Last time we spoke to Alex, he had just made it through to the semi-finals of the Voice Kids – France. Since then, he has made steps to establish himself as an independent musician, with his first single “Swedish reggae” out on 17 January.
Meeting up with him (and his dad), I asked him what he hoped to achieve with this release, and how he plans to take it further.
“I don’t really have any expectations, I just hope that as many people as possible will see it, to get some feedback. Just to have it released, really,” he said. Venturing further into the ‘message’ of his music, Alex emphasises the importance of putting out something positive into the world: “The biggest part is the feeling, that people listen to it and feel more at ease, that they feel better”.
He goes on: “If I ever make it, I want that people to know that it is possible to achieve your dreams. It’s easy to get stuck, and we’re encouraged to just get a job and do the same thing day in and day out. But it’s never too late. There’s room for everyone.”
When we talk about his single “Swedish Reggae” specifically, he hopes that it will inspire people to “take a step back, and the time to reflect on yourself, and who you are, with your loved ones. It’s important to take a break.”
The reason why this is holds such significance is because despite his age – and it’s easy to forget that everyone’s struggles are valid in their own way, no matter age or circumstances – Alex himself has wrestled with the pressures of everyday life. “I got very stressed because all I could think about was productivity and efficiency, and it’s easy to forget what really matters.”
So what really matters? To Alex, it’s “to be free, and happy with myself. A lot of people care about money, but not me... I just want to be content.”
Our conversation then meandered over to his experiences within the music industry, his heritage and how growing up in a musical family shaped the way he creates his music.
Performing with his family lead to them sharing “real moments of joy” but also meant that he had to learn to adapt the way he spoke about and put together pieces of music: “Everyone thinks and plays in different ways and you need to match the instruments to their skill level […] if someone is uncomfortable, you can hear and feel it. So you need to be willing to change it.”
Playing alone however brought with it its own challenges: “When I make my own, I need to remember not to do too much. I tend to get overenthusiastic, so I have to remember to scale it down, really sit and think abut what fits the ‘soul’ of the song, to try to narrow it down to the essence of what I’m trying to say."
We also touched on the most important lessons he thought he had learned so far, which were 1) “music theory and things being ‘right’ is not the most important thing. The root, the starting point of your music needs to be feeling, not about how complicated or sophisticated you can make it sound. It’s about how it feels, not the rules” and 2) – and this he was rather reluctant to admit (understandably) – “marketing and social media are just as important as the music […] social media is an opportunity. You can be known all over the world, but so can everyone else, so you need to keep at it… which is difficult because I don’t like doing it” (“Which is why I do it” his dad interjected).
Finally, we discussed his future. Alex has another finished song that has already been filmed and recorded, and some others that are not quite there yet. We’re excited to see what comes next!