Alexa Swinton is the friend that will text you, “Check this out!!!” along with the link to an article or podcast about an issue she’s passionate about.
You might know Alexa as Piper from the ABC TV series Emergence, but she’s also an advocate for change, staying informed on how her daily habits impact the world around her. Her latest effort to motivate people to get out and make a change is her single, “You, Me, and My Purple Docs.”
“You, Me, and My Purple Docs,” Alexa a told us, “is about kids saving the world and changing it and making a difference.” In the song, Alexa encourages kids to get out, put on their favorite pair of shoes, and join her in making a difference in the world. “New York to Venice Beach, look how far we can reach,” she sings on the track. “It’s going to be a great day, oooh, you and me and my purple docs. Together we can change the world.”
You might not know it listening to the track, but love for musical theater inspires Alexa’s songwriting. In theater, the songs tell a story, and Alexa wanted to tell a story about kids her age making a difference right now. “They don’t have to wait. They can do something right now,” she said.
We had to know what made Alexa focus on the small details, like the shoes you wear to a protest or to a community event, in her new single. She shared with us that she actually owns the shoes from the song. They’re purple; they’re sparkly; they’re loud, and they make Alexa feel powerful. “They’re so different,” she said. “They also have a personality for a shoe, and I think shoes make a whole outfit, and it definitely makes my whole day when I wear those shoes.” Alexa compares her sparkly Doc Martins to Dorothy’s ruby slippers in the Wizard of Oz. They encourage her to keep moving forward, making a statement wherever she goes.
“I want to make an impact, and I want you to, too,” is the message she hopes to share with her fans. “We’re the present and the future,” Alexa said about why she thinks it’s so important for kids to feel powerful and empowered to speak up. While other kids are finding audiences for active change on TikTok and Instagram, Alexa is reaching out with her music to say, “Let’s do this right now,” with other young activists like Great Thunberg as her inspiration.
Environmental and animal causes are two of the major things that Alexa is really passionate about. A vocal vegetarian, she sees these issues as connected because animals play an important role in environmental cycles.
Alexa wants kids to raise their voices, but she knows we all have to start somewhere. She recommends listening to podcasts, like Michelle Obama’s new podcast, Greta Thunberg’s speeches, and reading books and articles about issues you care about to educate yourself. “For me personally, I’ve read so much,” she said, “and I’ve listened to a lot because my parents, they always have the news on, so it’s very good for me to have that stuff.”
Music plays an important role in drawing people’s attention to issues, too, and Alexa is taking advantage of that with her single. She shared that a song that really influenced her activism is “Big Yellow Taxi” by Counting Crows. “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot,” Adam Duritz sings in the band’s 2009 single. “People are still tearing down forests and beautiful areas to build malls,” Alexa said. “It’s just sad. It’s beautiful, and we should still have that.” She hopes her song will resonate with her generation in a similar way.
“You, Me, and My Purple Docs” is available now on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, and Deezer. Alexa will be donating the profits from this track to Reach Out and Read, a nonprofit that works to include reading in pediatric care for almost five million children around the United States. It’s the perfect song to play when you’re pulling on your lucky socks to fight for what you believe in.