Alexa Ray Joel is about to embark on a pretty prestigious gig of her own. Starting tonight, the 28-year-old daughter of Billy Joel and supermodel Christie Brinkley begins a two-week headlining run at the prestigious Café Carlyle, the spiritual home of such musical legends as Bobby Short, Barbara Cook, Elaine Stritch and many others. The East Village singer-songwriter, who recently performed her father’s classic “Just the Way You Are” as part of The Gap’s “Back to Blue” ad campaign, spoke to The Post about her musical career.
You started writing songs when you were just a teenager?
I was a painfully shy, awkward teenager. Terrified of boys, had a lot of social anxiety. My hideout was to go to the piano and work on music. Of course, I was raised at the piano by my father. We would have these daylong musical sessions at the house while I was growing up. It eventually became an essential creative outlet that I think got me through my teen years.
Will you be singing your dad’s songs in your show?
There’s always that question. Having that Gap ad relieved the pressure. I was able to pay homage to my father by singing “Just the Way You Are,” but I was able to put my own feminine, more vulnerable emotional spin on the song. In the show, I’m going to do a mixture of my own songs and covers. It’s tricky. It’s that fine line of wanting to pay homage and to stay true to my own voice at the same time. But you’re going to have to wait and see.