You might know Alex Kinsey from X-Factor when he took home the 2013 win as part of the duo Alex & Sierra. Or perhaps you were one of the 5 million streams and 2.5 million plays of his first single in the band BoTalks with Modern Family’s Sarah Hyland.
More recently Alex released his first solo single ‘Simple,’ and on May 31 he released his full-length solo Ep, ‘Party of One.’ We caught up with the singer/songwriter about his career and most recent releases.
Tell me a bit about when you first got started in music.
I started singing karaoke when I was like 3 or 4. My first album was a cassette tape of Abbey Road by the Beatles, and I would listen to it every morning on the way to school… “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window” is the first song I remember knowing the lyrics to actually.
As far as playing music goes… first it was piano lessons, there were tons of talent shows throughout my career as a student, I got a drum set for my 10th birthday, and all of a sudden the guitar showed up, that’s when all of this music-making stuff made sense to me.
Music has always been a pretty huge part of my life, and the only real direction I’ve ever had…or wanted for that matter.
Did your life change dramatically after winning X-Factor?
X-Factor was one of the craziest experiences I’ve ever been through. It was such a whirlwind. I’m just a beach bum from Florida, and was a college student at the time, and to be thrust into the LA life with very little preparation was pretty wild. However, because of XF I’ve gotten to meet some of my idols, I’ve been able to write with some of the best songwriters that exist, I’ve had a major label supporting me… kinda… and a lot of my daily life today can be traced back to winning the show.
You’ve been performing as one part of Bo Talks, at what point did you feel like you wanted (or needed) to start releasing music as a solo artist?
Here’s the sitch with the solo artist thing. Making music is fun….that’s what drives me. I LOVE making music. so if I get to make music in a duo, or alone, or with a buddy, i’m going to do just that. There was never a thought of like “ooooh i’m going to go solo now”, it’s always just been a natural progression.
Alex and Sierra was a blast, and I got to make amazing music that a lot of people resonated with, and that’s a very special thing to me. BoTalks is a fun project that me and one of my best friends started because, why not? Kinsey is a glimpse into what I did before X-Factor was even a thought in my life. So going solo wasn’t a premeditated move, it’s just the natural progression of things.
BoTalks is still very much a part of my musical life! I actually just played a show about a month ago as BoTalks, and we have new music coming out very soon.
Tell me a bit about your single “Simple” and the EP, what inspired that?
When I first heard simple, I knew it had to be my first single. It says a lot of the things i feel without having to bitch and moan about how I feel haha. It just clicked with me immediately. the rest of the EP has been a similar process, all of the songs on it are songs I want to hear in the world. They are all songs that I genuinely enjoy listening to…I want to be my own biggest fan. #narcissism
What’s your writing process like?
My writing process changes constantly. I like to go into sessions with as few preconceived notions about the song I’m going to write as possible. I like to write based off of the vibe, the feel of a session, what others are going through. It’s fun to delve into someone else’s issues, or successes, or concerns and figure out why those emotions might be important to me as well. It helps me to make the songs universal. If I can resonate with what someone else is going through, then maybe others can resonate with that feeling as well.
Any interesting challenges along the way?
Yeah. What are you currently listening to/watching/reading?
I wish I read more…. any good suggestions? (I’m a Hunger Games, John Grisham type of fella…)
I just finished the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel…. just started Chernobyl on HBO, and just finished Barry on HBO, cause I think HBO is more to offer than a mediocre final season of the best show that has ever existed….. I also am REALLY into James Holzhauer’s run on Jeopardy right now.
I’m bad about music listening. I haven’t been resonating with much new music lately. I’ve been putting on a lot of playlists and trying to find new-to-me stuff that makes me happy.
The Billie Eilish album is pretty awesome though, I love what Shawn Mendes did on his most recent album, Vulpeck is one of my go to’s, I was also given early access to Kinsey’s new EP, and may I say, it’s pretty good.
What’s next for you?
The EP is next. That’s literally all I can think about right now. And then after that? who knows! I’ll be making more music, I’m sure I’ll release more before 2020. Tour maybe?
That’s the real goal for me….get out on the road and make as many friends as I can, figure out who the hell I am, and try to make everyone I meet smile.