We had the good fortune of connecting with Alex Maes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alex, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I come from a small town in Colorado called Salida where a river runs through the middle of the town and mountains surround the perimeter. Growing up in this town I didn’t get the same opportunities to learn about music the same way city kids learn about music. For example, I had to drive 3 hours bi-weekly to my vocal and piano lessons, but it was all worth it.
Living in Colorado allowed me to grow up in a supportive community that encouraged my dreams and pushed me to explore the depths of evergreen forests that painted the Rocky Mountains. My youth was spent rafting down white water, hiking some of the tallest mountains in the continental US, and skiing in fluffy powder snow that you only imagine about. These experiences, inspired me to constantly try new things and explore anything that is available to you which eventually translated in my music.
When I started studying music in Boston, I tried anything and everything. I collaborated with as many people as possible, joined as many clubs as I could, and explored every type of music there was to explore by going to as many concerts as I could. Through trial and error, I was able to develop my own unique sound, and if it wasn’t for my need to explore and try everything I would not have met the musicians and teachers that shaped my music to be what it is today.
Growing up in a small Mountain Town has taught me to live life with an open mind and explore all types of music to find my voice, style, and sound.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
It’s been a long journey to get to where I am at today, and I feel like I’m just getting started. I had to learn a lot about music before I dived into making records of my own, but now I feel like I’m at a place to where I can begin to create and release music that represents who I am.
I make soul/funk music with my band The Connection in Boston where we currently go to school. In the future I hope to be on the same stage as some of my favorite bands: Dirty Loops, Tank and the Bangas, Hiatus Kaiyote, Jordan Rakei, and Lianne La Havas. Now that venues are opening up, you can soon see us around Boston performing and jamming together.
The most important lesson I’ve learned in pursuing music is that consistency is the key to longevity and success in your career. As a musician you can get caught up in instant gratification when it comes to success, especially with programs like TikTok and Instagram, but it’s important to continue making strides and content that will help you build a career. One challenge that I’ve had to overcome is making music and art that I can consistently release in order to build my repertoire. It’s hard work and also terrifying to put vulnerable content out in the world for everyone to see, but in return you can build a body of work that can help build your career and grant you the success to continue making art. It’s also important to be consistently learning and growing in your craft so you can be intrigued and inspired to create. I’m working hard to deliver more content that will showcase me and my band this summer so stay tuned!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Last Fall I took a semester off and explore the city of LA before I graduated from college. Though we were still in a pandemic, I did get the opportunity to explore the city a ton. Somewhere you have to visit when visiting LA, even though it’s mega touristy, is Griffith Observatory. You can hike up to the top to get a good workout, and then get an amazing view of the city as your prize. It’s best to go when the sun is about to set so you can see the entire city with a colorful backdrop. This is a great fun activity for friends and family, or even if you are a LA native and want to see the city from a different perspective.
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?
There are so many people in my life that have helped me become the musician that I am today, and continue to support my career as I continue to grow. However, non of this would be possible without the support of my parents. They’ve always supported my dreams and passions, and have pushed me to become better in anything that I aspire to pursue.
First Image – Robert Henry Photography Photo of the band – Andrew Acord Film Photo – Alejandro Welliver