BY JASMINE RODRIGUEZ
The brainchild of a musician who goes by an emblematic moniker, Alexander, is his debut EP. His debut EP compiles a collection of four songs that embody his ability to experiment with layered instrumentals and metaphoric uplifting anthems. The culmination of Alexander's sound is due to collaborating with Nashville songwriters that include Thomas Bracciale, Brooke Williams, Christian Fiore, and Brittany Lane.
The whirlwind of positive feedback Alexander has received is credited to the brilliant melodies and enchanting songwriting on the EP. From taking that spontaneous move out to Nashville to focus on discovering his sound to grabbing a dose of caffeine from his local coffee shops, he embodies the witty, talented musician everyone hopes of becoming. In order to really come to terms to who exactly Alexander is, you first have to dig through his childhood musical roots. The notoriety of Blink-182's banter masked within Travis Barker's drumming constituted the basis of Alexander's inspiration to delve into the world of music. "I've gone through so many different music phases throughout the years. I started off not knowing what I was doing or what I wanted to be when I was 14 years old," he says. "I started off playing artists that I loved which was Blink-182 and New Found Glory and then it transitioned to a bit heavier style. I realized that I could incorporate all these different styles that I've learned over the years and loved. I also blended these styles with pop sounds, which is something I also love. It's not just doing it [pop music] because it's easy, but it's something that I love, so it's cool to blend all those styles of music over the years." Not only does Alexander draw a musical inspiration by pop punk's poster child but also from his dad, who taught him how to play the D-chord on his first guitar. "It was a really terrible, crappy infomercial-type guitar," he explained about his beloved guitar, "It was probably like fifty dollars, but I remember loving that thing so much."
Just by knowing that the first song he learned on guitar was a historic rock ballad, 'I Can't Get No Satisfaction' by The Rolling Stones and listening to the pop and electronic fusion bound in his EP, Alexander is an oxymoron within himself. One of the songs off the EP, 'Can't Sleep Without You,' also plays into an oxymoron; by hearing the lyrics shadowing the loneliness disguised within an upbeat production. "The song starts off pretty somber with the verses and the chords are a bit upbeat to have that fun dance feel, but it's more of a song about missing that one person and really trying to get away from it all and kind of distracting yourself," says Alexander, "You know I love writing sad music but at the same time if it can help someone think positively about a break up and lift their souls, then I'm all for it." The Nashville scene has contributed to shaping who and what Alexander wanted to become, "When I first moved here, I was writing with a ton of Nashville writers, songwriters here take a lot more time on their lyrics which is something that I always wanted to dive deeper into," he expresses his feelings on his current hometown crafting his artistry, "My sound kind of stems from taking a lot longer and making sure that my sound is unique to me." Since Alexander is a coffee connoisseur, I had to ask him to compare his song 'Need You to Know' to any coffee drink. "That song gets me hyped, so I'd go with the Starbucks Double Shots, since that thing has a ton of espresso in it," He remorsefully adds, "Sorry to all my local coffee shops that hate Starbucks but I'd have to go with those Double Shots."
The life of an independent artist is one where an individual must face the world unafraid, regardless how bitter opinions may be. A life where one has to take unbelievably enormous strides in reaching their sound to as many ears as humanly possible, and Alexander proves to be this motivating exemplar. When asked if as an independent artist you must possess the ability to dream big, Alexander pondered the question and stated, "Moving to Nashville has been pretty eye opening, seeing as everyone moves out here to pursue their dreams, but it's really a small handful that will end up sticking around." He continued with, "I think you have to dream big no matter what and just always have that at the center of everything." The presence of social media has allowed us to enchant others with our creative endeavors, in regards of how the digital age factors out in the music realm's equation, Alexander says, "It's [social media] very interesting. Especially for independent artists, as it gives us a platform to put our music out there. It allows people from across the world to listen to our music, so it's pretty amazing that we don't need a record label to do most of the things that we're doing right now." He then poses the negativity of the social media sphere, "I love it, but it's easy to get lost with all the other artists out there posting on YouTube. It's relatively easy to get yourself on iTunes now. All in all, it's a good and bad thing." The journey of a self-made musician is not a mere walk in the park, especially when it comes to the term of radio play. I chatted with Alexander about whether radio should be putting more of an emphasis on independent musicians in which he replied, "I would say college radio play, yes. That's actually one of the things we've been working on, getting our music on college radio and it's still one of the biggest markets for indie artists."
"It's pretty awesome. I definitely didn't know what to expect when I moved to Nashville, and being around all these industry people," Alexander explained on the question of how his current life compares to the life he dreamed of when he was younger. "It's great being able to know that all these higher-up people are around, but honestly it's all about the friendships I've made and all the talented people that I've met. That's really why I moved here for, to be around more talented people that will push me to be better. I think I'm on my way there." His aspirations for 2016 include ending up on the Billboard charts and touring the US, so his fans have a chance to catch him at a show.
Alexander is artistically invested in all of his music, he desires to tour in every corner of the world, and is focused on spreading his music through word of mouth and having other people tell their friends about his project. He evokes a keenness to elaborate on stories through music and one day aspires to create a conceptual album, "I grew up on Queen and Led Zeppelin records and what I loved about those was that everything from the artwork to each song represented something different and told one unique story," he said. "I would love to do a concept album that can actually tell an entire story, from start to finish. As opposed to doing a single here and there or a four song EP," Alexander wraps up the final answer.
An artist that has a distinctive sound and is interested in bringing the raw side of music into the pop world is one that is rarely heard of. Alexander possesses the future of pop music in his compelling creativity, he is an artist that one can envision getting on stage to receive a Grammy for impeccable songwriting. The world needs to keep their eyes and ears open for what is yet to come from the visionary that is, Alexander.