We had the good fortune of connecting with Andrae Alexander and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andrae, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risks are a part of life. The average person does their best to take as few risks as possible. They pick the safest degree, get the safest job, pick the safest partner to be with, and then they do their best to die as safely as they can; that is one way to go through life. You could also take the road less traveled. This road looks dark and lonely and has no sign that tells you how long it will go. You may start on this road with a destination in mind, but this road may or may not take you there, but you are guaranteed to be authentically happy at the core of who you are when you get to wherever this road takes you. I know that we all have the ability to choose and I am always a fan of choosing the latter. Every success that I have had in my life and career came from taking a risk and betting on myself. When I had the feeling to move to Los Angeles, I was already here with rent due before I found my first gig. When I was approached to score my first film, I said yes before I knew how to use the software. Knowing that I will not sleep until I have a grasp on a project, once I have the gig, I will succeed. To me, it feels like risks are nothing more than scarecrows that are meant to keep people from self-realizing and achieving their dreams. When you take the first step past your fear, you see the reality that you have made the correct decision and have been supported the entire time. Take the risk, do the thing, love and live your life.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I am a composer/educator/consultant and I specialize in assisting indie artists to reach their goals. What I’m most proud of is recently founding The Music Industry Encyclopedia, which is a series of books that are slated to be released in a few weeks. This series focuses on giving the indie community practical information that is simply stated. Management, Radio, Public Relations, and more are some of the topics that are covered in their own volumes in the series. We are releasing a few books every couple of months. Getting to where I am business-wise took years of trial and error and learning to build a team that I trust. I can do a lot of things decently, however, there are people that can do one thing great, finding them and allowing them to be great has changed my life. It was not an easy journey being that most of what I needed were very specialized services. To overcome this, I networked and became very clear and honest about what I needed. The lesson on being clear and able to communicate what I needed was life-changing and I now use it in every area of my life. How can you know if you have achieved success if you never define what success is? When I started in the music industry I had no idea what I was doing, how to make a living, or who to reach out to for advice. After being with some very successful musicians, I quickly realized that the majority of the industry had no idea what they were doing either. My goal then moved from focusing on my sole success to creating content that would help as many creatives as possible. As far as my brand, I want the world to know that I am most happy when I see the success of someone that I have had the privilege of working with. I now know the joy that a coach feels when their players are on fire. My brand is all about giving from a place of abundance. As a musician, I am absolutely still working at the highest levels of the music industry and choose to give now instead of waiting until my career is over. I understand the needs of musicians because I am a successful musician who started out on this journey knowing no one.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My friends and I love food, nature, knowledge, and great vibes! If we had a week, we are starting in Long Beach, specifically on 2nd Street in Belmont Shore! From great bars, an array of great restaurants, cigar lounges, and a 2-block walk to the beach, this would be a great start to the week. The next day, we are waking up late, skipping breakfast and going crate diving at the Record Parlour in Hollywood. If you are into vinyl, this is the best spot to go! They have a great selection of discount records out front and a huge selection in the store… but what do you know, Mama Shelter Rooftop Bar just so happens to be at the end of the block. We would accidentally end up there for the rest of the day, looking at the Hollywood over great food, taking libations, and having great conversation. To end that night, I would recommend my friends stay at my favorite hotel, Le Parc in West Hollywood. Fireplaces, stairs that lead to the bedroom, plush carpets, etc. But now, it’s late and no one can sleep, so we walk to La Boheme for great food and drinks. It’s day three and we are now close to the Beverly Center. We roam there to shop and now it’s time to eat dinner. I would take them to my favorite restaurant, Papilles Bistro, a spot that focuses on authentic French cuisine. They serve 3-5 course meals of whatever is fresh and available in the city that day. They have the best waitstaff in LA who have mastered wine parring and creating a chill ambiance. We would eat at the counter and watch the chefs cook… the best dinner ever! Being that my friends are on vacation and I live on permanent vacation, we would take the few blocks walk to Afters Ice Cream and yes, it is my favorite ice cream spot in the city! Day four, we wake up feeling the days of eating catching up with us, we drive to Malibu and spend the day lounging on the beach, but food calls and we end up at Paradise Cove Beach Cafe, eat all the seafood we can and spend the day on lounging in the restaurant’s beach area. On day five, we really do need to walk, but my friends are not about to hike – meaning ruin our vacation with exercise – so I take them to the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum to walk around. At this point, I want to change it up foodwise and we end up in Koreatown eating at EMC Seafood. Best date spot ever, you’re welcome. The best restaurant playlist in Los Angeles, Softshell crab sliders, garlic and shrimp noodles, and housemade whiskey – we stay for a while. To end this night, we head downtown to the 2nd Street Cigar Lounge to relax and continue whatever argument we were having at dinner. Day six and it’s now time to stop ignoring the valley. We head to the Glendale Galleria and soak in the Vegas style fountain and shops there. We eat an early dinner at Bourbon Steak and head straight to Pasadena to catch a movie at the iPic theater. After the movie, we end up at Wanderlust Creamery for some gelato and then head to Cigars By Chivas and vow to not smoke again for another year. Day seven and it’s Sunday. We head to Leimert Park for the drum circle, a sage restock, and good vibes. Avid readers, we graze at Eso Won Books. We are now hungry and can’t decide between soul food or Jamaican food, we decide to do both. Jamaican at Ackee Bamboo and soul food at Dulan’s on Crenshaw. I leave my friends and head home to start a full detox.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
This could be a novel, but besides giving a shoutout to my mom for always encouraging me to explore the world and my friends and family, I want to thank my teachers and others in the music industry who gave me advice that I live by every day: Grandma Lucy, Thommy, Dr. Fuque, Clint Graham, No. ID, Jesse “Corparal” Wilson, Patrick McCook, Allee Willis, Kenny Lattimore, Yahzarah, Ledisi, Dr. Elaine Todd, Ayanna Howard, Mr. Jones, Roma Hart, Jerry Ascione, Mr. Hackette, Senorita Evita, Duke Ellington School for the Performing Arts, my Marine Corps and Navy family, CSUN, USC, TESU, 7th St., Parks Chapel, Alfonso and Marta, Seven Bailey, Tracy Swearingen, Rebecca Crews, and countless other organizations and people.
Jacob Bailey James Logan Chris Garcia Urban Possibilities Photography