Alexa Ray gives PEOPLE (The TV Show!) correspondent Jeremy Parsons an inside look at her creative process

By Katie Campione
April 28, 2021 05:30 PM
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Billy Joel is one proud dad!

When his eldest daughter Alexa Ray released her new song "Seven Years," he could hardly contain his excitement, the 35-year-old singer told PEOPLE (The TV Show!).

"He called me right away," Alexa. whom Joel, 71, shares with model Christie Brinkley, said. "He's pretty low-key, but he was like, 'Honey, this is great!' [and] I said, 'Oh you kind of sound more like my mother. So enthusiastic!' "

Alexa added that, while her 73-year-old dad isn't very tech savvy, he always makes sure to sing her praises any way he can.

"He doesn't know how to text. He doesn't understand social media," she said, before adding, "He loves to email. So recently I had a review in Billboard, and he sent it to me. He was like, 'You got a great review in Billboard, honey!' "

Alexa Ray Joel and Billy Joel
Alexa Ray Joel and Billy Joel
| Credit: Alexa Ray Joel/Instagram

Alexa also gave PEOPLE (The TV Show!) a glimpse inside of her creative process, which she said was influenced heavily by her Broadway-loving parents who bestowed the same passion for the stage onto her.

"I was the only child when I was young," she said. "My mom would dress me up as Liesl from Sound of Music. My dad would play. And we would just do that all day long."

Alexa Ray, Billy Joel
Credit: Myrna M. Suarez/Getty

"Seven Years," which Alexa debuted last week, is about her seven-year relationship with her fiancé, Ryan Gleason.

When Gleason heard the song for the first time, he also had a special reaction.

"He started crying," Alexa told PEOPLE (The TV Show!).

Gleason proposed to Alexa in the Turks and Caicos in 2018. The couple has yet to set a wedding date, but Alexa added that they are in no rush to tie the knot.

"I really like being engaged, so I'm just not in any rush to get married," she said.

However, the bride-to-be did previously reveal some potential details about the big day.

Alexa told PEOPLE in 2019 that she wanted to have the ceremony in New York City. "We want that Cipriani-vibe, very New York, old-school Italian," she explained.

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She also said there will be no bridesmaids, explaining she's "over that," and will be sure to have a special moment with her father during the ceremony.

"We're going to sing," Joel said. "We're going to duet. It's going to be like a musical. I'm always happiest when I'm singing. When I sing with Dad, it's just the easiest thing in the world. We've been singing together since I was a kid, so it's an honor to be able to just do that with him."