As a first-year student just beginning at Trinity, it can sometimes feel difficult to plant lasting roots or make an impact on a bustling campus. That won’t be a problem for Alexa Serowik ’20, whose video project “Generation K” has been spreading like wildfire through the student body. The video has climbed past 35,000 views in its first two weeks online. It features Serowik performing her song of the same name as she poses in the surf of a New England beach, singing about millennials, Katniss, technology and September Vogue. Interest in “Generation K” also drew attention to Alexa herself, though Serowik feels there is more to know than meets the eye.
When she sat down with the Tripod, Serowik explained her beginnings with the arts. “I started acting when I was very little. My dad’s name is Jeff Serowik. He was in the NHL, and we were a big hockey family. And then, at age ten I auditioned for Annie in my town, and I ended up getting a role as Pepper. I had to tell my dad that I wanted to retire from hockey, which was super upsetting for him, obviously.” After this first introduction into acting, Serowik was scouted to be a part of the Nickelodeon workshop in New York City. Serowik worked in screen and theatre acting, auditioning across the country from age ten on.
In high school, Serowik began to write music, releasing several songs as projects along the way. Once accepted into Trinity’s Inter-Arts Program, Serowik was asked to create a project that corresponded to a quote about dependence on technology by Nam June Paik, a Korean American artist. In researching this topic, Serowik encountered an article from Business Insider entitled “What you need to know about Generation K” by Will Heilpern.
“I had previously thought I was a millennial, like most of us,” begins Serowik. “Generation K is named after Katniss, from the Hunger Games. So I thought, Why? Why are we named for Katniss? They’re basically comparing us to kids killing each other over technology.” Serowik says she considers “Generation K” to be a song about young people’s dependence on social media.
“I wanted the beat to be the sound of the heartbeat because I compare the phone to an existential body part. Without it, people can’t breathe. When I lose my phone, I panic.”
“There are three verses. The first verse is Katniss, the second verse is Kendall and Kylie, who represent what social media has turned into. I saw them on September Vogue, and the title was ‘Generation K’ and I knew I wanted to include them. Then, the third verse is Kingdom. Because of the idea that we all think we’re kings and queens on social media. Everyone in social media is just putting on a hat.”
“I wanted the song to be super catchy, and I wanted the song to stay in your head. I also wanted to give the facts about Generation K.” Serowik says that the song was less about showing off her vocal range than it was about getting her message across.
She has seen a large variation of responses to the song. “A lot of people use Generation K to mock me, but I don’t think of it that way. And, people are watching it, so clearly it’s effective. When you do something that’s different, you have to be prepared to take criticism.”
“Generation K isn’t a brand, it’s just us. When people come up to me and ask ‘What is Generation K?’ I just tell them ‘I’m Generation K! You’re Generation K! We’re all Generation K!’’ Serowik laughs about an Instagram post of the girl’s soccer team with their fingers in the shape of a “K.”
“I love when people do the ‘K’ at me.” She says that she enjoys having a connection to so many people on campus, but that she’s just a homesick freshman. “I’m really just happy to be here. I’m honored that people are watching this video, and I take negativity with a grain of salt.”