We had the good fortune of connecting with Alex Charles and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alex, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I think it’s extremely important to take risks especially when there is a potential for those risks to provide value on the other side or unlock something deep down you’ve been holding back. It’s taken me years to get more comfortable with risk but I think it’s an absolute necessity for music artists and entrepreneurs alike. I believe taking risks is best when you are honest with yourself and are in touch with your instincts. Easier said than done but when you have that indescribable feeling of affirmation in your stomach, you should go for it.
I like to look at risks I’ve taken as investments in myself. Sometimes those risks don’t pan out, but the action gets you closer to your goals and helps provide direction even if that direction is “get me the (insert expletive) out of here!” Like most people, many of my risks have been financial and often times I’ve put myself in debt doing things like purchasing music marketing courses, buying equipment, making music videos, hiring musicians, engineers, etc. However, I often find that the value from these investments far exceeds the price tag.
I also think taking risks in my music is so important. I want to be able to try to talk about the topics that are difficult for me. For instance, I was born with unique physical features in particular my eyes, arms and hands and it’s a topic I’ve always avoided writing about. When a supporter reached out and suggested I write about it, I decided to take on the challenge even though it was uncomfortable for me. The song is called “Different” and it’s about celebrating being unique. The song comes out this upcoming week and I cannot wait for you to hear it.
At this point in my life and career, I feel more ready than ever to take things up a notch in the risk department. For me, that means more connecting with fans, more live show dates, and of course more musical releases.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
So I am a singer, saxophonist and music producer. At this point, I would say I am most excited about tying up my debut album which I expect will be out this summer. It sort of ties a bow around all my experiences I’ve had in the City of Angels for the past seven years. I’m really proud of where it’s at and I’m in the finishing stages.
My process of getting to where I am today has a lot to do with my love for music production. As much as I am a performer, I am equally a music producer. This means I’ve produced most of my original songs in addition to writing them. I love making beats, learning new tools, composing, arranging and creating lush complex musical soundscapes. I think being a producer is one of my favorite parts of being an artist in addition to singing and performing on stage.
To that end, I think one of my biggest challenges is maintaining focus. Because I am a music producer, often I get caught up overextending myself and working on projects that pay right now and thus sacrificing my own artistry. It is a balance that I think all up and coming artists have to deal with. But I keep learning how to push forward even when I feel like I’m not enough. For me, that often means journaling, reading encouraging books, and meditating.
I really want my brand to be about lifting my fans up, I want to connect with them authentically and honestly. I want to spread positivity and love. I want them to feel my heart and I want to inspire.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
A really great day getaway is Malibu. I especially like Zuma beach. For comedy, The Ha Ha Comedy Club was a great recent local spot I really enjoyed in North Hollywood.
For drinks, check out Abbot Kinney in Venice.
For food, I love Angelinos in North Hollywood for Italian food, Ahi Sushi in Sherman Oaks. Tijuana Grill in Van Nuys. Hayats Kitchen for Mediterranean. Those are some of my favorite local Valley spots.
For museums, the Broad is a great one.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to thank my longtime vocal coach and mentor Michelle Oram. She’s been my teacher and ally since I was 8 years old when I took a drama class in the 3rd grade. Not only did she teach me how to sing with great vocal technique but more importantly she taught me how to get out of my shell and be myself. She’s also done if for countless other students. I still consult and reach out to her to this day and she’s one of the people I know will always have my back.