Images by David Alexander
Hailing from Denver, Colorado independent artist David Alexander has paved a path of growing success for himself. He has accumulated over 43,000 followers on TikTok has almost 14,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. Starting from humble beginnings, David has taken a hobby through childhood and evolved it into a growing passion. Between both his talent lyrically and musically, he is sure to blow up and gain more traction to becoming a well-known artist.
I had the opportunity to catch up with David Alexander and talk his growth as an artist, childhood experience with music, and exclusive stories behind his songs.
What is the story behind your song “Heartbeat”?
Midway through my senior year of high school (2020), I flew out too LA for a group of writing sessions. Heartbeat was written on day 2 of the trip. I remember writing the song in particular because of how nervous I was going into it. It was one of the first sessions I had gotten into with a legit producer so there was definitely a sense of pressure involved in the whole thing. I had written most of the hook the night before, and luckily the rest of the song kind of just fell into place. Lyrically, I wanted the song to capture the feeling of not knowing if you have the capacity to love again (post heartbreak). For example, the line “the doctor says I’ve gotta keep it simple, so I think I’ll probably stay home tonight, cause she sounds like something I really can’t handle right now” is a reference to not being able to put myself out there again. How even if the perfect girl was in front of me, I wouldn’t be able to get myself to fall. I think the hook describes it best though. “I can’t feel my heartbeat, it’s like buh dum buh dum but nothing more” is illustrating how your heart can be stripped down to only the necessary, i.e., beating/keeping you alive, but not falling in love.
Describe your songwriting process.
My songwriting process is in no way a singular, linear thing. I feel like, while there are a few common threads, it changes every time I write a song. I started playing instruments and singing way before I started writing lyrical content, and I think that’s why I tend to start with the melody and then fit lyrics into the phrases, but often times I find myself inspired by a singular lyric and writing off of that line. This last year in particular I’ve been doing a bunch of co-writes, which has been truly amazing. In fact, my first three singles all came out of co-writes. I’ve found that having another person to bounce my ideas off, and more importantly, to tell me that I’m wrong leads to way better writing because it allows for the song to go somewhere it may have never with just me writing it.
How has TikTok helped you develop and grow your fan base?
TikTok has been immensely helpful in a bunch of ways. I think one of TikTok’s best features is how much it pushes your content in-front of new people. This is great because literally anybody, with any amount of followers can go viral and rack up an immense amount of views. I’ve found that one of the hardest things to do as an independent musician is to get my music in front of new people, and TikTok allows me to do just that which has been great. Whenever I have a video that does well on TikTok, I can look at my Spotify analytics and see a spike in listeners and streams at that same time. Being an independent artist, I think pushing your stuff through TikTok is essential.
Has music always been a huge part of your life/in what ways?
Yes, without a doubt. I grew up playing pretty intense classical piano, but never connected with it in the same way that I do its contemporary counterpart. When I was 12ish I convinced my parents to let me switch to jazz piano and then eventually to pop. I picked up the guitar about 4 years ago and have sung all my life. Music has always provided something unexplainable for me. I would often find myself coming home after long days at school and either playing or listening to music really loud just to take a break from life. I’ve always told people that I’m immensely lucky that I get to write songs with people every day because it’s definitely a free form of therapy. Being able to go into a room and talk about my feelings for a few hours and then leave with a tangible representation that other people might relate to is honestly one of my favorite parts of the whole process.
How did you discover you’re sound as an artist?
I think the whole 10,000 hours thing is completely true as it relates to songwriting. In the last year I’ve written and been a part of more songs that I ever thought possible and in doing so I think my sound has developed into something rather than me “discovering it”. Ha-ha sorry I know that’s a terrible answer.
Who would you name as your biggest musical influence/why?
Ben Rector, John Mayor, The Band CAMINO, and Clinton Kane are undoubtably the artists that have had the biggest influence on me as an artist. Lyrically and Melodically, I take a lot of inspiration from Ben rector and Clinton Kane. I love the way that their songs tell stories in conversational and digestible ways. I’ve never been super into the complex metaphorical lyrics. John Mayor instrumentation wise as well as everything to do with guitar. And finally, I feel like my songs have a little bit of a pop rock / punk pop influence to them which you will hear more in my upcoming releases, but this definitely comes from The Band CAMINO. During my senior year of high school, I started playing in a band with a few of my friends and “Daphne Blue” was always one of the covers we played. The rhythm of that song is so intricate and interesting and I definitely try to incorporate the same kind of melodic phrasing into my own music.
What is the story behind “If I Were You”?
I co-wrote “If I Were You” with my friend Noah Taylor, right after a breakup. I’ll be honest, I’m a terrible boyfriend. I’ve never been good at the whole “good morning texts” or “weekly date nights”, so in turn the songs stems from the feeling of knowing you’re not what someone else needs, but not wanting to call it quits. I wanted to sympathize with those holding on to the threads of a tired relationship while highlighting the inability to let go of someone completely. I wanted the production however to be warm and intimate, hinting at a happy ending, one in which the relationship ends, but we didn’t walk away as strangers.
What can listeners expect in the near future?
I can’t give an exact date just yet, but I am finishing up a second set of songs that will start releasing at the end of march / early April. I’m really excited about these as they give a little more of the acoustic sincerity of my first EP, with a touch of a rockier, more up-tempo feel. Can’t wait for people to hear it.
Listen to David Alexander on Spotify.