Abraham Alexander is a relatively green musician, a fact that belies the maturity of his sound. Just four years into playing music full time, he is releasing a self-titled EP that reflects his cultural influences as well as his internal rumination on purpose and identity.
Alexander hopes that this EP will act as his ambassador, announcing that he has arrived and put his music in front of a whole new group of listeners and fans.
“I feel like I am a newborn baby in this, and it’s new territory, and I’m swimming and figuring out who I am," the singer says. "So far that’s been the remedy and the formula, is me going back to roots, and figuring out who I am.”
Alexander’s personal identity is a collage of cultural heritage, the complex intersection of his international upbringing.
Born in Greece to a Nigerian family, Alexander was raised in Athens until he was 11, when he moved to Arlington with his family. The songs he writes and the sounds he makes are inextricably linked to his journey; as his time growing up between America and Europe influences his identity.
Though Alexander has been playing guitar for a long time, he took his first steps into the music scene while studying at Texas Wesleyan, where he discovered and fell in love with the culture of Fort Worth.
“Fort Worth is dubbed 'Cowtown,' and so in my head I would think, ‘Oh, it’s just cowboys in that place,’" he says of his original misconceptions. "I was blind to all of the nuances and blind to the colors that were actually driving the city.”
The diversity he saw drove him to explore the city and led him to his artistic purpose: tearing down preconceived notions and calling out truth.
“As artists our job is to deconstruct your pre-notion of what something is and actually give you a fresh perspective, or declare what you think, giving something the true identity of what it is,” he says.
Alexander is a deep thinker. It’s obvious from the way he talks about the world, his music and the intersection of the two. And though his musical influences range from soul and blues to electronic and indie music, every composition he has released is reflective of his thoughtful inner life.
Two of his latest singles showcase the breadth of his musical expression. “Lovers Game” is an electronic song with retro elements that lay the base for a contemplative look at the dying embers of a relationship. “Stay” is a sweet, slow and soulful composition about his love affair with London and the push and pull of his transatlantic heritage.
Alexander recorded the EP between October 2018 and this March at Dallas' Modern Electric studios and Abbey Road in London, melding the authenticity and roots of American soul and blues with the fresh sounds he found in European music to express his journey of self-discovery.
“I love that fact … even the writing process and recording process is a mirror image of me and how I came into this process to begin with,” Alexander says.
Elements of John Legend, Michael Kiwanuka, and Moses Sumney are all present in the young artist’s well-formed soundscape, and he's an on-par musical treat.
Lyrically, Alexander draws inspiration from the depth of works like Bob Dylan’s “Blowing in the Wind” and Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come.” He sees music as the vehicle to deliver powerful questions and truths about the world that may not surface otherwise.
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More than anything else, Alexander is proud of the honesty in his debut project. From the beginning of his artistic journey, honesty — first about himself and his identity, and then about the world — has been his goal.
“If you died tomorrow, what are the songs that live on? That is your autobiography,” Alexander says. “I want to be remembered for telling the truth, for being honest and someone who wants unity. And I think unity can only be achieved by honesty and vulnerability.”
Alexander strives to write all of his music in a way that's undeniably vulnerable and authentic.
“For me, it’s like, ‘Don’t worry about making someone dance.’ You just have to be yourself," Alexander says. "You have to be able to articulate the feeling that I’m feeling at this very moment. Can I get that out?… That feeling that I’m having in this moment and being able to share that with the world and then connect in so many ways.”