Q: I love the storytelling in “I Remember.” Can you tell us about the inspiration behind the song?
ALEX SPINNEY: Well, I originally wrote the basis of this song about 4 years ago in a tiny room in North London, with just the chords and the melody mapped out. About 2 years and a lot of life later, I finally came back to it. I managed to fish out the recording of it on my old phone, added lyrics and fleshed out the structure, before finally getting into the studio to record it earlier this year.
To me, the song has a simple but heartbreaking message – that feeling of looking back at a relationship that was once thriving, but has now broken down. Musically, the song starts out as a piano ballad, and then gradually grows until it’s morphed into this celebratory, gospel-like anthem. I love pop music, and also love the vocal freedom that gospel and soul music give you, so pairing the two together was quite exciting for me!
Q: Is there a deeper meaning behind “I Remember”?
SPINNEY: Well, I find it really interesting when sad songs are treated with optimism, and so I’ve tried to create a sense of an optimistic ending here. Also, I like to keep my songs slightly vague in terms of the specifics, and I hope that allows the listener to find their own meaning within the song. With this song, pairing this poignant story with a sense of musical optimism could mean a few things, perhaps finding closure, or even hopeful for some sort of reunion.
Q: How long have you been singing and writing songs?
SPINNEY: Well, I’ve been playing piano and singing since the age of about 4, and then writing music since the age of about 14 or 15.
Q: What motivated you as a musician?
SPINNEY: That’s a tricky question! I think a few things really. Firstly, just the opportunity to express myself musically – which I’ve been doing since I was very young, and just feels natural to me. Secondly, I think finding the right style has really motivated me. Growing up, I was exposed to a lot of classical music, but no matter how much classical music came my way, I always seemed to gravitate back to pop music. Therefore moving away from that style of music has been a really exciting process for me. It feels very authentic, and I get to make music where I can sing and write in the style that I want. Finally, I think hearing other people’s music motivates me! Especially if I’m slightly jealous of a song that I hear and wish I had written it – I’m like, let me have a go!
Q: Can you tell us more about yourself and how you found the path of music?
SPINNEY: Well, I’ve been playing the piano and singing since I was about 4, and also took up the saxophone, sang in choirs and did shows – basically as much as I could do really. I did write my own music, but I never took songwriting particularly seriously, and if I’m honest, I didn’t think that the world of commercial music was the right place for me. It’s only over the past few years that I really decided to pursue my own songwriting.
I pursued classical music, and also worked as an actor, but always felt like there was another way I wanted to be expressing myself. A few years ago, I had a big injury that took me out of the performing world for quite a while. During that time, I began to write properly, and it just felt so much more authentic to me, both as a singer and as an individual. So about three years ago, I decided to fully commit to it, and properly invest in and work on my own music. Since then, I’ve been fully dedicated to writing and getting my EP ready for release.
Q: What is the next exciting thing for us to look forward to?
SPINNEY: Well I’m releasing my debut EP over the next few months, so that’s going to be my main project for the foreseeable future! I’ve just filmed a music video for my 2nd single in North Wales, which I am really excited about! Am aiming to release that at the start of January, and then the following singles off the EP over the following months. Alongside that, I’ll be building an audience, recording more, writing more and perhaps exploring the idea of collaborating with other artists.
Interviewed by Katrina Yang
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