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Check Out Alexei’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alexei.

Hi Alexei, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
Well, I was born in Moldova where I spent the first thirteen months of life in an orphanage and was then fortunate enough to be adopted and raised in New York City by my two parents, who are both teachers and artists. My dad is a composer and my mom is a painter. They’re two of the most hard-working humans that I know and I’ve looked up to them all of my life. As a kid, they let me express myself in whatever ways I wanted to from a very young age. I started singing, dancing, and playing music all the time as a child, and once I’d learned how to write in school I was then writing songs. The oldest one that I can remember was literally about my iPod Classic that I owned at the time and how much I loved it.

As I got older, I continued to record my thoughts and feelings down whether it was through songs, poems, or plain old entries in a journal. It’s funny ‘cause I can remember how badly my parents first wanted to get me into guitar and piano classes so that I at least had an instrument in my hand. They always knew that writing music and singing were my biggest passions and no matter what, I was going to follow them as I grew up and they tried to help support my dreams. I went to an arts-focused elementary school, a junior high school for artists and writers, and in high school, I was a vocal major and trained the most rigorously as a singer solely. I wasn’t so sure that I wanted to continue with school after that, though.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Throughout all of high school, I didn’t see myself going to college. My main desire was to dive headfirst into my music career like I had been waiting for. At eighteen, I moved out of my parents’ place as a high school graduate and independent artist and immediately began working two local jobs to support myself. The next year and a half was a personal rollercoaster, so let’s just say that I had a lot to write about during that period, but I also learned some of the most valuable lessons that I have so far in my life. I finally found the strength to jump over the current obstacles that I was facing at the time and moved out to Los Angeles but, sustaining myself out here on my own hasn’t been the easiest journey either. The first year I felt like I was just trying to get my foot in the door by meeting other artists and making and sharing as much of my own music as I could.

I soon realized that I actually wanted to learn everything I could about producing and the following year, I was back in school as a struggling college student, studying music production. Once I started receiving opportunities to talk to A&Rs and play them my own work, I felt like I was finally getting somewhere as far as my career in the industry. However, labels are usually wanting something specific and if you don’t have it they try to convince you that you’re missing something vital, even if whatever that is only really serves them and not you. You can’t base your worthiness off of commercial expectations when it comes to art. The right audience will always gravitate towards you as long as what you create and put out there means something to you.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
When I was younger, people knew that I sang but I was more private about my songwriting because of how personal it was to me – even though now it’s what I’m most proud of. Also, growing up I didn’t initially see myself mastering producing for my sake or anybody else’s but now I write and produce, not only for myself. I think expressing myself through songwriting will always feel the most authentic to me though so, I’m devoted to that for the rest of my life.

What matters most to you? Why?
Overall in life, I think being understood. That’s why I write songs. Most of the time, no matter what emotions I’m feeling, my mind is racing. It’s like I can sense my own thoughts and words tripping over one another in my brain at times. Sometimes I feel like I can’t get through to people without writing what I want to communicate right in front of me. Releasing and recording down those thoughts is the way I calm my own mind. It allows me to read, dissect, and understand it all – the good and the bad. Turning them into songs makes me feel reassured that I’m getting my point across, even if no one is listening; Music has just always brought me a catharsis and comfort like no other. I don’t know where I would be without it.

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Image Credits:

Josh Aikin

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