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Alex Bruce is busy upgrading to 2.0

“It is important for me to have Tagalog words in my songs. Not only does it let my listeners know I’m a proud Pinay, but it also adds some spice to my tracks”

LiFTED | Sean D | 13 Dec 2022

LiFTED’s December cover star is 15-year-old Filipina Rap phenom Alex Bruce. She’s been rising up the ranks of the Philippines Hip Hop scene but she’s also deep in the game considering she’s been at it since she was four! That’s right! Four years old. Alex caught everyone’s attention a few years back with a few hit singles and an insane performance of her first hit ‘Mind as A Weapon’ on the Wish 107.5 Bus – a rite of passage for anyone making any moves in the Hip Hop scene there. Her scorched Earth bars got everyone open, and she soon signed a deal with Sony Music and has been on the come-up ever since.

Now, Alex Bruce is practically a household name in the Philippines, and the next obvious step for this bi-lingual MC is to break out across Asia and then the sky’s the limit. We sat down with her for our December holiday issue to discuss all things Alex Bruce and reply to the questions in a way that only a 15-year-old could.

Alex Bruce

Hey Alex! Thanks for sitting down with us for the December issue of LiFTED. Merry Christmas! How you doing?

Hiii! Thank you so much for having me! Merry Christmas to you guys as well. Same old, same old. I’ve been doing real good. I’ve been busy…good busy. Couple of shows, gigs, radio guest slots, studying, and working on my new single. I’m just busy upgrading.

We’ve been watching and covering you for a minute now, and what started out as a fun story about a 14-year-old girl from Manila who can spit, has really blossomed into an even better story about a confident, exciting 15-year-old female rapper in control of her rising career. How do you describe the past two years?

Ohhhh…. hmmmmmm…mixed emotions actually. It has been really fun, exhausting, and overwhelming, but here I am…still breathing. Hehehe.

Is it true that you started rhyming at four? And have been performing since you were 10?

Hmm…I don’t know what to believe, JOKE HAHA. Yes, it’s actually uploaded on YouTube [Alex Bruce spittin' rhymes at the age of 4]. My parents told me that I began to show interest when I was 4 years old. HUH, weird flex but ok. The reason why I was doing all that at such a young age is because my parents introduced me to Hip Hop culture. That’s why since then, I’m in love with everything about Hip Hop. The idea of it, the culture, the fashion, music, art, style, and just everything. I can say I am an addict when it comes to performing HAHA. Honestly, I have a love-hate relationship with performing.

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How has your lyrical content changed since you first dropped your first single, ‘Mind as a Weapon’?

I feel like my music has evolved since my first single. I’m aware that I did grow up, especially when it comes to lyricism. I mean, your mind can’t stay 10 years old forever. HAHA. Not to sound cocky, but I know I improve every year.

Most of your tracks seem to slip between moody R&B and fast, clever rhyme flows. You can sing and rhyme equally well. We heard your father also rapped, and that your mom is a huge R&B fan. Is this where your sense of both genres merges in your songs?

Thank you so much, I appreciate it!! Oh, my parents are a huge inspiration to me because they’re the reason why I’m here in the first place. They introduced me to Hip Hop. Lemme correct you though. My dad was part of a band, he was a guitarist, and my tio [meaning uncle] mostly did the rapping. And my mom is an avid fan of R&B, yes. I think because of them my sound is a fusion of Old School and New School. They have different styles and different interests but I kinda managed to create my own. I couldn’t have done it without them.

‘Yakap’ is your biggest hit to date, with over 1 million YouTube views. It’s a very dreamy kind of Trap love song. But your bars are fire when you drop that verse on the bridge. What does ‘Yakap’ mean? Is it important to you to always have Tagalog in your songs?

Every teen goes through this phase of being infatuated with someone. Basically, it’s about me crushing on this guy and just expressing myself through music ‘cause that’s kinda my thing. Yes, It is important for me to have Tagalog words in my songs. Not only does it let my listeners know I’m a proud Pinay, but it also adds some spice to my tracks, making the cherry on top.

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You’re from Batangas City, and we saw you refer to yourself as 100% Batangueña. What does that mean? How is it different from nearby Manila?

Telling people I’m a Batangueña is kind of a flex, and kinda boosts my ego. HAHAH JOKE. I’m a proud Batangueña. Actually, Batangueños and Batangueñas are the people of Batangas. Manileños are the people of Manila, that’s basically it.

With Christmas right around the corner can you tell us what it’s like in your house during the holidays?

My birthday is actually Christmas. I don’t really like having to throw big parties and all. What matters most is for me to be happy on Christmas Day and my ‘womb day.’ My family may not always be complete, but that shouldn’t be a reason to not celebrate the holidays and have a little fun. As long as graham cakes are present on the table, with loved ones surrounding me - CHRISTMAS FEELS LIKE CHRISTMAS.

Your latest single ‘Ayoko Pa’ is about being a young girl and not wanting to rush into a relationship. This is not the usual hyper-sexual message associated with Hip Hop and R&B. Is it tough to juggle the sexy look and sound of Hip Hop with more traditional values? Do you consider yourself potentially a role model for young Filipina women now that you’ve become well known?

Yes. ‘Ayoko Pa’ is about telling [not only guys] that no means no. Stop being annoying about it because you can’t change that. Don’t force things. Yes, I may be flattered but don’t rush me into things – like relationships I don’t wanna be in.

No, it’s not that hard to juggle my sexy look and the sound of Hip Hop with more traditional values. I can manage HAHA. Call me a multitasking queen I guess?? HAHA. Kidding aside, my image doesn’t define who I am. Even if I look like this and that - dress like this and that - doesn’t mean I’m the same inside. I can be sexy with my values intact, just saying. Being a role model to young Filipinas IS MY PURPOSE, and the reason why I’m doing all this. If u wanna do something do it, I got you.

Finally, what does 2023 have in store for Alex Bruce? And her fans?

A LOTTTT. Alex Bruce 2.0 I guess???? Hehe…I’ve been writing soooo I’m gonna be releasing more songs and hopefully an album. MANIFEST!!! I just wanna keep making dope music.