Today we’d like to introduce you to David Alexandre Fernandes.
Thanks for sharing your story with us David Alexandre. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My name is David Alexandre Candido Fernandes. I was born in Lisbon, Portugal on March 22nd, 1993. Was born in poverty with a wonderful mother and surrounded by my brother Fernando who’s 6 years older than me. That woman, who was considered Lisbon’s most beautiful woman when she was 14 years old, is called Rosa.
We lived in a wood house in a place called Campo Grande. The house pretty much was falling apart, every day you’d see rats and other insects. My mother worked very hard to earn enough money to move to a better place. And so she did with my father. A father who never gave the value of his wife, abandoning us and appearing when he pleased. A man of drugs, prostitutes, alcohol and stubborn in each and every blood cell.
The house was nice, a dream for someone who came from humble beginnings. Years later, we moved to even a bigger house. If the other was a dream, this one was a paradise. And so I lived happily in my childhood there, in the center of the country, surrounded by mountains, nature, a river nearby and friends in primary school not too far from home. At the age of 9, my mother fell one night in my arms crying. She revealed she was diagnosed with malign cancer, asking Fernando to take care of me.
Luckily, my aunt’s father in law was one of the most expert doctors recognized in Portugal. They both knew this was going to have to be the job from both parts, from my mother and him. My mother died while surgery of cancer removal, but she wanted to see me grow, me and my brother, so she came back to life, abandoning the white light at the end of the tunnel. 1 year later my father got a job offer in Spain that paid better for his profession (Truck Driver), and so we moved to Cartagena, Murcia County sometime in summer.
My childhood would fall apart for 11 years there. Had no friends and didn’t speak the language. In high school, people would curse me, call me whatever name crosses your mind and bully me. I was a victim of racism. From 15 to 16 was when I got into a class where everyone was my friend and respected me. After changing class with time, the same situation happened.
I took a dramatic path change towards people and became something I wasn’t. Seeing my mother crying for my actions led me to wake up and try to find my lost soul somewhere looking for my body. With the years, my mother was diagnosed with Hepatitis. I don’t remember which type, but I do remember clearly my mother spent weeks on a couch, so weak and in so much agony she prayed hard for death. But there I was again, smiling at her, dancing and singing, I believe that’s what gave her strength to fight the disease.
I performed in high school Human Nature from Michael Jackson when I was 16, after his death, being an artist I always listened since a kid from my mother’s obsession with him.
It was then, being on stage I discovered my true passion and what I wanted to do: To be an artist, something that my mother knew a long time ago since she started spying on me while singing in the bedroom. In 2009 I started songwriting. Had so many thoughts, so many feelings, emotions, experiences… I needed to take them all out. But I wanted to be like Michael Jackson, so I locked myself in the bedroom and practiced 8 hours a day for a whole year. I started performing in bars, clubs, etc.
I quit high school to do what I wanted, to earn money so I can help my mother. My father had abandoned us again, and my mother was cleaning a lady’s house, something she can’t do due to her body had been affected by cancer. Fernando, my brother, couldn’t find a job. Crisis had come to the country and millions of people had lost their jobs.
In 2013 I sang at a famous club, far from home, the owner was so astonished by my voice he would call his friend, Francisco Jackson, the official double of Michael Jackson, promoted by the Jackson’s themselves. Everyone dropped their jaw on my performance, being recognized that night as Michael Jackson’s best voice imitator. I was supposed to sign a contract with him and sing at his world tours… but turn his back on me and stuck a knife.
I performed at the same place, but the manipulation of the ambiance was planned to bring me down. Later this was confirmed by an employee who worked there that I was a threat to his career because I danced and sing with my own voice, Francisco just dances.
My mother and brother were with me. They kicked us out with our bags and we called a Taxi to go back home. We spent 200 Euros in the travel, the only money we had to buy food for the month. Later we lost the house. My father picked up the cellphone by miracle and offered us his place to stay in Valencia County. All our furniture was packed and taken to a garage of a friend of his. And our happy moments in that house were brought with us in our minds, leaving there nothing but the silence we never gave.
Months pass and I fall in love with someone from Tenerife Island. I had to try and do more than just work in a Drag Queen restaurant once a week as an Androgyny to earn 30 Euros, so I left for the first time my mother and brother behind to go to the island to try my luck.
Everything seemed to be fine the first month, but that person was a prude, and so I was emotionally abused, treated like scum sometimes, left behind. I had no one near to ask for help, and if I did ask, there were sexual intentions in return. We ran out of money and we were both hungry…very hungry. My mother was at the moment in Portugal in one of my brother’s house (We are in total 6), and I called her to please get me out of there, because at least my partner had his parents house to stay, and I would live on the street.
All I saw at the top of the mountain was ocean and nothing else. Ideas came to my head and I was serious about them. Either die starved or die to try. One of my brothers paid the plane ticket and I could go back in time. But I wasn’t welcomed with open arms, I was treated like a demon in his eyes, I brought hell to his house, true words from his mouth. We asked an aunt of ours to live there, thank God they opened the doors for us. My weight came back to normal. My jeans, that used to fall off my legs for how skinny I was from the island were stable on my waist.
My brother Fernando found a job in a Hospital and we could afford to move out to a small house a neighbor was renting and made us a deal: 300 Euros per month.
Months later, Factor X was a waste of time. After days and hours of interviews and footage of my impressive personal story, one of the judges didn’t like my Billie Jean performance (The Public stood up for me). Disappointed, sang Take On Me from A-ha pretty much badly, and so they sent me home, and I wanted at that point. My mother was with me again. The most evil thing was, they only showed the footage on TV of me singing A-ha instead of Billie Jean where people were loving me.
Months later, SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE arrived and I applied. The first test was successful. And so Dancing All Nite from Janet Jackson in front of the judges, passed the second test earning the golden ticket. One of the judges was Marco da Silva, Britney Spears tour dancer. The third test, which was a Hip Hop choreography, sadly was a fail, which led me back home.
But one of the most wonderful moments I ever had was going out and people recognized me and come close to say how much they loved me. A group of kids, however, was my favorite. They ran to come to say Hello and praised me insanely, for them, I was an idol in their eyes.
Meeting someone by the internet, we fell in love very hard, and we talked for 2 months. A person living in Burbank, California, United States. Fernando lost his job at the hospital, leaving us with no other choice to go back to Valencia in 1 month. This means I would have no wifi or ways to communicate with this person I was in love with, so I said it was best us to go separate ways.
Persistent, the person traveled to my place on March 23rd of 2015, one day after my birthday. I would have 3 days to spend with my mother and brother before catching the plane to come to Los Angeles with the person I was in love with. I had to try, I had to take the opportunity of trusting someone and to finally go to the perfect place where I could start recording my songs.
After 14 hours of flight, there I was. Leaving my family behind far far away, was heartbreaking. My mom’s last words were “Be Happy”, “I will” I replied. Once I got out, she didn’t even look at me, watching me disappear, it was too painful for her. Her son that showed her the world of music, its meaning and the love he always gave her, the support throughout all her life she received, was gone.
I had a friend living in LA for 3 years before coming to America. The 2nd week in the USA I was supposed to stay at his place and he would help me find a job and everything I needed, but as soon I got inside his house in LA Downtown, a bad feeling stroke me inside. Looking at the person I was in love with, with my eyes I was asking for help, but he didn’t read me. “You better start getting used to this place because you’re gonna spend a loooong time here”. His words, his voice, his tone, his intention… I was being kidnapped in my mind, and maybe I really was.
That night, I felt his hands, his breath, his unclean intentions… but I didn’t let it happened and after some fight back, he stopped. Next morning he had to go to work, and I needed to play my escape plan. “When you go to work let the door open so I can go outside and explore the city a bit,” I said. No, he didn’t.
The person I was in love with was down the street in his car waiting for me to get down after telling him what was happening on the cellphone, and me with all my luggage on my back I try to open the door of the house I am locked in but it won’t open. I drop the bags… I was done. I was broken. Crying, I tell him to go away, I can’t get outside, but then, when I pulled the door, it opens. Out of words, I grabbed all my stuff and got out running.
After that incident, I stood living at my partner’s parents house for 2 years. Things didn’t go quite well, not towards his parents or towards him. Michael was born the same day as my father, May 12th. This was my 2nd abusive relationship, domestic and emotional. But I stood strong, for my career, for my dreams, for my mother and brother who believed in me and my talent.
In April 2016, I started recording my songs. Had written a total of 300 throughout the years. With my album planed in mind, I had to explore several music producers, record and re-record the same songs to see who fits best my visions and emotions.
Today I have a total of 6 songs, recorded by music producer Andrew Raiher and Taylor Carroll. Got the opportunity to meet Brian Lian, a student of Michael Jackson’s voice coach and take a few singing lessons with him. Taylor Carroll and I have become very good friends and we love each other, I would even say he is a fan of my art.
Now, after 3 years arriving here, we live in Pacoima, in our own house with several roommates. One of them is an incredible person who has gone through a lot and I am happy to help him with his dream, which records his album as well and building his career as an actor. Michael has become a better person since we moved out to this place and expanded his mind.
Maybe is still not too late to forgive in my heart his actions. I always believed he can be an incredible person, his mentality was the product of a stubborn family so I can’t completely put the blame on him, but in my mind, I still remember what he did. Time will say if I can forget or forgive, I am grateful still he took care of me one way or another all this time.
This is not where everything ends though, I was diagnosed not too long ago with Osteomyelitis Chronic in my left arm after breaking it twice 14-11 years ago, and now I’m going to need surgery again. My arm has been stopping me from doing one of the things I love most: HIKING. There are certain things I can’t do due to extreme pain, but I still went to Janet Jackson’s auditions of 2018. Didn’t pass but almost nothing today defeats me.
After what I went through I’ve become an extremely smart person and open minded to extreme possibilities. This story is the smallest example I can give of my life, without counting many other things. I always embrace people with open arms and give them a chance to prove to me they’re worthy of my friendship. I’m able to see more than what eyes can see and feel what the body allows to.
I hope soon to see my family again. My mother is my fan number 1. To every place I performed, I went, I traveled, she was there, watching me, living the music the emotions at the same time I sang. I am her Idol, I am what she ever wanted to be, I am her, she is me, and that doesn’t make me a fighter any longer, but a survivor.
You die doing nothing, or you die trying. I never gave up and I hope soon to find a record label interested in what I have to offer to the world. I love human nature and I wish to free everyone from the manipulated world reality perception. I still have a couple fights more to overcome… I’m almost there.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Money, lack of love and affection. Betrayal, closing doors.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about David Xandre – what should we know?
In 2017 I came up with a stage name as an artist, that name is David Xandre. I am an R&B/Pop Singer-Songwriter and Dancer and I have an Instagram account where I am very active – @david.xandre
My music idols are Michael Jackson, Aaliyah, Janet Jackson & Shirley Manson. The difference between me and people is that I live in a totally different world. The smarter we are, the crazier we sound to them. It’s a small amount of people in the same circle as me, but that is expanding today. We with the strongest sense of “reality” know what’s really going on.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Andrew Raiher is my music producer and music filmmaker. Without him, I wouldn’t have amazing songs recorded.
Taylor Carroll is an artist himself just like me, a singer-songwriter and producer. You can check him online. Amazing talented man and we both rock in his house building my tracks. He deserves definitely the credit to be recognized.
My mother Rosa Maria de Araujo Candido Fernandes and brother Fernando Americo Candido Fernandes are my most precious priceless souls in life. Without them, I would be dead long ago.
- Address: Seattle
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/david.xandre/
Jonathan August (Photographer)