Student Spotlight: Alexis Bragga
What’s it like to study at Berklee? Our Student Spotlight series asks current students all about their Berklee experience—what they’re learning in class, what kinds of projects they’re involved in onstage or behind the scenes, how they recharge, and of course, what they’re listening to. This week, get to know Alexis Bragga, a fifth-semester drum principal from Ludlow, Massachusetts, majoring in screen scoring.
Tell us about your path to Berklee. What made you decide to come here?
I fell in love with Berklee when I first toured the campus. The diversity in music and opportunities to explore new paths in the industry was just what I needed. I originally wanted to do music production and engineering when I got accepted. It wasn't until the pandemic that I discovered I was interested in writing for film, and within a few weeks of starting my first semester, I knew it was gonna be my future, and I was in the right place for it.
What's been your favorite class so far, and what has it taught you?
My favorite class so far has been my Scoring Technology 1, which is taught by Claes Nystrom. I have been wanting to learn Cubase since I got to Berklee, and this class helps me with starting to build up my technical skills in the DAW while also getting to compose my own music in the assignments.
What's a project you've worked on since coming to Berklee that you've been especially excited about?
This is not necessarily a project, but since coming to Berklee I have become president of the Berklee Film Scoring Network. This student club has been a lot of fun to be a part of, and I have loved working with everyone on the board to try and create the best meetings possible and keep students engaged and interested. We have been bringing in well-known composers for interviews, hosting rescore competitions, and providing helpful meetings and presentations for future careers in film scoring. As for projects, I am very excited to start having my own recording sessions and being able to record my own music live for the first time in future semesters.
How do you typically recharge or find new ideas outside of class?
I typically recharge by going for a walk and listening to music or giving myself a break from working for a few hours. To get new ideas, I like to try and find new scores to add to my film score playlist. When I find new songs with different instrumentation, it inspires me to try to take some characteristics from them and put them in my own scores. I also love to go watch music live. Watching performers gives me a lot of motivation to create my own music.
When you think towards your own future, who inspires you most?
Chris Martin (of Coldplay) is one of my biggest inspirations in music. Although he is not a film composer, I admire him a lot for his love and passion for making music. If you have ever had the opportunity to see him perform, there is a different energy in the room and you find yourself leaving with the biggest smile on your face. He always has a positive outlook and loves to connect people together through music and I hope to do that with my music one day as well.
What's one piece of advice you'd give to your high school self?
Don’t worry so much about the future.
Alexis's Current Favorite Songs
We asked Alexis to share some of her favorite music. Here's her list of five songs that, as she says, are "in no particular order and will probably change by next week."
1. “Nervous,” John Legend
I [haven’t stopped] listening to it since it has been released. John Legend has such an amazing voice.
2. “Fix You (Live in Buenos Aires),” Coldplay
This is one of my favorite Coldplay songs, and I love the energy that the live version brings compared to the studio track.
3. “Strawberry Swing (Live in Madrid),” Coldplay
This is a very underrated song of theirs, and I always find myself listening to this on the walk to school or work.
4. “Ori, Lost In The Storm," Gareth Coker
This is a recent composition from a game I have been listening to, and I really love the voice used and how well it blends with the instruments.
5. “June 24, 2022: Parade of Planets,” Sleeping at Last
I chose this song because I think it's very beautiful, and it is able to bring you through a lot of emotion without using words.