Aussie singer inspired by pro-surf lover’s miracle recovery
SINGER songwriter Kita Alexander had been in a relationship with champion surfer Owen Wright for only a couple of months when he suffered a traumatic brain injury at the notorious Pipeline in Hawaii.
The surfer was in contention for the World Title in late 2015 when a wipeout at the notorious break during a practice session left him fighting to get back on his feet for the next 15 months.
Alexander, along with the tightknit Wright surfing family, helped nurse him back to health and onto a surfboard, resulting in a miraculous comeback to win the Quiksilver Pro in 2017.
The couple, who share their three-year-old son Vali, married in Byron Bay on January 31 and as Wright competes on the Australian leg of the world tour this month, Alexander will be launching her new single Against The Water.
"I can't be the one that pulls you from your high, 'member I'm in your corner, When it's you against the water," she sings.
Their surfing lifestyle may look idyllic on their Instagram pages but Alexander shares some of the emotional struggles she endured during her now husband's rehabilitation as they also navigated their new love.
"O has been so private about it all - he hasn't told his story yet; I guess I'm telling my side of the story a little bit first, what I went through," she said.
"He's OK with it all and so excited for me to have a song out. He loves it, absolutely loves it. He's always 'Play my song, play my song' if anyone comes over and we're having a couple of drinks. It's so obviously about him."
Against The Water was written only a couple of months after Wright's injury as he began his long road to recovery, which included having to learn how to get back on his feet.
Alexander has always used her songwriting to help her in tough times; her breakthrough single Hotel finally helped her heal after the loss of her sister Tash to cancer several years ago.
"Owen doesn't want to focus on the past. Releasing the song is probably more of a trigger for me about what happened," she said.
"I am pretty good at shutting it down in my head when I start getting negative, I don't let myself live in that moment for too long. But if you get me on a sad day, sometimes this song can still make me cry.
"The majority of the time I focus on the positives. And he chose me, time and time again. No matter how early it was in the relationship to go through what we did to be together, he kept choosing me time and time again. That's the beauty of it.
The couple both view their wedding day as the launch of a positive new chapter in their lives, one that focuses on their adorable son, Wright's continued quest to win the world title and her recording and performing career.
The 23-year-old artist said the ceremony served as a reminder of how the accident forged their unbreakable bond.
"2020 being a new decade as well, we were both feeling we wanted to leave all the s … in the past and we are really going to embrace all the positives. Here we are," she said.
"It was an emotional time as well because the celebrant touched on all 'our stuff'…we were laughing and crying…and crying and crying. It was us standing there, holding hands and looking at each other knowing we did this, we got through it.
"I just feel like we have gone through such a pressure cooker, I know we can handle anything and I'm so grateful for everything I've learned along the way."
Alexander is that rare artist whose music has found its way around the world via word-of-mouth rather than in-your-face marketing or social media campaigns.
Her three EPs, released over the past seven years, have accumulated more than 70 million streams even though she couldn't tour or promote her records as Wright recovered and after Vali was born.
So she is incredibly excited about joining The Drop festival tour which runs alongside the Australian leg of the world surfing tour.
"I am ridiculously excited about it," she said. "I'm probably looking at less travel with O this year; obviously The Drop follows the Australian leg of the circuit so that's great, we can stay as a family for that."
Against The Water is out on Friday.