Q: We love the upbeat feeling of your single, “Eras”. Talk to us about the inspiration behind your sound.
ALEX: Thank you! I take inspiration from lots of places. I enjoy listening to and playing lots of different styles of music, including electronic music, jazz & pop. But I also really enjoy films, comedy, video games… sometimes inspiration comes from these places too.
Q: What is your writing process like?
ALEX: Most of the time, I start by messing around on a piano or synth. If I come up with some chords or a melody that I like, I’ll record it and save it for later. I’ll then listen back with fresh ears and see which ideas feel good (if any!)
Q: At what age did you pick up the Sax?
ALEX: I was six when I started playing sax. My Mum’s a singer and my Dad plays sax – I heard him playing a lot at home and thought it sounded cool , so I asked my parents if I could start! My dad then started to teach me.
Q: What was the pivotal moment in your life when you decided to follow your path as a jazz musician?
ALEX: I’m not sure if there was ever one particular moment, but I’ve always loved music. The more I played and learnt, the more I enjoyed it and wanted to dive in further! There’s definitely some big decisions I’ve made over the years, in order to pursue music further (like moving to London from the North of England)… but these have always felt like the right thing to do.
Q: We noticed you won the BBC Young Musician Jazz Award, what was it like to be recognized in such a powerful way?
ALEX: It was such an incredible experience to be involved in the competition, and to have won was a huge bonus for which I’m incredibly grateful! The award really helped open up more opportunities, such as performing at the BBC Proms.
Q: What would you like to tell jazz musicians who are just starting out?
ALEX: I think one of the most important things I’ve learned is to try and stay connected to enjoying music! Sometimes there can be times where things can get in the way of this, whether it’s a practicing hurdle, writers block or the practical side of earning a living from music. I think it’s only natural for these things to maybe affect our enjoyment, but I think it’s important to then remind yourself of why you enjoy it in the first place. I always listen to some music cranked up or play some music I love to get inspired again.
Interviewed by Zoey Rowntree
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