Alexander James Rodriguez shares his EUPHORIA with new track-INTERVIEW
Hailing from London, England but born in Marbella, Spain, recording artist Alexander James Rodriguez scooped up the ‘Rising Star Award’ at the 2021 Hollywood Music in Media Awards for his debut song, ‘My Crew’. The young performer, who sings in both English and Spanish, released his LATAM hit single ‘Bella Loquita’ and California State anthem ‘California’ in 2021, garnering tons of media attention. His single ‘Cherry Bomb’ won the 2021 LA Fest ‘Audience Choice Award’ and was nominated for Best Music Video at the 2021 Hollywood Music in Media Awards, the event’s youngest nominee.
In 2022, Alexander began releasing new music with vocal comparisons to George Michael, Bruno Mars, and Justin Timberlake for his singles ‘Alright,’ ‘Shine’ and ‘Verano Para Siempre.’ As 2023 dawns, Alexander’s latest single is “Euphoria.”
Alexander has already performed in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Francisco and also at the 2022 Grammy Teen Concert. The teen has received widespread acclaim in the press from Variety, Deadline, Music Connection Magazine, FLAUNT, The Source, The Hype Magazine, J-14 and Just Jared Jr.
Let’s catch up with AJ’s Q&A with TWK! (that all rhymes) : )
Photo by Dan Kennedy
Hello AJ, great to catch up with you! You’ve been busy since we last interviewed you, with several more releases under your belt. Your newest track, Euphoria, just dropped, along with a lyric video. What’s the inspiration behind the song and is there a specific process?
Hey guys! Thanks so much and yes, since our last chat I have released a lot more songs. ‘Euphoria’ is actually my 18th single release and is a fully loaded electrifying dance song.
The inspiration behind the song came from wanting a synth beat to come off the back of my single ‘Mister Fahrenheit’, which is very much 80’s pop. This time I wanted a slightly faster BPM and had a clear vision of wanting 124. Usually, we are in the studio and start with the bassline and build from there. The song ended up with 31 music stems and 13 vocal stems, from backing vocals, harmonies, and lead vocals.
The melody and lyrics were written by me, Stephen “Bud’da” Anderson, who has written hits for Ice Cube and Aaliyah, and Liz Rodriguez. To mix it we brought in the genius talents of Ken Lewis, who has mixed multiple BTS smash hits, Usher, Alicia Keys, and Justin Bieber. His mixes have cranked up millions of streams and downloads. The song was stem mastered by AJM Mastering out of Madrid, Spain.
It really does take a village!
In preparation for its official release, it has been on rotation on radio. How does it feel to have it on a Top 40/Mainstream Chart?
Well, it’s early days in the songs lifecycle, but so far the song received early support from SiriusXM Hits 1 Hitbound and other Top40 Mainstream stations. It’s a little wild and I am thrilled. It has taken a long time to get to this point in my music career, and I am ready to ride the wave.
Your previous track, “Circles in my Mind” is a ballad and has done quite well, with over 800K views on YouTube. Why’d you decide to switch it back up to a very different, up-tempo pop song?
I actually heard the beat, which later became ‘Circles In My Mind’ back in 2021. My mom instantly heard the melody for the chorus and wrote the main lyrics driving in the car, but I wasn’t ready for a ballad. I had already released ‘Doesn’t Matter To Me’ at the top of 2021, and we were in the middle of ‘Cherry Bomb.’ I wanted to start 2022 with a funkier vibe, so we recorded ‘Alright’ and ‘Shine’ and shelved ‘Circles In My Mind.’
Then in June of 2022 my grandfather passed away. I was exceptionally close to him. We were in Spain when the decision was made to finish writing ‘Circles In My Mind’ and release it in November. The second verse was written back in LA and based on a poem my mom had written about the seasons changing which she read at the funeral. The song became a sort of goodbye to my grandad, so if you listen to the lyrics it becomes a different emotional feeling. From there we needed a seasonal music video shoot and chose Lake Arrowhead, which is lush with trees and the lake. Zoe Grace Rodriguez was cast as the love interest and we just vibed and had a great day portraying lost love. Most of the time we are laughing in our scenes, then my performance shots were sad and emotional. It was a rollercoaster day of acting!
I understand your track “Mister Fahrenheit,” made quite a splash at the Hollywood Music in Media Awards (HMMAs). Tell us about that experience and what recognition the song and video received.
Oh my gosh, yes. The music video for ‘Mister Fahrenheit’ is very dramatic in a sense. The rain scene took hours to create and the whole video was filmed in 5 hours. We started the dry clothes first, then with 3 T-shirts filmed the rain room. When the music video was submitted to the Hollywood Music in Media Awards, I was expecting a nomination, but we were and I was beyond shocked and thrilled. During the HMMA’s they played clips of all the nominees and it was wild to see my music video amongst the others on the big screen.
I met Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson backstage. Tom gave me some sound advice and words of encouragement for my career. And I had a long chat with Dianne Warren before she stepped on stage to perform. I hope to work with her.
The ‘Mister Fahrenheit’ music video also won the Audience Choice Award at the LA Film Festival. I’m told it received thousands of votes, which is just incredible.
Photo by Chris Brody
How have you balanced school with all your artistic endeavors?
It is a challenge! I am in 10th grade at Notre Dame High School full time, in Honors classes, taking AP History and I am on the swim team, so the struggle is real. I have around 3 hours of homework each night so I can only work on my acting and singing career after homework is done or on the weekends. I have a mad schedule from school, swimming, vocal coaching, and choreography to audition and writing / recording music. I love to create my own beats, and do that at lunchtimes on my iPad, and when it’s sort of good enough I ping it to my producer to develop. Every minute of the day is accounted for – literally!
You just performed at the GRAMMY Teen Concert at the famous Avalon in Hollywood. How did it go?
It was insane!! The stage is 40 feet and has this incredible sound system and lighting. The production team at the Avalon are so professional. Shout out to Don, Frank, Ritchie, Danny, Darren, and Greg for making me sound and look good! I was able to perform two songs, so I chose ‘Mister Fahrenheit’ and my new song, ‘Euphoria.’ It was electrifying, I could have stayed up there for hours. I cannot wait to go back again soon and on a big tour.
Photos by Chris Brody & Dan Kennedy
What advice do you wish someone would have given you when you were first starting out?
I am still developing so much, but to my younger self I wish I had listened to the advice being given more. I just wasn’t ready then to fully embrace everything I had in front of me. Listening is so important. I am still only 15 so all is not lost!
What celebrity do people most say you look like?
I had an IG comment once saying, “Is that you Chris Colfer?” – I had to Google him!
London, NYC or LA? Be honest.
Actually Rome! Or my birth place Marbella in Spain. I do love London, NYC and LA but Italy and Spain are my absolute faves.
Favorite ice cream flavor.
I am mad for strawberries. Anything strawberry.
What else are you working on or have coming up next?
My song ‘Euphoria’ just released and is getting radio airplay, which is exciting. I just wrote a new song with Alih Jay and Luigie “Lugo” Gonzalez, both Grammy-nominated, called ‘Fire Me Up’ – well it’s the working title for now. Two movies I am in release this year, and I am filming ‘The Skulleton’ in April with Bruce Dern. If I can I want to visit Amsterdam for Spring Break and go on tour, but only if I pass AP History!
Could we get a quick selfie of whatever you are doing right now?