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ALEXANDER JOSEPH

RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW ALEXANDER JOSEPH

Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.

What made you decide that music is a thing for you?

I was encouraged to pursue music from a young age, I can’t imagine life without it and music is an avenue to express my creative side and connect with people along the way.

Introduce us you and your musical history.

I’m a songwriter and artist based in the midlands of the UK. Growing up I played acoustic guitar and bass in several cover bands, where I also began testing out and performing my early material. Since then, I’ve not stopped writing and I recorded my first demo titled ‘St. David’ in 2013 with a good friend/mentor, whilst also exploring the open mic scene around the city of Bath.

Following this came a string of singles in support of various sports initiatives, with two of the tracks featuring on Channel 4’s ‘The Superhumans Show’ and one within the Wimbledon tennis grounds before the Paralympic Games in 2016 (these can now be found on an EP called Anything Is Possible).

I’ve remained committed to writing uplifting and heartfelt songs and BBC Introducing have picked up on this at various points, airing two tracks and selecting ‘Invincible’ and ‘Now or Never’ as tracks of the week. My discovery now consists of two (soon to be three) EPs and six singles, which span a range of genres from indie rock to folk and pop.               

What was life like for you before music?

Less noisy, a bit less fun, and even more sporty.

What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?

Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana, which kickstarted my desire to join a band at secondary school and rock out.

Where do you feel you currently sit within the music industry?

I’m continually maturing and evolving as an artist, and still enjoy creating music alongside my work in sports and a hectic family life!

What’s the biggest thing you have learned from someone else in the industry? 

It takes time to hone your craft and develop your sound, so keep plugging away.

Tell us Two truths and a lie about you.

I’m half Polish by blood, I have three kids and I’ve made it to one of the base camps on Mount Everest. 

If you could wish for one thing to aid your career what would it be?

More confidence in my abilities.

Do you ever worry about people taking things the wrong way or cancel culture? Discuss….

Occasionally, especially when it’s linked to something personal within the music and messages I’m sharing. However, I’ve come to realise that some people will see the world differently to me and are entitled to their opinion, so I’ll accept criticism, but if my intentions are good, I may have to take it with a pinch of salt if necessary.

Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories? If not why not?

No, I’d rather just keep things simple if possible!

What was the worst experience on stage?

Performing the first dance at a wedding where our pianist was in a completely different key to the rest the band, yet we painfully ploughed on. (Bizarrely the bride and groom had no idea though!)

Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about. 

I’ve been to two Paralympic Games as a coach and I’m now in my eighth year working with the British wheelchair tennis players in preparation for Paris 2024.

What makes you stand out as a band/artist?

Potentially my consistent support of appropriate charities through music and my various roles as a sports coach, which have directly inspired some of my songs and allowed a merging of the two worlds.

I hear you have a new music, what can you tell us about it.

Yes! My third EP ‘Stop and Breathe’ goes live on Friday 27th October, with proceeds from streams & downloads going towards the vital global reforestation work of ‘One Tree Planted’. The opening track ‘I Wanna Believe’draws attention to the collective need to address the causes of global warming and protect our precious home.

The second track ‘Guiding Star’follows the journey of a lost soul in search of direction as they navigate through the complexities and uncertainties of life. The atmospheric title track ‘Stop and Breathe ’ reflects on the benefits of taking time out from the intensity of life to discover a peace within. The closing indie rock track ‘Awakeencourages the pursuit of an open mind to help realise our true potential.

PRE SAVE HERE

What was the recording process like?

Slightly complex, but a good challenge! I laid down acoustic guitar, piano and vocals at home, which was the starting point for each track, and then sent them over to Aron Bicskey – my long term producer and a drumming legend. He then recorded drums and percussion from his studio aka ‘The Nest’ and returned the tracks so I could add bass. Next, Rob Townley got creative with an electric guitar and shared his parts with me ahead of an essential day with Aron in ‘The Nest’ bringing everything together. After letting the songs sit for a while and a few revisions, I sent the four tracks to Alex Balzama from Swift Mastering for the finishing touch!      

What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?

The importance of sharing my demos with Aron prior to the recording process, is to help solidify or develop my ideas further and avoid becoming predictable in my approach. I also shared the full mixes with a few select others before mastering to get some honest feedback, which actually led to a couple of significant changes.

Would you change anything now it’s finished?

I’m really pleased with how the record has come together, especially considering the logistical challenges, but I’d be interested to hear how the songs might have evolved if we had rehearsed them as a band prior to recording…

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?

If you’d like to know more about, or directly support the reforestation work of ‘One Tree Planted’ head over HERE

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