As a singer, pianist, composer, songwriter, and model, Krstic is no stranger to the demands of the industry.
However, it is her passion for tackling weighty subjects and using her platform to effect change that truly sets her apart. "I've seen firsthand the struggles of my home country post-war and the poverty and difficulties faced by its inhabitants," she reflects. "This drives me to use my talents to shed light on these issues and bring about positive change."
The plight of marginalized elderly individuals is often overlooked in contemporary discourse, despite their heightened vulnerability to societal ills such as poverty, isolation, and inadequate healthcare.
Neo Soul, Jazz, and R’n’B music artist Aleksandra is a veritable firebrand when it comes to advocating for human rights, cancer causes, and the well-being of marginalized groups, as well as animals. Having friends and family who have waged a battle with cancer, has imbued her with a profound appreciation of the fragility of life, and has prompted her to become an ardent advocate for cancer awareness.
"I ended up reading a lot and learning obsessively trying to help and find a way to help."
In the future, she hopes to invest in cancer research or help spread the word about how certain cancers can be prevented.
"I mean there is always something existential in life right?" she says.
"I don’t necessarily think that good song is defined by profound lyricism only - that there are many parameters that make a good song, like catchy melodies, or groove beat or just a very unique form or harmonic progression. The most important for me is that the song comes from an honest place," she adds.
Coming from war-torn countries, Yugoslavia and then Serbia during the civil war, she has undergone two civil wars one at the beginning and another one towards the end of the 90s.
It becomes apparent that, through her experiences of war and its aftermath, the world is plagued by a plethora of issues including war, inadequate healthcare, and racial discrimination, that threaten the well-being and rights of countless individuals. Firsthand observation of her home country transitioning post-war and the resulting problems and poverty further solidifies her understanding of these issues and a desire to raise awareness and effect change.
"It's it's not only in my country it's all around the world."
She recalls writing a thesis in university when she was 19 for a subject having to choose the topic to write about and she decided to write about social issues.
And even with the advent of the internet, she does not believe in the general notion that there is no impact when we post on social media individually.
"I think if we all try to get informed, try to get educated about a certain topic that we are we are passionate about, if we spread the word it's going to influence one person and that one person will influence another person like a domino effect."
Every one possesses the capability to effect change on a global scale. Recently, this sentiment has been proven true in certain parts of the world, as individuals have risen and begun to make their voices heard, leading to a greater impact through the use of both mainstream and social media.
One can never predict the reach and influence of their words and actions, as evidenced by Aleksandra's experience of "certain people" she never believed would be "interested in a certain topic and reach out to agree."
"So, you never know when our impact is huge!"
This highlights the importance of being judicious in the things one chooses to say and how one approaches certain issues.
Aleksandra has over 15 years of teaching experience, both in Serbia and the UAE.
A first job in Dubai as a teacher has revealed the lasting impact of words, as students from years past have approached the award-winning pianist with memories of things shared in the classroom. Born with a predisposition for perfect pitch, as evidenced by a mother with the same gift, a kindergarten teacher took notice and recommended music lessons to her parents. This led to a lifelong passion for music, including singing, playing the piano, and studying the classical chamber of music.
"And so, you know like sometimes you would say something to the kids and then like 10 years, 15 years later they tell me, "I remember when you told me..." And I'm like "Oh, did I?" she shares in amusement.
Born and raised in Serbia, Aleksandra started her music education at the age of 5 after it was discovered that she has perfect pitch. After obtaining her classical piano Master's degree from the Faculty of Music in Belgrade and additional Postgraduate studies in Music Ensembles and Chamber Music Aleksandra moved to Dubai where she has lived since 2012.
"And so, when I was in kindergarten one of the teachers noticed this. She would always figure that no matter what key she plays in, I would always go back to the original key or I would always like from a right key you know where the song is from."
"From year 12 up until maybe 15, I would practice around five hours a day and then from like 15 like up and up until like 10 hours every day," Aleksandra says. "University is a very kind of competitive environment," she adds.
"I loved it you know? It's not always easy to spend 10 hours every day but for me, it was always beautiful"
She performed all around Europe and the Middle East. Aleksandra worked as a film score composer on a few award-winning short films and performed with a National Orchestra and the Opera in Serbia as well as the Dubai Opera.
Even during times of crisis, such as the Civil War and power outages, music provided an escape and a form of solace, ultimately becoming a defining aspect of one's identity as an artist. Despite the challenges and difficulties, the beauty of music always shone through.
"But it's been something that defined me my whole life. I've been an artist pretty much my whole life."
Aleksandra is currently working as a freelance artist and singer/songwriter. Apart from performing at notable five-star hotels across the UAE and GCC, her client list includes Expo 2020, Dubai Opera, Dubai Calendar, Dubai Tourism, Chanel, Prada, Balenciaga, Gucci, Carolina Herrera, Hermès, Porsche, Van Cleef and Arpels, Bvlgari to name a few. She's also on the road to releasing her all-original EP.
HOMEGROWN is musivv’s segment dedicated to featuring UAE-based artists. Features under this segment are eligible for a nomination under this category on the Musivv Awards annual recognition.