Music,Piano,Singer Songwriter,Songwriter,Vocals

Blog interview: Alex Spinney

Hello Alex how are you?
Very well thanks! I’ve got a lot on at the moment, mostly music-related, but that’s got to be a good thing!
Congratulations on the release of “I Remember” how does it feel?
Thank you! Well, I was supposed to be releasing this a year ago, so it feels like I’ve been waiting for such a long time to share it with everyone. I’m mainly just excited about it, but of course I’m a little bit apprehensive, as I’m putting my own music out there to be judged, rather than just sending it off to my one friend who I always send everything to!
What’s the story behind it? 
To me, it has a simple but heartbreaking message – that feeling of looking back at a relationship that was once thriving, but has now broken down.

Musically, the song starts out as a piano ballad, and then gradually grows until it’s morphed into this celebratory, gospel-like anthem. I love pop music, and also love the vocal freedom that gospel and soul music give you, so pairing the two together was quite exciting for me! Also, I find it really interesting when sad songs are treated with optimism, and so I’ve tried to create a sense of an optimistic ending here.
I like to keep my songs slightly vague in terms of the specifics, and I hope that allows the listener to find their own meaning within the song.
You are a singer songwriter from South London (Hey, so am I!!) how did it all begin for you?
Nice, where are you from? (Blackheath!) Well, I’ve been playing the piano and singing since I was about 4 years old, so I guess around then?! I’ve always been performing, and have been songwriting on and off since I was about 17. However, I didn’t seriously pursue writing until around 3 years ago. I started properly writing lyrics to my music, which then allowed me to create full, complete songs, which I’ve just adored doing.
(Growing up, I was exposed to a lot of classical music, but no matter how much classical music came my way I seemed to always gravitate back to pop music!)
What did you listen to growing up?
A big old mix of stuff. I loved a lot of British bands growing up, so I listened to a lot of Oasis, Blur, Travis, Stereophonics and Muse. Then I also listened to a lot of pure pop like the (early) Sugababes, Beyonce and Lady Gaga. Then added to that was a mixture of various other things, from Aretha Franklin and Michael Jackson to Greenday and No Doubt, and even some country artists like Alison Krauss, who I still really love.
You started learning the piano at the age of 4, what was your favourite piece to play when you started?
Haha this question is far too tricky! I’d have to look back at those piano books. However, when I was about 12 I really got into playing these Christopher Norton jazz piano pieces, I think it gave me a chance to add a bit of soul into my playing.
You play multiple instruments what’s the easiest and most challenging part of writing for you?
I think the most challenging parts for me are when I can’t match up a verse and a chorus, or I can’t come up with a good enough pre-chorus. I can spend days trying to come up with the right verse if I’ve already got a chorus I’m a big fan of.
The easiest parts, well I don’t think any of it is that easy haha, but in general the music side of things comes to me more naturally than the lyrics.
You’re working on releasing your EP at the moment how’s it going?
Not bad thank you! I’ve found a producer (Adam Connor at Iguana Studios Brixton) who I really enjoy working with, and we’ve been able to take our time with the tracks. We haven’t finished all of the EP yet, but are aiming to by December.
What’s your favourite track from it?
Probably my 2nd single, which may be a bit of a polarising one! It’s a dark, folky, jazzy acoustic number that I have really enjoyed working on. 
You recorded it at Iguana Records, what’s been a fun moment from the sessions?
I mean this is a very boring answer, but I’ve found all of it pretty enjoyable. I think hearing the mix of my 2nd song come together was pretty exciting. Also, I have had a lot of fun with BV’s in these sessions.
COVID impacted the creative industry in a big way what kept you motivated?
Well, I knew that you could still release music, as it’s such an online game these days, so I saw it as time to just keep listening and writing. So I was able to write quite a lot of stuff over that period, which was one positive.
2020 was a time to reflect what did you learn about yourself?
That as a creative, it’s so important to surround yourself with some sort of culture, be it film, music or art. Even if you’re not being particularly productive at that time, it can really help to inspire you.
Did you pick up any new skills?
I bought a George Foreman?! Does that count? I also started my Instagram account, so I saw that as a new skill haha, even though everyone else had been doing it for years. 
What are you listening to at the moment?
Griff, I just love her. She’s creating really relevant and engaging pop music. I also got really into Lauv last year. Oh, and Luz this year! Basically, artists with abstract one-syllable names haha. I also loved Miley Cyrus’ latest album, I’ve loved her development as an artist.
What are you looking forward to next?
Well I’m releasing my debut EP over the next few months, so that’s going to be my main project for the foreseeable future! Also, I’ve just been filming a music video for my 2nd single in North Wales, which was a really interesting experience.
Then I’m looking forward to getting back into the studio, and starting to work on new songs. As much as I love the songs I am currently releasing, I’m still so keen to start recording the ones I’ve written more recently.

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