Alexz Johnson — From BC To Brooklyn —

This is a cool read from an interview Alexz did with Sportsology.


Alexz Johnson — From BC To Brooklyn
By Russ Cohen

Alexz Johnson is a singer who has just released her first EP called “Heart”. It’s a project funded by a PledgeMusic campaign, this wasn’t her first choice because he has been signed by big labels but this is clearly her best choice since she raised $50,000 so far and a full album is in the works.

“I raised the money for a full-length album with David Kahne (Avatar Studios) and the album’s just not done. There’s no science to making a record. I wanted to give something back to the pledgers. There was such an outpouring of people wanting material now. And I realize as good as it is, and amazing as it is to use Crowdfund you also feel this real personal obligation. You don’t want to let people down. They’re like your family. So I put out this EP,” she said. “I’m really super proud of it and it gives them an idea of what the album is going to be.”

Growing up near Vancouver her early career started with singing and acting but music won out. It seems to be in her heart and her soul and the fact that she writes all of her songs means she pours it all into each and every song.

“I’d like to think I’m an artist in the early stages like Katy Perry or Bruno Mars, I got to write with him a couple a years ago. I’ve kind of been a major label baby my whole life (now 27). My albums never got released based on luck. I got to work with amazing people. I was with Capitol and Sony and they just never got put out. If the person who signs you isn’t responsible for you anymore, if they leave, they don’t want sloppy seconds,”Johnson stated. “You look like an artist like Amy Mann who has had a career her whole life. Nothing massive but she has a fan base and keeps touring, that’s all I want, that’s all I need. When this platform came up I was like f-ing rad!”

Social media has really helped her as an artist but it’s forced her to be a bit more public than she’d like. The price of fame. And now that she’s getting noticed with her EP the big labels are pursuing her once again. The music business can be a grind.

“It is hard and I think people should know that. It looks all glossy and great but really it’s an f-ing brutal industry. It’s really hard to keep going, it’s tough,” said Johnson, possibly gritting her teeth as she said it. “Right now I wouldn’t take anything back from the experience and how its shaped my music. The live touring experience that I’ve had. It’s taken longer. It’s funny. It’s interesting.”

She knows people who have Grammy’s. She’s worked with them. Her path has been a bit different.

“I write a lot with my brother Brendan who is a producer. I write a lot of songs that are guitar based. I’m definitely hands on with every song that I sing. I once did a charity event with David Foster and Michael Bublé, we shared a stage before his career took off. I realized then I didn’t want to sing other people’s music.”

She’s the type of artist you WANT to support. If she succeeds others get the hope to follow their dreams to do the same. The route will be different as it is for every human on this earth but no matter the high’s or lows, for richer or poorer she’s doing what she loves and the artist wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I didn’t want to be just a vocalist. I wanted to be taken seriously as a songwriter. I wrote music for a series “Instant Star”. I wrote for that for four years with my brother. I finally said ‘I want to do a f-ing solo album’. I love Kate Bush and Peter Gabriel. Kate Bush can sing but she’s not a big vocal singer. Just finding your sound and who you are is important,” she said.

She has an old soul. She likes vinyl, wants to put an album out on vinyl and wants to record in analog because it’s not perfect like digital and the sound is comforting to her and many others.

Living in Brooklyn she enjoys the food, some hockey (Canucks fan) and a touch of the Brooklyn Nets.

“Amazing Pizza in New York, let’s be honest. Bagels are good but soup kiosk’s are amazing,” Johnson said, as I waited for my dinner to show up at my front door. Then we talked about athletes. I like Dan Hamhuis (Canucks defenseman) and I think Todd Bertuzzi (formerly Vancouver now Detroit) is a babe.”

Of the four songs on this EP, “Thank You for Breaking My Heart” seems to be a sarcastic title so I asked her about it.

“Of course. Oh yeah,” she quickly replied. “It’s cool. It’s kind of interesting being able to put your pain into songs. I wanted this EP to be fresh and present.”

Johnson credits Kahne for sound of this EP and encouraged me to hear the difference acoustically. I did and yes I can see where his talent lies and I would like to hear these songs acoustically in concert as well. I think because of Kahne she’ll reach a wider audience faster.

Having reviewed a lot of albums Alexz has one of the strongest, most incredible voices I’ve heard in a long time. You can get her EP here:

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