Michael Green Interviews... Alex Early
Originally posted on October 2nd 2019 here is a Q & A with singer-songwriter Alex Early. He talked about his experiences in music.
WHERE DID IT ALL START FOR YOU GETTING INTO MUSIC?
As cliché as it sounds, I’ve been singing since I can remember. Whether it was in the car along to my parents' music, or from when I got a CD player and was able to sing along to my favourite artists. Growing up, I used to watch Top of the Pops religiously which encouraged me to keep singing. I bought my first guitar around 10 years old, but it took me a while to get into it. I did not have too much patience and my music lessons were centred around things that I was not interested in, so learning guitar seemed more of a chore than fun. It was once I was able to teach myself and play songs which I was listening to when I really got into playing music. WHO ARE YOUR INFLUENCES? I was brought up on a wide range of music from Rock, 80s, Motown/Soul. All of which I still listen to today. My first inspiration at a young age was Ronan Keating. Other solo artist influences that I listened to growing up are James Morrison and Paolo Nutini. Ed Sheeran was a major influence in regards to performing.
I’d tried performing in bands, but it was when my sister told me about an acoustic, singer-songwriter, and I saw a video of him playing ‘The A Team’ on a canal boat where I thought I could do the same thing. Six months after, I played my first open mic night and from there started performing regularly
WITH SONGWRITING WHERE DO YOU TEND TO GET YOUR INSPIRATION FROM E.G. HOW DO YOU START YOUR SONGS & WHAT’S YOUR PROCESS?
When songwriting, I will often write the music first and the lyrics after. For me, music is the foundation which the lyrics should enhance. I try and write organically, so I tend to write in a short space of time. If I get stuck on a song and spend too much time on it, in most cases I will not use it or use elements of it for another song.
HOW IMPORTANT DO YOU FEEL IT IS TO LISTEN TO CURRENT & PAST MUSIC?
Music is very much a fashion as genres fall in and out of popularity, so I think it is really important to listen to a mixture of both current and past music. The benefit of listening to current music is that you can grasp an understanding of what is popular at the moment. However, I think the most important thing is to listen to music that you enjoy, whilst also exploring new music to expand your music library.
DO YOU FEEL IT IS IMPORTANT TO WATCH OTHER ACTS PERFORM AND TO WATCH OTHER LIVE MUSIC?
I feel watching live music is extremely important not only from a music perspective, but from watching live performances you realise that a musician’s job is not solely about the music (which took me a long time to realise) but to entertain.
From my early days of performing, I would often just play the music I listened to and think that an audience would respond if I played it well. This is not the case, people will react if they recognise a song or to how you interact with them. That is why seeing local acts in this regard can be more beneficial for inspiration, compared to major artists because a local act is not performing in front of fans who have paid to see their music. Instead, they are performing to people who probably would not have heard of them and in some cases, the audience might not be there to listen to music. I do, however, think that attending concerts is important for inspiration and motivation.
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WHAT TIPS DO YOU HAVE FOR ANYONE STARTING OUT WHEN IT COMES TO SONGWRITING & PERFORMING?
I would strongly recommend anyone thinking about performing, to try an open mic night. They’re the perfect introduction into performing as they are low-pressure environments, you get to show what you can do and watch other acts. Another bit of advice for performing is to not be afraid to mess up. The rawness and imperfections of live music are what make it, otherwise, everyone would just listen to an mp3.
In terms of music in general, including songwriting and performance, the best advice I could give is to do it as much as possible. With practice comes progression.
To find out more about Alex and his music, go to:
Twitch livestreams: https://www.twitch.tv/LyXander_live
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CLICK HERE to get your free copy of my Ebook called '5 Steps To Help Performers Overcome Stage Fright & Nerves & Know What To Say In Between Songs'