Alex Shera on Styling Marshmello, His New Single “Fire”, and Independence
We are excited to introduce you to LA's Alex Shera, who is known as a pop songwriter turned solo artist. He recently released his debut single & music video "Fire" which you can check out above. What I love is that it’s very much in the nostalgic-pop lane, similar to artists like Troye Sivan, LANY, and Wrabel. In tumultuous times like this, the track hits harder, with the feeling of the world being set on fire and just needing someone to pull you out, but still having the empathy to pull them out of their own fire. Shera from San Diego to LA at a17 to pursue his dreams of songwriting. You can even hear it in his lyrics here, but the music the young artist puts out is for the believers who romantically followed a dream and feel the pain throughout the journey.
A lot of his influences come from musicians with these light-hearted, melancholic identities such as Lana Del Rey, Years & Years, The 1975, Imogen Heap, Jeremy Zucker, and Gus Dapperton. If you take a close listen, you can hear the crisp youth of his voice, yet the maturity in his tone and depth. The authenticity as he sings the words comes rolling over the melody and is embraced by the mid-tempo, light-hearted production, making it a very catchy song overall.
When Shera first started his career in music, he co-wrote and recorded with many wonderful producers such as Devin Kennedy (Songland) and Micky Skeel. However, in addition to being a singer & songwriter, Shera also is an adept stylist, and has worked with very established artists including Katy Perry, Marshmello, TYGA, Cody Simpson, Zara Larsson, and many more! His experience with fashion is what ultimately gave him a glimpse into the creative arena and a motivation to pursue his own craft. We’re super excited to speak with the multi-talented artist and share our chat with him.
Here is our interview:
Neelu Mohaghegh [NM]: What initially drove you to music as your form of self-expression? Alex Shera [AS]: “Music has always been my passion and true love since I can remember. However, in younger years, I was not totally confident or ready to truly go after it until recently. During high school and while attending FITIM, I was driven towards the idea of a career in fashion photography, which led me to an internship with Vogue and celebrity photographer Alix Malka. We worked well together and he saw that I drew inspiration from working on the styling side of the camera.
After my internship, I began a styling career under Celebrity Stylist, Johnny Wujeck and Elisbeth Stewart. During the creative process and while working in the background of the entertainment industry, I was exposed to the big picture of how the production teamwork creates a total creative story, with each team supporting and influencing the other. Working as a stylist was and hard work and fulfilling creatively, but at the same time, this inner voice was calling me back to the music. Deep down I knew I had more to offer in an artistic and authentic way through my voice, rather than creating an image for someone else With music, I am free to create and relate the image of who I am and what I want to share with the world about how I'm feeling."
[NM]: If you had to pick five songs to be your forever songs, which would they be? [AS]: “That’s a great question, here are my top 5 forever.... 1. Venice Bitch, Lana Del Rey 2. You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome when you go, Bob Dylan 3. Gypsy, Stevie Nicks/Fleetwood Mac 4. River, Joni Mitchell 5. Elephant love Medley, Moulin Rouge”
[NM]: What is your favorite live music memory? [AS]: “This event for me was definitely backstage at the American Music Awards in 2018. I was fortunate to be styling Marshmello who was performing with Selena Gomez. During Rehearsals, watching from the stage, I got to see the actual production side of things, the synergy among the talent and the entire process of a world-class production. It was especially meaningful and unforgettable with Christina Aguilera performing her tribute to Whitney Houston who had just passed. It was truly an honor to be a part of that team and that historical production and I will never forget it.”
[NM]: I loved the music video for "Fire". What made you decide to go this virtual/animated style for it? [AS]: “The restrictions and concern for the current world pandemic was definitely a factor. I was trying to get creative as to how we could safely do a music video. I discovered some really cool virtual visuals on instagram and I thought wouldn’t that be interesting to make it a virtual video as an Avatar. I had some inspiration for the vibe and contacted director Hugo Richel who was in Paris. We were able to connect and to create a great visualizer to play with the song. Creative direction is a key aspect of my work and I really wanted to incorporate that into my music and overall aesthetic....and perhaps if I'm being honest, I like the idea of a slow reveal to the world of who I am and what I look like in the flesh and blood.”
[NM]: What advice would you give to other young aspiring artists? [AS]: “Please follow your heart and don’t get discouraged or despondent by others who criticize. If you are motivated and set good intentions from your heart, you can do anything you set your mind too. Don't be afraid to fail, much of the creativity comes from your darkest place, it will only get better by channeling the process and working it out on a creative level.”
[NM]: How has LA allowed you to grow as an artist and how has that experience changed over time as you've become older? [AS]: “Living in LA over the past 10 years has been eye opening. It has truly developed me into a stronger and independent character. I feel like LA is such a blessing of mix of diversity and talent all bubbling to the surface in everyday life. I have had the great honor and pleasure of meeting so many incredible talented souls. Hollywood has a make or break mentality that you adopt and it's definitely pushed me to become the person I am today. Initially, you may become swept up into the glitz and the glamour, but at the end of the day if you don’t have good people around you that you love working with and who inspire you, then you really have nothing. I believe my time in LA has made me take a good look and truly appreciate where I have been, what I have now and what I will hope to accomplish in the future.”
[NM]: What’s your detour? [AS]: “Well, as I said previously, I love fashion, photography, and styling, but I feel most authentic when I'm singing. If it becomes available to me, a jaunt in musical theater is on my bucket list for sure. I’ve always loved the atmosphere and imagined the thrill of being involved with a theatrical company on Broadway. One other direction worth mentioning is Disney Productions, I've always admired the genius of Walt Disney, the amazing visionary and true pioneer he was. I’m a 12 year old at heart.”
[NM]: Do you have any projects coming up that you're excited about and could share? [AS]: I’m excited to share my new music and content I've been working on for a couple years now. My next single, Blue Nights is slated for an early January release and we will have great visuals with that as well. I will be continuing to push myself to evolve as an artist and creative with my music in 2021 and just as excited to see where the next journey will lead to.” ——— Thanks, Alex, for chatting! BE SURE TO FOLLOW ALEX ON INSTAGRAM AND CHECK HIS MUSIC OUT ON SPOTIFY