Alex Xander is a solid and consistent artist hailing from Washington, bringing a dope sound to the industry. Alex Xander is fresh talent who has an amazing longterm vision for his brand, music and career. With his work ethic and multi-talent, there’s absolutely no doubt that Alex Xander is one of the top independent rappers right now.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What city and state are you from?
ALEX XANDER: Initially in 1992 when I was born, my family at the time was living in small town about 20 minutes from Spokane Washington, named Rosalia. Even as a youth I remember scheming on making my way to the city to pursue my life in music full-time. My family then moved to multiple locations throughout Washington state that were primarily on the east side of the state. I ended up in Pullman Washington, home of the W.S.U. cougars for a majority of my high school years. Having had made my mind up at a young age about the career I knew I was born to pursue, I moved out of my parents house at the age of 16 to better focus on my music career with less distractions from home and while still attending high school. After high school and through W.S.U. I met many music affiliates that I would later record my first songs with as well as perform my first shows with, my act was always solo though as it is to this day. In 2013 I moved back to my hometown and moved to Spokane to pursue my music with no holds bar. I’ve always considered Washington in general to be my home, but Spokane is my hometown.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What is your music background?
ALEX XANDER: I began writing lyrics at the age of 7 as a hobby or just something I naturally did to entertain myself as a child. I believe I was even writing lyrics before this point but can’t remember for certain. I began taking music lessons in second grade where I chose to learn the drums. I continued to practice into high school. This is where I learned how to keep rhythm and how to feel the music which I believe is a key to being a fundamentally sound artist. I began beat boxing and writing lyrics. I also use to get household of kitchen equipment dishes, pans and try to recreate the instrumentals of the great hip-hop artists of the time as a child in the 90’s. My hometown of Rasalia was affected by the Seattle grunge scene and many of my child mentors actually died of heroin use and overdose. So at a very young age, I witnessed how much of an effect music can really have on someone. I realized it could be a very powerful tool, but very dangerous if not use cautious or consciously with the well being of others being taken into consideration. After rapping, singing, and writing from the ages of 7 – 17 I began doing my first live shows at the age of 18. In my first year of performing I got experience from performing in many local bars/ venue’s and non local. Over the next couple years, I worked on building up my territory in which I performed shows until I was traveling all the way from Seattle Washington to Atlanta Ga. in 2015. I’ve performed with Coast 2 coast magazine and been featured as #8 on their top 100 trending tracks out of the entire website. I worked with Get Money Stop Hating. I was invited to travel all over the country and open up for Young Buck at the SxSw show, opened up for members of the Wu Tang. In 2016 I performed my 50th solo concert by the age of 23.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your songs about?
ALEX XANDER: My songs cover a variety of subjects and social themes. They strongly reflect on my own life experiences and mishaps, culture unique to the Northwest is also often a recurring theme in my music. I like to express real life through my lyrics to make it easily relatable for the majority of Americans who have experienced similar struggles with life as well as triumph. I myself have found great solace through creating music and hope I can do the same for others by giving the something that lets them know their not alone in the world. I would consider my music to be about my life and the cultures I was influenced, which is mainly Northwest cultivated culture.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What is your favorite song to perform and why?
ALEX XANDER: Straight Outta Nowhere I would say is my favorite song to perform. I love how much of my entire life is expressed through the lyrics. I cover things in the song from my childhood all the way up to the present, most of which are very personal subjects. I mention being a kid dreaming with all of my friends about being famous and them living with me at my crib. I go on to continue and mention how I had to leave those same friends behind as they would become the biggest roadblock of my life as well as my music career. My friends attempted to end my music career completely by jumping me and giving me a severe concussion which resulted in me losing much of my memory from the previous past 2 and some even beyond. I also touch on the subjects of being rejected and considered crazy by many for pursuing my dreams. My relationship with God also comes up and is almost a metaphorical justice for the physical injustice I experienced. The song is like a very deep and personal part of my self that I’m able to share with rhythmic backing, performing it is always treat with how much I’m able to express and unapologetically be myself.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What has surprised you the most in the pursuit of a career in music?
ALEX XANDER: I would definitely have to say how many people are so willing to be in absolute disbelief that anyone they know will ever become very successful in music. It’s unheard to many, that their friend may do a gig here or there, but full on success is just not possible. Many believe in this so strongly they’ll actually go out of their way to ensure you understand you can’t do it and are wrong. These people can also be anyone. Teachers, family, friends and just about anyone, who is so very quick to point out all of the negative aspects of something. They have strong reluctance to acknowledge any positive factors, such as growth, expression and happiness. They would rather sulk in their own pity and try to force their own pity upon others. This amazes me and has at times been the reason why I could not possibly coexist in the same region as others. Like all things it can easily be overcome but is definitely a surprise when it occurs.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Who are your musical influences?
ALEX XANDER: The first album I ever owned was Get A Grip, by Aerosmith. The second album I ever owned was Mack Daddy, by Sir-Mix-a’lot. These two albums had a strong influence on me. They influences a very great portion of my life. Much of my love for percussion based music would stem from these two albums being very sample and percussion heavy. I was raised in an environment with parents beyond the age of my friend, so I was exposed to a very broad time span in music history. My grandparents also shared with me their love for music so just about everything from the 1940’s to the present I’ve likely heard at least a time or two in my life. As far as individuals who have had an affect on me personally with their music I’d have to say Kanye West has probably been the biggest influence of them all. I am influences by his near perfect or perfect quality of production layered with genuinely emotional lyrics that contain an almost addictive energy that seems keep his genius endless. Kid Cudi was another artist who had a strong affect on me. I loved his willingness to be himself and willingness like Kanye to feed into what are think are saying about you. This helped me through much of my life and also helped me create the artist I wanted to portray that would also be unique to me. G – Eazy is probably the last artist to make any serious impact on me with his similar taste for classic art and want to put a modern spin on things.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How would you describe your music to people.
ALEX XANDER: High energy, smooth hip-hop that doesn’t lyrically portray the typical themes associated with hip-hop. Rather than being based on locations and culture, mine is similarly about me but focuses on the culture I grew up around and is strongly based on my opinions and experiences. Like all great artist of the genre, my music is made to be enjoyed by all as well and can be used as a way to share thoughts and opinions of the world. I create my music to encourage expression and in the hopes I can help people come together by stressing that life is to short for animosity. So rather than hating we should be loving and teaching the next generation how to be proactive with knowledge instead of being quick to destroy ones self. My music is hip-hop verbally rapped, performed over normally percussion based instrumentals. My music is about my life and struggles as a white kid trying to make it as a successful hip-hop artist in the Northwest.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What makes you stand out from other artist?
ALEX XANDER: My drive, dedication, and level of talent makes me stand out. Musically as far as my actual sound goes no one could even really be compared, with my perspective. Plus I’m in a league of my own because no one locally or nationally has ever made it to the top with an extremely similar situation or beginning. There are maybe two who are arguably similar signed hip-hop artist, but the most in common attributes would be physical appearance. I also get much of my sound from an almost completely untapped, but thriving independent Northwest hip-hop market. To be a teacher of piano you put in 4,000 hours of practice. To be Ray Charles you put in 10,000 hours of practice. I’m all about pursuing to be the best I possibly can be and I honestly know I’ve only tipped the iceberg with as far as I want to. I know I can push and improve my music. I’ve put at least 10 years into practicing and this may or may not be 10,000 hours of practice, but I will not stop until I reach my goal of sound music success. No matter how long this takes to achieve. No one I’ve ever met in the Northwest Hip Hop scene has been able to accomplish what I have at my age. I’ve traveled the country met celebrities and all that really matters at the end of the day to me is I’m advancing. There’s no one like me in the region.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What would you like to see changed in today’s music industry?
ALEX XANDER: As much as I truly love today’s music industry I would never mind see less animosity breeding music. Although I understand how things at times can escalate without parties being involvement. I wouldn’t mind people being more supportive of others art. I wouldn’t mind being more willing to go to the store to buy a copy of an album someone put their soul into, instead of simply stealing it on the internet.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are some upcoming projects that you are currently working on?
ALEX XANDER: I’ve been working on a 16 track mixtape since the beginning of 2016, with various producers from the internet. I’ve also been advising some local artist as what to do to get their careers going in the right path in my free time. I’ve been helping them get to a similar place as I’ve gotten myself with my music. My mixtape or album whichever being the case was going to be named With Tables Turned. It was going be all about my beginning all the way to where I’ve presently got myself with music. With the help of private investors the project was to feature multiple celebrities and was going to have a tour centered around opening up for these featured artist. I have 3 concept projects with 13 tracks or more, each I’ve also been working on, including With Tables Turned. I’m working on re-releasing my EP Legend and adding two bonus tracks. I also have 4 music videos in the works, but due to a weighing of options and looking for the best opportunities some of the ventures have been temporarily put on hold. Right now creating 1 high quality song a week is the goal. One of the concept projects will be free as a way to give back to the fans. Merchandise has been designed and more is being made to replace the already sold out inventory of 2015, Alex Xander is also in works with local clothing brand Northwest Proper on releasing a possible signature line for 2016. Alex Xander’s music is to be distributed on all major digital retailers as soon as new project was finished.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your career goals? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
ALEX XANDER: My overall goal is to be a successful artist in the music industry capable of taking care of myself as well as my family. Being signed is the absolute main objective. In 10 years I would like to either have a Grammy or at least be Grammy nominated. I also want to be platinum if not diamond.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How can your fans access your music and contact you?
ALEX XANDER: Through any social media address followed by /RealAlexXander, my music can be downloaded on Reverbnation for free as well as streamed for free on Reverbnation and YouTube. My fans can contact me through any Alex Xander social media music page and my music can be played at any Alex Xander social media page as well as downloaded for free.
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