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Alonzo on "Respect", Black History Month, and Resilience

With a gentle nod to the Motown music days and a demonstration of honor to the era of soul music, ALONZO takes us on a high energy ride with his new single “Respect”. In celebration of Black History Month, this LA-based artist shares with us an anthem that is meant to be heard, understood, and respected. The track is the lead single from his debut album ENOUGH, which is set to release on March 3rd. ALONZO says, “I wanted to release this song to kick off Black History Month as an affirmation…A new anthem that Black people can sing from the rooftops with pride & confidence.” This song delivers just that.

ALONZO has a long list of incredible accomplishments that have brought him to this point in his life. He was an America's Got Talent semi-finalist, the first person to ever be approved by The Prince Estate to sing on the 4 U Prince Tour, has had 4 sold out tours across Asia and is a favorite at some of LA's most notable music venues. ALONZO's most recent single prior to “Respect” was his song "Sexin' You" which debuted at #21 on the iTunes chart (right between Chris Brown and Usher!).

ENOUGH is produced by Eric Zayne (Jordan Sparks, BTS, Ashlee Simpson), and as a whole, it allows the listener to indulge in a genre-flight of sorts, tasting this beautiful, culinary fusion of rock, pop, & soul. With “Respect” ALONZO gives us a flavor of his power as an artist and his force as a human being. We are definitely prepared for what is to come in the final product once it is launched, but for now to satiate us, we’ll be taking in this track one bite at a time. The emotion paired with the attitude, and the sass with the funk, bring this song to life. “The album is called ENOUGH because I’m done with allowing myself to be held back by perfectionism and fear. I wanted to affirm that I am enough. My talent is enough. Black people are enough. The black women that raised me are enough. Our beauty is enough. We are enough,” exclaims ALONZO.

I am excited to share our interview below for you and definitely be sure to check out the song above!

Here is our interview:

Neelu Mohaghegh (NM): Where are you from and how did you get into music?

Alonzo (A): “I was born in Chicago, IL and raised in Rockford, IL so I like to say I’m from a small town. My grandfather was a touring musician. He sang, played multiple instruments, and had a recording studio in his basement. We like to think that he passed his gift to me because my mom and dad can’t sing, haha. It’s always been my dream to be a singer.”

(NM): Explain your song "Respect" and what it means to you?

(A): “When we first started writing “Respect”, it was more about me having a problem with record executives in the industry not giving talented musicians that have a lower social media following a chance. As we wrote more and more it began to develop a deeper meaning. Really in the 2nd verse when I said “I don’t need words I can feel it, because I know what my worth is” I realized that this was not about me wanting someone’s approval, but about me affirming my worth as a singer, as an artist, as a black man.”

(NM): That is absolutely incredible that you've had such a dynamic resume of experiences in music such as the Prince Tour, Christina Aguilera & Disney show, and all of the other live opportunities. How have these shaped your sound and your musical career do you think?

(A): “I wouldn’t say any of those opportunities shaped my sound but they all have fueled me and restored my hope in knowing that my dreams are closer than I think. Before every big job I was usually in a dark place questioning my gift, and BOOM something amazing happens. It always reminds me that I shouldn’t doubt the universe because things can change in the blink of an eye.”

(NM): How has music served as a channel of self-expression for you?

(A): “Music is literally my therapy. As a child, I battled with anger management and depression. I’m pretty sure that music saved my life. I would have gone down a much more troubled path had I not had this outlet that made me feel like I had a purpose. It’s like an animal being put into its natural habitat. When I’m on stage I know it’s where I belong."

(NM): What was the America's Got Talent experience like and what did you think you learned from it?

(A): “When I reflect back to AGT I have such torn emotions. On one end, it was a dream come true. It was ALMOST a dream that I didn’t want to wake up from but then I also remember the pressure, the stress, and wishing “if only I was here singing”. Instead, I was there leading and managing 14 dancers, their parents, and their dreams (Not mine). It was definitely one of the toughest moments I’ve ever gone through but I learned how important it is to rise to the occasion when these moments show up. America's Got Talent transformed me because it was confirmation that my dreams were possible. 1 year after America's Got Talent I started pursuing music full time."

(NM): What is your detour? (something you do outside of music that is a passion of yours, fun fact, or hobby that maybe most people don't know about you)

(A): “I’d say something that most people don’t know about me is that I’m SUPER goofy. A lot of my friends tell me I’m the funniest person they know. I don’t show this side in my music career because I am not a comedian and I don’t want to be perceived as a joke. I take my music career very seriously so by default people think I’m more serious than I really am.”

(NM): What can you tell us about your upcoming project Enough? How is it different from your previous projects, the inspiration behind it, the work put into it, and the goals you have in mind for it?

(A): “ENOUGH” is my debut Album releasing on my birthday 3/3/21. Throughout my journey I’ve always felt overlooked. I realize that the powers that be won't even give me a chance because I don't have enough followers on Instagram or enough streams on Spotify but despite these numbers I AM ENOUGH. This Album is about me affirming to myself and the world that I Am Enough. My talent is Enough. Black people are Enough. Black women are Enough. Our beauty is Enough. WE are Enough. This Album has been almost 3 years in the making. The first song was recorded December 2018. As independent artists, we fund everything on our own. Often, the money is not always there. I would have to record 1 song, save up more money and record another song months later. This is why it took years. This project even being finished is a testament to what happens when you work hard and stay the course. It is literally the product of my blood sweat and tears. My biggest wish is that this project assists in taking my career to the next level.”

(NM): In one word, describe yourself.

(A): “Resilient.”

(NM): Where is your dream place to perform?

(A): “SOLD OUT in my Hometown arena. BMO Centre, Rockford, IL.”

(NM): What are your top 5 forever songs? (5 songs you could play on loop forever)?

(A): “This list is hilarious but it’s true

ALONZO – Sexin’ You

Celine Dion – My Heart Will Go On

Prince – Do Me Baby

Whitney Houston – Greatest Love of All

Shirley Caesar – You Can Make It”


Thank you so much, Alonzo, for your time. We can't wait to hear the project soon!

Be sure to follow him on Instagram and on Spotify to hear the album when it drops.

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