We had the good fortune of connecting with Shane Alexander and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Shane, what role has risk played in your life or career?
There are countless risks to being a full-time artist. I quit my day job 16 years ago to become a 24/7 independent musician – that’s about as risky as it gets. To be vulnerable and speak/sing your truth publicly is risky. To leave your family at home and tour (often alone) internationally is risky. For me, it’s all about keeping a very high standard for myself, making and maintaining meaningful relationships, finding balance for my family time and trying to use my humble gifts to touch people’s hearts globally. To give up on my dreams and live with regret is one risk I’ll never take.

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.
Music has been my lifeblood since I was a child. I grew up amidst a lot of divorce and angst, but getting lost in records has comforted and inspired me since I was a toddler. After getting my first guitar at 10 and seeing my first concert, I’ve never been the same. From the metal years in high school, to moving to Hollywood at 19 to attend Musician’s Institute, through my first sessions and tours, I’ve just tried to do my best and take nothing for granted. I’ve been through some harrowing times, but I’ve also been fortunate to play my original material in 13 countries from cafes to bucket-list venues like The Ryman, The Greek Theatre and Red Rocks – often alone with just an acoustic guitar. I think the greatest thing about my career is that I’ve stuck it out and continue to thrive. I’m proud to be a hard-working independent, still making my living as an artist, writer and producer.

I taught a successful masterclass in Europe a few years ago I called ‘The Songwriter’s Guide to Life’ which can be boiled down to three essentials: Don’t suck, don’t quit and make friends.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I have friends visiting from back east and Europe fairly regularly, so I do have a few ideas… I love the diversity of LA in all its forms, and food is high on the list. Some of my faves are Phillipe’s downtown, Genghis Cohen on Fairfax, Toi on Sunset, Yamashiro above Franklin and Inn of the Seventh Ray in Topanga. I love the grittiness of Echo Park and Silverlake, the mellow of Los Feliz, the lore of Laurel Canyon and the ultra-Southern California vibes of Malibu and Topanga. I also try to get up to Ojai as often as possible. The LA Zoo, hiking Runyon, hitting museums like MOCA, LACMA and The Natural History Museum are always fun. Checking out shows at places like The Hotel Cafe, Troubadour, and The Hollywood Bowl are also eye-openers for folks visiting for the first time. There are also tons of fun and vibey bars like No Vacancy, Good Times at Davy Waynes, Harvard & Stone and funky classics like El Cid and Ye Rustic Inn.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
If we’are giving shoutouts, first and foremost I’d thank my wife for standing by me through thick and thin and supporting my decision to go full-time all those years ago. Together we’ve shared the fruits of the highlife and the stresses of the lean times. I am beyond grateful. I’d also have to mention Irving Azoff. Working for Irvings’s management firm (and label Giant Records before that) for a decade was my last day job, and although it afforded me a comfortable salary and countless all-access perks, the main takeaway was to have a major-label standard and aesthetic in all I do as an indie. It’s served me well. My Buddhist practice and the writings of Nichiren Daishonin and Daisaku Ikeda have also played a huge role in my sustainable happiness and successes in this insane business.

Website: shanealexandermusic.com

Instagram: http://instagram.com/shanealexandermusic/

Linkedin: http://linkedin.com/in/shane-alexander-8743b02a

Twitter: shane_alexander

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shanealexandermusic

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/ShaneAlexanderMusic

Image Credits
photographers names are embedded in photos where applicable

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