VOTD – Alexz Johnson // “That Girl”

Today’s “Vibe of the Day” is going to be a little bit different than the rest because this one is really personal to me and my musical journey.

Today I’m going to share with you the song that first made me want to pick up a guitar.

I know some of you were expecting this story to revolve around a Beatles song or something, but alas, you’re mistaken. It wasn’t a song from one of the greatest bands of all time that made me want to pick up a guitar, it was a song from a Canadian teen drama that aired circa 2004.

Life’s weird, isn’t it?

The show was Instant Star, the channel was The N and the artist was the star/actress/singer/songwriter/badass of the show, Alexz Johnson.

Instant Star revolved around a 16-year-old girl who wins a singing competition (novel idea, right?) and the aftermath of her win—recording her first album, life as a teenage musician and a budding romance with her slightly older producer. Ya know, your typical teenage drama stuff, NBD.

While I’ll admit that the show does have a degree of cringe factor watching it back in 2017 through my 21-year-old eyes (most episodes can be found on YouTube in case you’re wondering), this show was everything to me when I was younger and so was its soundtrack. I even remember dragging my mom down to our local CD Warehouse (throooooowback) so we could special order the soundtrack from the first season. Getting the phone call a week later that they had gotten it in was the best day of my young life.

The dedication was real ya’ll.

I played that CD to death, but there was just something about this one particular song (and this one) that I kept coming back to and still do to this day. I love this song now just as much as I did back then. The words still make me feel “some type of way,” Alexz’s voice still sends shivers down my spine (such an underrated vocalist) and every time I hear the guitar breakdowns, I get the same rush I did Christmas morning 2005 when I unboxed my cherry red Ibanez electric guitar for the first time after begging for it for months.

Yeah, it’s melodramatic angsty teenage love-rock goodness from 2004, but it’s what put Sally (that’s my guitar’s name—I was 10 sue me) in my hands and my butt in guitar lessons. Without my guitar, I wouldn’t have discovered half of the music I did over the next decade and, as corny as it sounds, I honestly wouldn’t be who I am today—and I have this song (and Alexz Johnson) to thank . . . or blame, you decide.

So grab your headphones, plug ’em in and vibe with 10-year-old me and Alexz Johnson’s “That Girl.”

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