “Castle on the Cloud” from the musical “Les Miserables” and I just stood in the center of the stage and didn’t move — but I finished in third place, so I guess I did something right. The choir director heard me and asked me to be a part of the adult choir. I eventually became a soloist. After that, my parents got me a vocal coach. I really fell in love with singing.
Q: How did you start singing professionally?
A: When I was 10 years old, I joined a band of kids that were all in the foster care program and performed around the state of Florida. It was called the Next Gen Band. Hearing all their stories during this time is what influenced me to now only sing to promote awareness of the foster care program, but also to start the Foster Closet Club at Bartram Trail.
After I finished my time with the Next Gen Band, my parents sat me down and we discussed if this was something I really wanted to do. I didn’t realize how much went into being a professional singer, but I would never give it up now. I’m managed by my mother; I call her my “momager.” I sang at many different events until COVID. With the shutdown, I had no shows, so I spent more time writing and honing in on my emotions as to what I wanted Katryna Alexis to be and sound like. I signed with my label, Nashville Entertainment Weekly in January 2021. In May of this year, I released my song, “Stop,” which I hope raises awareness of mental health. In July, “Where I Am” will be released and it’s actually kind of a teenage pop song and one of my favorites. Next to come out will be “Pictures on the Wall,” where I hone in on my experience of losing a loved one.
Q: What do you do in your free time?
A: I’m still a teenager and I like to hang out with my friends and go to the beach. Up until recently, I played three sports (basketball, volleyball, which is my favorite, and softball). I didn’t want to choose between sports and singing but I eventually had to make the difficult decision to focus on what I see myself doing in my life, so I’m focusing on music.
At Bartram Trail, I am the founder and president of the Foster Closet Club. We work with foster kids in northeast Florida to provide anything they need until the age of 18 as well as interact with the kids on a one-on-one basis.
Q: Where do you see yourself in five years?
A: In five years, I’ll be 22 and graduating from college and getting ready for medical school so I can pursue my goal of being a child psychologist. I want to continue to incorporate music in my life. I hope my music will impact people and if it’s only one person, that would mean the world to me.
[Author’s Note: Katryna Alexis’ music is available on all streaming platforms. Visit her website, www.katrynaalexis.com for music videos and coming events.]
Photo courtesy Katryna Alexis