Hey Alexander, how are you doing - really? How’s this year going for you so far?
I’m pretty good! A little tired at the moment, been on the go for most of the year so far and it’s starting to catch up with me a bit. But I just got off tour with John Mayer which was surreal so I really can’t complain.
You’re releasing the deeply personal track “The Hardest Part” today - can you tell us about the person who inspired it? What was your relationship?
This is a question I’ve been trying to mentally prepare for but still am struggling with how to answer it. Out of respect for their privacy I will only say that they were a friend of my family. An extra layer to the inspiration behind the song was that I had also unfortunately lost a couple other friends at a similar time and I was really struggling to find any clarity in the sadness. I still am, but writing this song certainly helped get me part of the way there.
Is song writing cathartic for you?
Definitely, but unlike a lot of songwriters, I can’t write while I’m in the eye of the storm. For me, songwriting is something I do to help reconcile my emotions after the fact. It’s the last step in my grieving/healing process.
Did writing this song help your grieving process? Do you see the song as a way to memorialize this very special person?
This song definitely helped the grieving process. It gave me the space to come to terms with not having all the answers right away. I’m a fairly pragmatic person and death (while often binary) can feel so abstract in its effect on you. I think part of grieving is letting go of some of the craving for control over your feelings.
What do you want people to take away from this song? And from your music in general?
I always want people to take away the fact that our experiences are unique, but our feelings aren’t. I think there is a lot of comfort in that. I hope people see my songs as friends that can lend a shoulder to cry on or a hand to hold through good times and bad.
What was it like touring with John Mayer?
It was a thousand dreams come true. John has been such a steady figure and inspiration in my rise as both an artist and a person. To get to share the stage with him and his legendary band night after night was a true honor.
What’s your fondest memory from the tour?
John was kind enough to come out and play with me during my set one night. We covered “Everybody Want To Rule The World” by Tears For Fears. The show was obviously a bucket list moment, but I had even more fun in soundcheck getting to just hang and shoot the shit both verbally and musically.
Did he give you a memorable piece of advice?
Man, he gave me a lot of good advice. This isn’t technically advice, but one thing he said I will remember forever. After thanking him profusely for the 100th time, he said “You’re welcome, but this isn’t charity. I really think you’re great.” Hearing that from someone like him was so validating and gave me a lot more confidence going into the rest of the shows.
Who would be your dream person to work with next?
Will you be releasing an album soon?
The album is done! Coming very soon. I’m extremely proud of it and extremely excited for people to get to try it on and see if it fits where they are in life.
What’s next for you? Plans for the rest of the year?
I just want to tour and play basketball as much as possible.