Writer’s Block: Student Feature – Alita Campbell

 

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Throughout the year, I will be profiling student songwriters that are open enough to share their work with the world at its barest state: no music, just words. Plainly looking at lyrics opens up room for interpretation, and that’s one of the many great things about songwriting: people can read into songs however way they wish.

Writer’s Block’s first student feature is Seattle University junior Alita Campbell, or “Ali” for short. She’s a Humanities for Leadership major, specializing in English and Communications.

TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF:

In many ways, I fit the Seattle mold that has been built for me – I love coffee, music, and books. I’m an external processor, which ultimately inspired me to start blogging back in high school. I run my own blog at www.alitajoy.com, and that is a place where I do a lot of personal reflection and narrative writing. I never expected it to morph into what it did, but it has been one of the biggest blessings in my life. It also has turned out to be an aspect of my life that I’m most proud of. I get the opportunity to connect with a lot of different wonderful communities and individuals, and getting to share my narrative, while also being intensely inspired by the narratives of others gives me a lot of joy.

IN RELATION TO YOUR BLOG, WHY DO YOU WRITE? WHAT DRAWS YOU TO MUSIC?

Writing in general has always been incredibly therapeutic for me. I don’t know how I’m feeling a lot of the time if I don’t allow myself to turn it into music or poetry. I view it as my most authentic way to tell my story. Music has helped me through the most difficult moments in my life, and it has illuminated and uplifted the happiest moments, as well. I think my life has a very distinct soundtrack, and I quite literally could not imagine my existence without music as a companion. I write because it’s the only way I know how to process. It is so engrained in everything that I am that I don’t know who I am outside of that relationship.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WRITING AND/OR MAKING MUSIC?

I’ve been doing music-related things since I was 5 or 6 – performing in musicals, singing in talent shows, etc. When I got my first guitar as a birthday gift when I was 10 or 11, I actually started writing songs and making my own music.

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WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE ARTISTS, AND WHAT’S GOING ON IN MUSIC THAT’S REALLY PIQUING YOUR INTEREST AT THE MOMENT?

I have an eclectic music style. I know every pop song on the radio and will not hesitate in belting it in the car with my friends, but I also follow a lot of lowkey acoustic or alternative bands. That being said, my big favorites are Frank Sinatra, Mumford & Sons, India.Arie, and currently Adele. Give me some heartfelt storytelling, a good melody, a live band, and I’m yours.

Also, Adele’s new album has been on repeat lately. I’m not going to deny that.

WHAT’S YOUR END GOAL?

My ultimate goal is to just keep doing what I’m doing – to continue sharing my life with others and to allow others’ lives and stories to seep into my own narrative. I imagine I’ll continue blogging, and I’m excited to see that grow, but I also will eventually release an album and hopefully do a low-key coffee shop tour around the US. I don’t have some concrete life plan. I don’t have a timeline that I plan on sticking to. I have broad goals and hopes for myself, and I can see that manifesting in a lot of ways. I trust that it will in all the right ways.


 

“I’M NOT MISSING YOU”

If I had a penny for every tear I cried for you

I’d be filthy rich and living down in Malibu

But I’m still stuck here in this cold and rainy suburban town

And in between these tears and rain I swear I’m gonna drown.

I know you love me, yeah, you swear you really love me,

But lovin’ me ain’t good enough.

I know you want me, yeah, you say you really want me,

But wanting me ain’t good enough .

I hate who you’ve become, I hate who you used to be.

I hate who you’re hanging with, at least now it’s not me.

I see who you really are, how I wasted my time

Screw teardrops on my guitar, you’re not the best thing that’s been mine.

All I do is lie, all I do is lie, all I do is lie awake,

Thinking about how I wasted two years of my life on a mistake.

But baby I’m not missing you.

You’re the type of man that sucks out all the life in me

Because you act on fear, only believin’ what you see

And it took time after time to realize who I truly am

And now I’m breaking free because now I finally can

I know you love me, yeah, you swear you really love me,

But lovin’ me ain’t good enough.

I know you want me, yeah, you say you really want me,

But wanting me ain’t good enough cause…

(Chorus)

You tore me down.

You watched me drown.

You heard me cry

All damn night.

You ignored my pleas

Said you saw right through me

Yeah, you saw right through me

I was invisible.

(Chorus x2)


 

LYRICAL INSPIRATION:

I wrote this song when I was 15. My best friend since I was 6 had just gone through her first breakup, and after countless tear-filled sleepovers, I wrote this song for her and performed it at my school’s talent show. It’s a song that I love going back to because I think it really nails the whole “teenage angst” vibe right on the head.

ALITA CAMPBELL ON SOCIAL NETWORKING
WORK
/BLOG: www.alitajoy.com
TWITTER: @abookaffair
INSTAGRAM: @alitajoy
ALSO AVAILABLE ON FACEBOOK


 

Craig Jaffe |  Shonda Rhimes’ Coffee Boy |KXSU Reporter

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