Gold Crwn Magazine ISSUE 28 // ALEX G - Page 53

How was the journey of reading all of your submissions?

We got in about 1400 stories. I sat down with a group of friends and we read through all of them. It took DAYS. But we narrowed it down to a handful of stories from which I picked five that really resonated with me. It was a bit overwhelming, and when we got all the submissions I had a moment of, “Oh no, what have I done…” It just felt like such a huge responsibility to, first of all, read through everyone’s hurt and trauma and relationship experiences, etc. as well as to do my best to tell that story through song. But it was made pretty clear through that process that this was a therapeutic and healing thing for a lot of people. Our world needs more space for people to share their stories. People are just waiting for an opportunity to do so. A lot of people felt alone, but reading those stories, there was not a single person who submitted something whose experience wasn’t shared by others—usually MANY others. We are able to recognize our shared humanity in moments like these.

Which was your favorite story to tell?

I feel like they all were my favorite while I was writing them. I genuinely loved telling all of them for different reasons. I think the easiest story to tell was probably Charlotte, because it felt more like a response to her than a retelling of a specific story. I wrote that one first, and very quickly. Alena took me the longest to write. We were actually in the studio already before I wrote the bridge. But that’s one of my favorites for sure. And I think Royston was the most challenging to write, because I haven’t had to deal with the death of a loved one in that capacity. I wanted to tell the story in a way that was empathic, that honored the pain and the loss without being too dark, and also without being minimizing or trite about his experience losing someone he loves. It always takes courage to tell stories that don’t resolve, but I think they’re some of the most important stories to tell as well.

If someone wrote a song about your story, what would be the title?

Oh man. I don’t know how we’d compile the crazy stuff that has happened in my life into just one song—that’s why I’m a songwriter! So I can write about all these separate, crazy experiences in my life as they happen. But if someone did try to write a song about my story, honestly it would probably just be called WTF. Ha!

You also offer to write music for people through Etsy. I haven't seen any artist use their ability in such an amazing way. Where did that idea come from and how have the stories affected you ?

Thank you! 2016 was a difficult year financially for me, and career-wise it wasn’t going super great either. I was having a lot of conversations with people who I respect, whose careers I’d like to model mine after, asking them how they make a living simply doing what they love. I had been trained to look at numbers and trends and fads, and to obsess over them, but I was at the point where I just wanted to create and write and do things that bring me joy. I noticed the only "trend" in the careers of people I respect is that they very simply just do what they love. They don’t chase fads. There’s no secret ingredient. They have all just chosen to live an authentic life, and their career follows that.

So one day I was brainstorming with my creative partner (who runs a custom poetry business on Etsy), and we just thought, Well, if people like buying custom poetry, I bet they’d be really excited about buying custom music! I hadn’t heard of anyone doing that before, and it seemed like a great side business for me since I love sharing other people’s stories through music and they love hearing their stories in song.

Why did you feel that it was important for you to learn all of the aspects of the music industry like film, social media and collaborating with other artist?

That’s really the only way you can survive in this do-it-yourself YouTube culture. I quickly realized I couldn’t wait around for other people to do things for me, so I learned by watching people I looked up to. And then I found I had a talent and an eye for it. As it turns out, I really love doing all of it. It’s time consuming, certainly, and sometimes I want help, but it’s amazing to not have to wait to get something done because of budget issues or schedule constraints. I think it’s an important thing to learn if you want to succeed in this DIY age and be able to take control of your own career.