Toronto born and LA based, independent pop artist Alexander Steward is no stranger to commercial success and the music industry. With millions of streams on his singles and videos, as well as an ever-growing fanbase from all over the world, Alexanders impressive voice is establishing more and more in the music world.
We had the pleasure to meet Alexander before his performance at The Great Escape Festival 2023, in Brighton and we did talk about very personal stuff, his music and fashion… of course.
Dive in and enjoy our conversation with Alexander!
Hey Alexander, thanks for taking the time to have a chat with us, here in lovely Brighton. How does it feel to be back in Europe/the UK and to perform here?
It feels amazing! This is my second time now getting to do some headline shows in the UK and Europe. I honestly love it, the crowds are phenomenal. I’m still not used to people singing my songs back to me, that’s probably the best feeling on the whole planet.
Is there any significant differences between the crowds back home in LA and European/UK audiences?
I just feel like the European/UK audiences just go 10x harder. I don’t know what it is in the air here but it is crazy when you’re on the stage getting that energy from everybody.
Your new single ‘I’m Trying‘ is out now. When did you write this song and where did the inspiration for it come from?
I wrote this song about a month and a half ago and immediately knew that it had to come out. The inspiration is about mental health, something that I think is very important and something that I’ve dealt with. I wanted to put this song to help even just one person feel a little less alone.
‘Echo‘ and ‘When You Love Someone‘, your singles from 2022, hit more than 200 million streams in total so far across all platforms. How do you personally deal with that kind of success? What keeps you grounded?
Something I think most artists struggle with is that nothing really feels like success. It’s always really exciting but you’re always looking forward to the next thing. It’s something that I’ve tried really hard to do, especially in 2023, is just stop and smell the roses, explore the cities I’m in and just really take in every single moment. It’s so easy to keep your head down and just work and grind. But it’s always so important to take a look around and appreciate everything around you.
What’s the best thing about being an artist and what’s the worst?
The best thing for me is the shows. I love playing shows, I love touring, I love being in new cities and meeting everybody. There’s really not a better feeling. The worst thing almost goes hand in hand, it’s that I’m away from home so much and I don’t get to see my friends and family that much. I do really miss them!
In which way are you influenced and inspired by other artists?
I feel like I’m inspired by other artists everyday, especially with the accessibility available now through social media and TikTok. I see a lot of my friends who are artists doing really cool things and it just inspires me! Their songs, the way they dress, all of it.
In summer 2023 you will be supporting Charlie Puth across his upcoming US tour, which dates are you looking most forward to and why?
I mean I’m looking forward to all of them but really looking forward to Los Angeles because that’s where I live and I know I’ll have loads of friends and family there. I’m also really excited for Chicago and Detroit because my parents are coming to those ones. But they have to come separately because we have a dog at home with really bad anxiety!
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
I do, I have two with my guitarist Flynn. We have a handshake, a secret handshake. It’s a long handshake! It takes us thirty seconds to get through. We also have a chant and we do both of them before the show during the intro of the set.
What’s the last song you’ve been listening to on Spotify?
I have a bunch but it might surprise people! It’s all basically 2010s dance music. Before and after the show we also have rituals where I put on my speaker and just blast nostalgic dance music from like 2010. It gets me really hyped and keeps everything really really fun from the moment I get on stage to the moment I get off.
If you could, who would you collaborate with?
I feel like I answer this question the same way every single time! My dream collaborator would be Dua Lipa, I love her and her music and that would just be such a dream.
How do you nurture your own creativity?
I feel like most of my creativity does come from a more dark place so it’s really just understanding why I am feeling that way and being willing to really explore it.
What means fashion to you?
Fashion is really important to me because I think that the way that you look, at least for me anyway, is an expression of how I’m feeling that day or what I want to present to the world. It’s just a completely new art form that I love alongside music and they go so well hand in hand.
How would you describe your style?
I feel like my style changes quite a bit! It’s never anything too drastically to the left, whatever that even means. I just really like feeling good, whatever I wear I want to make me feel good. If I’m not in an outfit that I’m proud of when I leave the house I don’t feel good and it affects my mood. I would say my style is feel-good, even though that makes no sense unless you hear my explanation!
What influences you in the way you dress?
Again, tonnes of stuff! Most of the time I know what I like and what I don’t. I like experimenting with lots of different pieces together. I’ll just go to a store and try a bunch of stuff on, half the time I end up returning most of it but it’s how you find certain things that you like!
Indispensable piece of clothing for you?
Dickies! The pants. I wear them almost every single day. Or a good blue jean. I could literally not go without it. And a white tank top.
How important is the way you dress (especially for your shows)?
Extremely important. I said this earlier but how I dress often is a representation of how I feel. And vice versa! If I don’t think I look good I usually won’t feel that good. It’s really interesting because it ties into my emotions almost and my music. It all comes from the same place.
What did you pack in your suitcase – do you have any travel essentials?
Oh my gosh, I packed what I thought was going to be more than enough clothing but I soon realised it wasn’t nearly enough clothing for four weeks on the road. But the essentials would be the white tank tops, black t shirts, blue jeans and the Dickies. Everything else I can swap in and out but that’s my base, something I will always feel good in. Those will be in every single suitcase I have!
Music is …
Music is a universal language that just makes everything better.
We couldn’t have phrased that better!
Thanks for all your answers and the lovely chat.
You can catch Alexander live on stage, go check out his socials (link below) for tour dates, merch and more.
We are looking very forward to hearing more from Alexander in the future and can not wait to catch one his his sets again!
xx smoke and echoes