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Meet Alex Nester

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alex Nester.

Alex, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started recording professionally when I was 9 years old. I began by doing a few jingles, then recording for Concordia Publishing House’s Vacation Bible School albums every year. I was working with Robby Robinson, my dear friend and the best mentor anyone could ever ask for, and eventually, we started writing and recording my first solo album.

In 2001, however, our work–and my whole life–was derailed when I was diagnosed with cancer. I was 16 years old at the time, and beyond terrified. Thankfully, through excellent treatment, tremendous love and support from friends and family, and by the grace of God, I made it through my battle victorious! I am now a 17-year cancer survivor, and extremely proud of it! When I finally got back on my feet and into the studio again we resumed work on my first record. In 2009 I released my debut solo album, “Rattle the Walls”.

My second full-length album came about in 2011 when I, along with only two other volunteers, decided to put on #BurnItDown–a big musical fundraising event to celebrate my 10th Anniversary of being cancer-free. We ended up raising over $10,000 for that first-year, grassroots, one-night event and packed the Troubadour in Hollywood to capacity! 100% of the funds raised were donated to helping people fighting cancer. I released my second album, also entitled “#BurnItDown”, that night and gave a copy to everyone who supported our cause by buying a ticket. To date, we’ve raised over $45,000, and we will be holding another event next year. #BurnItDown 2019 here we come! Fighting cancer through music for yet another year!

Along the way in my career, I have opened as a solo artist for acts such as Earth Wind & Fire, Chicago, Dave Mason, and most recently Rachel Platten, and have shared the stage with Carlos Santana, Stevie Wonder, and The Four Tops. I’ve toured with Tito Jackson and Salvador Santana, and, when I’m not out with my own band, am currently touring with the Urban Renewal Project and Tang Gang. I’ve also released a handful of singles and accompanying music videos that are very near and dear to my heart.

I am currently working on my third full-length studio album due out this summer, and I’m so excited I could spit!! All my music can be found on my website, iTunes, Spotify… all that jazz.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Of course not! If it was smooth it would be easy…and the music business definitely isn’t what I’d call “easy”. I’ve been told “no” more times than I care to remember, had to “compete” with countless other artists out there trying to get themselves heard, and definitely struggled with my own fears of not “making it” to a level I feel I need to get to. And, on top of it all, I had to fight cancer through part of it as well.

What I’ve learned, as cliche as it sounds, is that it’s not about the destination–it’s about the journey. And music is one heck of a journey! Everyone has a unique voice to be heard and a unique story to tell, too, and I think that should be celebrated, not feared. It is incredibly hard work, but creating music and sharing it with the world is more fulfilling than I could ever describe.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Alex Nester – what should we know?
I am a musical artist. I’m a vocalist, songwriter, and keyboard/organ player as well. I started my career in music as a kid and have been making music ever since. My music is a soulful mix of funk, r&b, blues, and gospel, and my main imperative is to connect and inspire with messages of love, faith, hope, and positivity. God blessed me with a strong and special voice, and I aim to use it to the very best of my abilities.

As I mentioned before, I’m currently working on my third full-length album to be released this summer, and I couldn’t be more excited to share it with the world. I am exceedingly proud of this new record, and I hope it reaches people in a beautiful and important way. Spread love through music!

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
To be successful in music, I feel it is imperative that one have a tremendous love for one’s craft and an insatiable passion to continually grow as an artist. I often say, “I must really love what I do to put up with all the negativity in the music business”… and it’s true. The music business is extremely difficult and can be inhumane and cruel more often than not. But at the end of the day, that feeling I get when I’m singing and letting my soul soar with the love of the music itself makes all the bad stuff disappear. There’s only me, the music, and my incredibly full heart.

To love one’s craft is to consistently seek out new growth in it as well. A true musician, a true artist, will never be perfect. Again, it’s about the journey. I’ve told my voice students before that if the day comes where they feel they can’t possibly learn anything new about music, then they should find another calling. If you’re not growing and learning you’re doing it wrong.

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Image Credit:
Michael Delmonte, Matt Grashaw, Chad Tasky, Eddy Navarro

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