My new Video ‘Butterfly’

Here is my new video ‘Butterfly’.
We filmed it in Berlin where I used to live.
Berlin was reborn in the nineties, after the wall came down people could feel free and light…
..light like a butterfly..

Get it HERE:

https://umi.lnk.to/butterfly

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New Horizons

The first half of 2018 draws to an end and it has been busy one.. (not that the past few haven’t..:-))
Im deeply involved in the further construction of my solo career, my new single ‘butterfly’ is coming very soon,I am continuing (and going on tour) with my collaboration featuring the legendary David Morales (new single in the pipeline) and my ongoing work with Planet Funk will finally result in a new album after the summer..
Everything else is a surprise (to me too!!)
Exciting times ahead- cant wait to share new music with all of you!
Much love
Alex

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Social Rant

Its been a couple of months now since I released my first single as a solo artist, ‘the ocean’ vs Edo.

The first thing  anyone these days asks me regarding this (for me) important step seems to be: “How many streams, how many views”? “Hmm..I think about 200k on Spotify and maybe 50 k on youtube..? The standard reply is mostly something like “Not bad.. But maybe you can get some of your A-list friends to share it, so you’ll have more hype..?”While I still think about what ‘more hype’ in this context exactly means I usually at this point steer the conversation in a slightly different direction; explaining the concept behind the song or the struggle it is to find a sound which entirely represents the musician I am today, respecting my roots and my musical past but insinuating also something new for my future career.. But after a few seconds of exploring this I tend to lose my fellow partner in conversation.. “Ok ok ok yes I totally get that.. Have you seen who left the xfactor yesterday?”

Now don’t get me wrong. I am completely aware of the reality and the importance of social media and new ways of marketing and communication in the world we live in today. I would even go one step further and say that I mostly embrace them, also because I’m tired of people who keep saying “Back in the days everything was better..”In fact, I have an Instagram account that I use regularly and I actually quite enjoy the process of taking care of it. Yes, I also use stories and I am aware that Facebook is now to be used in a completely different way.. Hell I even know what snapchat is! (Although I can’t get myself to use it). .

What I regret though is that it feels as if all these new channels of communication, (which open yourself to an audience you would have never been able to reach before), are used too often as if they were an end in itself..It seems like it is first and foremost essential to have and use all the channels of social media imaginable but  what is actually being communicated is too often secondary.. (It also seems to be extremely trendy to use words and terms of social media itself (like ‘Instagram’, ‘likes’, ‘snapchat’ etc.) in your lyrics…

This type of thinking then results in the following reasoning:

I want to share A but if I share B I reach a lot more people..I actually want to talk about X but I’ll talk about Y because it’s sexier and its a trending topic..I want to elaborate Z but people don’t have time for that..

Similarly , if you’re going to an event but you don’t post about it, it’s as if you haven’t actually been there..At the same time, you only go in order to post about it, enjoying yourself becomes secondary..“Ok Ive done my Instagram story now, can we go please”?..

I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t think social media is used to its full potential. Content should be essential..

But then again, do the majority actually want content? What is content these days? Maybe no one actually cares? Who cares what the song is actually about if the hottest rapper around shared it on his profile..? Who cares about my right to vote if I can govern my computer..? Who cares if we’re slowly destroying this planet if it won’t directly affect me? Who cares if I insult some one online if ill never meet that person in flesh?

Well I care. And I shall continue to do so. In fact my next post will be about the concept of ‘the ocean’ whether its trendy or not.

Oh,and here’s the link. Now kindly share pls..;-)

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Why Bowie’s death is such a huge loss

The reactions to the death of David Bowie are overwhelming. Nobody it seems, hasn’t been touched in one way or another by this artist.
Artist. In fact, that is the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of David Bowie.
A true Artist. Singer, songwriter, producer, actor, painter- Bowie was so much more than just a singer. He was (also through his alter egos) a much more complex, much more interesting figure than most other pop stars of today.
Bowie always had a concept, always delivered a message. So often today we are confronted with musical realities who are difficult to grasp, hard to differentiate precisely because of the absence of a true identity or message.
Yes sometimes music can also just exist to entertain, to somehow bring emotions to the listener without necessary make some sort of statement, some deeper cultural connection.
But the truly great always seem have something deeper to their communication.
Bowie’s musical journey itself is just as striking because of its diversity, its constant evolution and reinvention.
Not many modern artist are able to constantly evolve and successfully alter through their music (apart from maybe Radiohead?)
I recently saw an Interview from 1999 in which Bowie said that if he was born at a later stage he wouldn’t have chosen to be an artist today. Because when Bowie became Bowie he made a choice, a choice to be rebellious. He thought music had to bring change. In And Bowie spoke out for the underprivileged, he was black, white, gay, straight, controversial, a beautiful human being, the thin white duke, Major Tom but most of all he was Ziggy Stardust. Not because of Ziggy, but because Stardust was an alien rockstar , from another planet..
In the interview Bowie goes on saying that today making music has become more of a simple career opportunity..
And who wants that?

Bowie taught us that we can be heroes, just for one day.
But he will always be one.

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In times like these…

You know that feeling, when you have been working really hard for something for a long time and it’s finally time to deliver?
On the 13th of October my band Planet Funk finally released the new single ‘We people’. Strange title you might think?
When we were writing in the studio in Florence at the time, we realized how hard it was to communicate with each other, as everyone was busy ‘communicating’ through their phone. Weird how this device is supposed to connect you to the world, however, at the same time it disconnects you completely from what is around you..
There is also the emphasis on the ‘I’.. Why is everything ‘I’ we thought?? So we decided to rather communicate with each other, writing a song which focuses on exactly that, the WE, not the I.
The result was the song We people and curiously as soon as we started playing it to a few people, Save the Children contacted us and asked if they could use it for their ‘Everyone’campaign, fighting infant mortality worldwide. In the true spirit of the idea we decided give them the song and donate all digital profits to Save the Children.
Subsequently we also released a free app, which just like in the official video clip, lets people around the world participate through a high five, reinforcing the ‘ We feeling’ , which, in times like these, seems very important to us.

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Monday mood 6

I dont think I qualify as what one would call a ‘Coldplay Fan’. However, when a while ago the band announced the release of their latest album ‘Ghost Stories’,I realized actually how important this band has been to me over the years. In the anticipation of new material by Martin & Co I remembered how all of their previous five albums have become a soundtrack to special episodes in my life.Their songs were always able to capture and reflect certain emotions that surfaced in particular moments – coincidently mostly challenging moments, in my life.

When Parachutes was released for instance, I had just decided to move to the Uk with the intention to shape my life as a professional musician. I will never forget the way ‘Yellow’ made me feel and until today it has remained my soundtrack to a feeling of being about to realise a dream,changing one’s life for the better in exchange for leaving behind the familiar and nostalgic place one might call home.
‘A rush of blood to the head ‘came at another turning point in my life. I moved once again to a new country leaving behind a relationship I didn’t want to leave. ‘Warning sign’ and ‘the scientist’ were the stand outs for me on that one. I remember seeing Coldplay live during that time for the first time and being particularly impressed.By the time X&Y saw the light of day I was finally onto something in my musical career. I was living in between Paris and London, chasing my dream but at the same time losing a person that was very dear to me. That was the price to pay I guess, nothing could fix me those days..
By the time Mylo was released I had finally reached a few of the goals I had set myself,moving home once again and touring the world. Coldplay aswell had reached new horizons, with this album perhaps establishing them as one of the, if not the- biggest band in the world.Once again i faced challenges, this time of more serious matter, a period i prefer to forget. ‘Mylo Xyloto’ became, maybe also as a consequence my least favourite of all Coldplay albums, but just when I thought they had lost me for good I saw them live again, this time in a stadium in Turin and couldn’t help but take my hat off to them.

So here we are again.This time it’s ghost stories and I’m once again at a crossroads in my life.
My second, (the famously so important second album) with my band planet funk is about to be released and i hardly ever put so much effort into anything before, we have been writing, recording,mixing and producing for close to 2 years now. Also personally, I have somehow once again decided to face new challenges when finallyeverything was going smooth. And Coldplay release Magic.
But will they still be magic to me after ghost stories?

Yes, Chris Martin certainly went through a break up and he tells us a little too much about it..
In fact where he used to drop the odd ‘the truth is I miss you’ or ‘when you get what you want but not what you need’, we are now in for seemingly endless desperate phrases such as ‘I think of you, I havent slept’ and ‘All I know is that i love you so’. It’s difficult though-as an artist you want and you have to express what is inside of you. And this time around Martin went for a bluntly honest approach of telling the world how shit he feels. And it was clear that he was going to be judged. I think two or three songs of this style would have been enough and i dont understand how the rest of the band o the management didn’t get involved..In fact it sounds, more than any previous coldplay album, like a Chris Martin solo project. While I firmly beleive that it actually takes guts to admitt to the world you are feeling shit but espascially with what is going on in the world at the moment a few more positive messages would have perhaps helped. (like ‘a sky full of stars’)

However, apart from perhaps songs ‘Ink’, ‘Tue love’, ‘Another’s arms’ and ‘Ocean’s the album also carries amazing moments, magic moments. The melodies, the timing and the delivery are still very much Coldplay at their best and what made them so appealing in the first place. Still able to provide a soundtrack for a period of one’s ife. Still magic? Time will tell..

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Of old and new habits

I’ve lost a habit which was very dear to me. A procedure, a succession of events that used to make my day and bring a smile to my face. The moment you actually realize that you have lost a habit is when you replace it with something else. I realized that this morning.
The habit i lost is the one of going to a record shop, buying the album I’ve been wanting to buy for a while, take it home, unwrap it impatiently, take out the booklet, listen to the whole thing from start to finish while reading the lyrics and production notes, and hoping for a hidden track.
I sadly cant remember the last time I’ve done this.
When i was a teenager in Luxembourg i used to work in a record store – i listened to all sorts of stuff and really appreciated the concept of an album. A record or a cd was almost a holy object to me. When i was even younger i remember how i used to save my pocket money to be able to buy a certain album. It used to take absolute ages to get there! Yes, today the record industry is changing, esp. considering physical cd’s and also the artistic concept of the album per se is dated – which is a real shame i think.
But as i said, i haven’t only lost that habit, i have also replaced it with something else.
You see, due to all the traveling i do these days, i have developed another habit. The night before I leave I pack my bags. I always take more or less the same things so by now it goes quite fast. And an integral part of my travel preparations has become to prep my iPod/iPad for the trip. So i buy a new album online without listening to it (that would be cheating), make sure its on there and I’m off to bed. Only the next day on my way to the airport or train station i listen to it – and – true to my old habit – i usually listen from beginning to the end.
Yes – its not the same as the old habit, i miss the smell of the booklet and the lyrics and production notes but it feels almost equally special to have something new in the bag.
Today my new albums were ‘Coexist’ by The XX and ‘Hallo Welt’ by Max Herre – two great albums i don’t regret buying at all.

As i look outside the window i can see we are approaching Napoli, one of my favorite cities in the world.
It has been an amazing tour once again – thank you all so much for coming to see us!
A special shout out to our Russian friends – its been the first time for me over there – thanks for the warm reception and I hope to see you soon!
Right, the stewardess looks angry – i better go.
I wish for you all that your favorite habits never die – and if they do – may they be replaced by equally nice ones!

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Monday mood

Once again I’m on the train. It seems to be my favourite place to update you guys these days, not really sure why.
I’ve been to see the boys in Florence, we recorded a song for a Reebok commerce which we shot while ago in Paris. I love our writing sessions-we were supposed to write 30 seconds of music; by the end of the day we had done demos for three new songs!
Last week while sound checking in San Martino we also started writing new material – being on tour and therefore around each other all the time is definitely inspiring! The week before that we were in Parabiago where we played at the Rugbysound festival – one of the best crowds I have ever seen. Thank you for that experience, I will never forget it.
We also recently played the Olympic stadium in Rome which, as a massive football fan, was quite amazing for me. Our backstage area was the player’s changing rooms and when we walked out onto the pitch I imagined what it must be like to play a football game in front of all these people. Having said that I am of course more than happy to be a musician instead and enjoyed playing a gig in front of all these people!
That same night Italy beat Germany at the Euro’s – shame the Azzurri didn’t go all the way after that. As we are playing in Ibiza this summer I will of course say Congratulations to Spain. In the end they deserved the title.
We just found out we will also play in Russia this year which is really exciting as i have never been over there.
The most important event for me lately however has been to perform at the Fuori Orario at a solidarity concert for the victims of the earthquake in Emilia.
I wish all these people (also in L’Aquila) a lot of strength in these hard times.
Right, I’ve almost arrived, see you on the road very soon I hope!
Much love,
Alex

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Friday Mood – From Macao to Viterbo

Once again I’m on the train from Milano to Rome.
This time for a gig-tonight we are playing at Flex Club in Viterbo.

While in Milano I went to the Macao, a skyscraper a few minutes from Milano’s central station, occupied since recently by a group of artists, curators, critics, graphic designers, performers, actors, dancers, musicians, writers, journalists, art teachers, students, and anyone working in the field of art and culture.

Since being in Italy I have been very impressed with the attitude of a lot of artists who are fighting for our culture to flourish in a country that used to be the pioneer of arts but has suffered considerably since, also due to diminishing government funding.
Through a friend I visited the Teatro Valle a few weeks ago in Rome, a great example for the Occupy movement in Italy. Occupied since last June when the government slashed support to cultural institutions and put the theatre up for sale, a lot of important artists have performed there since, all for a brighter future of the Italian artistic landscape ‘in a world increasingly hostage of the finance that exploits and absorbs the primary task of culture, which is being an economy of sharing’ (www.teatrovalleoccupato.it).

The Macao in Milano is the latest building to be occupied after the Lavoratori dell’arte, Cinema Palazzo in Rome, Teatro Valle Occupato in Rome, Sale Docks in Venice, Teatro Coppola in Catania, L’Asilo della Creatività e della Conoscenza in Naples, and the Teatro Garibaldi Aperto in Palermo.

Let’s hope that the Macao can become a true platform for art and culture in Milano. Here is their facebook link to supper if you feel like it: www.facebook.com/macaopagina
Hope to a lot of you tonight in Viterbo!

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Monday Mood

On my way to Rome to film the video for our new single with Mr. Giuliano Sangiorgi (from Negramaro) I am wondering:

- How nice it is to be back on Tour
- Can Francois Hollande really change things for the better in France?
- There is a war going on in Syria, more than 10.000 people died in the last 14 months – but why does our media hardly cover it? Do we not care?
- Amazing how good italy is with trains (free WiFi, mega fast, on time) Apparently about to introduce even faster trains.
- Why are ‘We are Augustines’ so bloody good?
- How did SC Freiburg manage to stay in the Bundesliga??? (Danke Herr Streich!!!)
- Is summer finally here???
- Why do so many amazing influential Musicians have to die lately? (RIP Mr Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch)
- Why does music sound so much better when looking outside of a train window?

Wishing you all a good week! And let me know if you have any answers to the above (Please comment on Facebook).

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