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Women We Love Wednesday: Alex Kandel of Sleeper Agent

by Caitlin Carter   Feb 26, 2014 18:05 PM EST

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It's no secret that women can rock just as hard, if not harder, than men. But there seems to be a disparity when it comes to their representation in the music industry. They are topping the charts but barely getting any slots at big name festivals. To do what we can to celebrate these women and give them the positive recognition they deserve, each week Music Times will introduce you to a female in the music industry whom we love.

Singer-songwriters, rappers, DJs, producers, filmmakers, and any woman who is part of the music industry is fair game for this segment. So read on, and get to know the women who continue to wow us. This week we'd like to show off ...

Name: Alex Kandel
Age:21
Profession: Lead singer of Sleeper Agent
From: Bowling Green, Kentucky

Why We Love Her: Despite being much younger than her bandmates and the only female in the group, Kandel commands the stage fiercely a la Joan Jett and Karen O. What also makes her awesome is her confidence. She doesn't feel pressured to dress the way the industry "requires" women to dress. She's just fine wearing a t-shirt and jeans when she wants to and encourages her young fans to be themselves. Also, she maintains an intimate connection with her fans through her Tumblr account, Kandel Rambles, where she gives a behind-the-scenes look at her life as a young woman on the road.

Background: Kandel was working as a waitress and booking agent for a restaurant in Kentucky when her bandmates Tony Smith and Justin Wilson heard her doing Adele covers at open mic nights. They picked her up from school one day to have lunch and she convinced them to let her join the band. She left high school and committed to a full time gig with the boys, originally recruited as a bassist but ultimately finding her spot sharing vocal duties with Smith. She went on her first string of shows with the band at age 17 and signed a record deal at 18.

In 2011's they released their debut album Celebrasion, which got the band recognized as Rolling Stone's band to watch, and Kandel was also one of six finalists for Rolling Stone's "Women Who Rock" contest that year. Since then, she and the band have toured extensively with stops at major festivals across the country as well as an appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Their songs have also been featured in ads for Nike and Taco Bell.

Fun Facts: Last year, she and Smith got engaged on stage at Sleeper Agent's New Years Eve show in their hometown.

What Now: Next up for Kandel and the band is the release of their sophomore effort, About Last Night, due out in March.

Check out the video for their single "Waves" here, and let us know what you think in the comments section!

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