We had the good fortune of connecting with Aixa Baez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Aixa, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
I think of work life balance by picturing one of those vintage weighing scales that has my work life on one side and my personal life on the other. I have to make sure both sides are equal so that it stays level and either side doesn’t start sinking. That doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m putting equal time into both, but more so that my personal life has more quality per hour that is equal to the amount of hours I put into my work life. Achieving this balance has always been a challenge for me, but I have been able to get closer to it as the years pass. It’s very important to make sure that I make time for myself and my mental health so that I can perform better in my career. If I don’t make that time to check in on myself, I find that I’m less productive or burn out faster at work. Once I made that connection, I was able to make my mental health in my personal life a priority and look for ways to manage it better in my work life.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am an independent Pop and R&B artist. I currently have two songs out, and I’m excited to announce that I will be releasing at least one new song in 2021. Pursuing a career as an artist in the music industry is pretty difficult, because there is no clear-cut path to achieving your idea of success, and there are not many people to selflessly and properly advise you. You spend a lot of time figuring it out for yourself, making mistakes, and redirecting. Although I knew I wanted to sing and be an artist from a very young age, it took a while to finally start. I had a lot of insecurities and doubt to work through. Honestly, the one thing I’m most proud of is that I’ve been consistently working on my goal and haven’t given up. Straight out of high school, I was a pretty shy and introverted person. I wanted to gain knowledge to confidently pursue my dreams, so I studied and graduated with a major in music. Often I would think to myself, “a person as shy and quiet as I am wouldn’t be able to make it in the music industry,” but I pushed through all of that and released my first song “Ability.” “Ability” is about resilience. It’s about having the power to dance or do whatever makes you happy, and using that momentum to get you through a difficult time. This is what I have done to overcome challenges in my career and personal life. At first when I reach an obstacle, I can feel a bit deflated, especially if I’ve already tried to overcome it or other ones multiple times. I first step away from the problem and gather the energy I need by talking it out, doing a task that I enjoy, or using a different approach. Once I have that energy, I can then find and apply the strategies to resolve the matter. The time it takes to overcome a challenge varies, but I know I’ll always bounce back, so I’ve definitely learned to have more patience. As an artist often, your personal life is your professional life, because your work is inspired by your personal experiences and is expressed in a way that is consistent with your personality. I think what makes me unique is that I strive to create a space for people to feel safe and free to be themselves. I have experienced many moments where I have felt misunderstood, overlooked, and uncomfortable, and I’d like to provide a reprieve for anyone feeling that way. As inspiration to create this sort of escape in my music, social media, and brand, I like to use vibrant and soothing colors, nature, my Latin culture, and a little imagination. I think colors can invigorate, nature can ground and balance, Latin culture can remind you to enjoy life more, and imagination can give you the freedom to be whoever you want to be.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Since this is South Florida, most people when they visit want to go to the beach. My favorite beaches are Hollywood beach, Haulover and the Fort Lauderdale Jetties, so I’d definitely choose one or two of those to take my friend to, as well as Kayaking in Oleta River State Park. Going to Wynwood to see the murals is always a must and my favorite place to eat there is Coyo. Next on the itinerary would be walking around Little Havana and eating at Versailles or another restaurant around there. For a museum, I would take them to Artec House on South Beach, and then we could eat and shop around there. This isn’t considered local, but taking one or two days to go to the Keys is always nice and a great end to a vacation.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have my family and friends to thank for helping me get as far as I have as an independent artist. If I did not have their encouragement and support, I probably would not have had the courage to follow my dreams and to keep working on them when times got hard. I specifically want to shoutout my friend and producer Kevon Mayers, who has been helping me create music and advising me as I work my way through the music industry.
Val Perez, Fraixa Albizu