alexander james rodriguez shine album cover

Review & Interview: “Shine” by Alexander James Rodriguez

Fourteen-year-old Alexander James Rodriguez released his latest single, “Shine”, on March 18, 2022. With its funky, high energy pop vibes, it’s no wonder the song already has over 63,000 plays on Spotify. The music video, which premiered March 31, has over 300,000 views on YouTube. 

Rodriguez says that the song, like all his music, is inspired by 80’s music and a bit of disco. Also appearing on all his songs are his signature bell and chime sounds. “Shine” features a bit of magic and glitz, especially in the music video. The video opens on a record player, a nod to Earth, Wind, & Fire and a shining disco ball that alludes to the sparkling gold jacket the young artist is wearing in the first shot of him. Rodriguez’s wardrobe in the video gives off a mix of current fashion with the 70’s era and I love it.

From the bassline to the electric guitar, “Shine” just screams fun and get up and move. There are so many facets to this song – the layers just keep peeling away. Rodriguez says that “Shine” has the most vocal layers than any song he has recorded so far.

It is clear that Alexander James Rodriguez is a talent and a force to be reckoned with. Performing is what this young artist was meant for and he’s not going anywhere. Look for his newest song “Mesmerized” set to release May 25, 2022. To stay up to date with what he’s up to, follow his socials. 

Q&A with Alexander James Rodriguez

Q: We love “Shine” and its catchy beat. What inspired it?

ALEXANDER JAMES RODRIGUEZ: Thank you! I wanted to create a song that would musically flow after “Alright” that I released in January. I wanted a funky beat, but slightly faster paced. I spend a lot of time listening to new music and trending artists, in particular I listen to Charlie Puth and The Weeknd. I also watch YouTube videos on different sounds and instruments.

Q: So, you wrote “Shine” with your mom. I bet there are some great memories there! Any you would like to share?


My mom writes all of my music with me, she is also my female backing vocalist. She wrote ‘Alright’ in the car driving back from buying groceries. We banter lyrics together and break down what the story of the song can be, how the music makes me feel, and how it speaks to me. She has an insane ear and can pick up the slightest ping buried in a mix. She says it’s a curse! 

With ‘Shine’ I sat with my producer Gemini and began with the tempo, a simple kick drum and snare, before adding the bass guitars, my signature bells, and chimes, which appear in all of my songs. The lyrics came from that same session. A gummy babyfor example is a mixture of an American Gummy Bear and British Jelly baby, and for a while I have wanted to wangle cheese into a song. Finally in the second verse I made all that happen!

“Sugar plum honey

You’re right on the money

Sweet like a gummy baby

Left right and center

No one does it better

You’re sharp like cheddar baby.”

My mom wrote a version of the bridge and we recorded it, the next day she said, I hate it! So, we spent another 3 weeks figuring out what would work better. Meanwhile, much of my vocal lessons have been focused on strengthening my falsetto so I wanted to put that into action, and so came the bridge you hear on the released version with a very falsetto “shine.” This song has the most vocal layers I have ever recorded on a song so far, from talk backs to backing vocals and adlibs. It was definitely one of my most favorite to record.

The music video called for golden tones, spinning disco balls and satin shirts. I watched a lot of Earth, Wind and Fire music videos for inspiration. We researched the kaleidoscope and flared lenses and set out to find a suitable location to shoot.

Q: What feelings went through you when you won the 2021 LA Fest Audience Choice Award?

AJR: Honestly, I was so surprised! An email was sent saying congratulations! I didn’t even know it was submitted for an award.

Q: You were the youngest nominee for Best Music Video at the 2021 Hollywood Music in Media Awards. How does it feel to have that honor and be up there with the mainstream artists?

AJR: I can’t explain how it feels to be 14, unsigned and winning any awards, let alone be listed among the likes of Billie Eilish and Finneas, Ariana Grande and even Hans Zimmer. Wild! 

‘Cherry Bomb’ was created at the top of 2021. I wanted to write a song about strawberries, but nothing seemed to rhyme so I amended it to berries, then cherries. Fast forward 6 months and we are planning for the music video filled with cherries and our cherry bomb girl. My mom and I wrote the storyline and then we began casting. Even though I received the award I share it with my four incredible dancers, Isidora Villagra, Jedd Berina, Kaileia Dixon and Mckenzie Cole, who helped me bring an American 1950’s diner to life.

Q: Who are your greatest influences?

AJR: I listen to all music genres, but I am mostly influenced by British 80’s pop music, Charlie Puth, The Weeknd, Dua Lipa, and Bruno Mars mixed with funky beats from the 70’s. I love it all!

Q: What’s next for you?

AJR: I hope to sign to a record label one of these days, but in the meantime I have just finished a new song called ‘Mesmerized.’ We filmed the music video last week, the cover art is ready to go and we plan to release this song next month so stay tuned!

Reviewed & Interviewed by Dana L. Sullivan





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