A Conversation with Rapper & Songwriter Alex Harris

Rapper-songwriter and Epic Records recording artist Alex Harris makes his Jake’s Take debut. (Photo courtesy of Epic Records)

It is a pleasure to welcome rapper, songwriter, and Epic Records recording artist Alex Harris to Jake’s Take. 

The Texas native turned Atlanta transplant is making waves for blending numerous genres such as alternative, Hip-hop, and R&B. The result was his debut EP, Pink Cloud. Fans ate up singles such as “5 Miles,” “Blue,” and “Say Less.” His work also caught the attention of several websites such as Broadway World, The Dallas Observer, and Diandra Reviews It All. He also had the opportunity to perform at the A3C Festival and Albania’s Colour Day Festival 2019.

In this edition of “A Conversation,” Alex Harris previewed his upcoming studio album, how Kendrick Lamar changed the way he viewed rap music and revealed which 2020 Coachella headliner would be his ideal collaborator.

Jacob Elyachar: When did you get interested in music? How did that passion evolve into the desire to pursue a career in the recording industry?

Alex Harris: I have always been obsessed with music since I was a kid. My aunt and uncle were in a band, and they would let me hop on the mic and sing with them during practice. I always fantasied about being an artist of my own but never did anything to pursue it until I was 19. I went through a bad break up, and I finally just said: “F— it,” and put pen to paper. It helped me get through those times, and it just never stopped. It became the perfect way to deal with things going on in my life. 

Rapper Alex Harris’ “88 Floors” showcased his bright future in the music industry. (Video property of Epic Records)

Jacob Elyachar: When I first heard “88 Floors,” I thought I listened to a combination of elements of Eminem, Macklemore, and Machine Gun Kelly. How did they inspire your sound? Are there any other rappers that influenced your artistry? 

Alex Harris: I usually get compared to every other white person that raps, but any of those guys did not necessarily inspire me. They are great artists, but it is not where I aligned my sound. Eminem was a significant influence on me as a kid. Still, as I got older, it was the storytellers like Kendrick (Lamar) and Drake that made me want to write about my personal life on record, and they taught me to be vulnerable. I heard Kendrick’s overly dedicated mixtape when I was 20, and it changed how I viewed rap music.

Jacob Elyachar: What are some of the challenges that you faced breaking into the recording industry? How did you overcome those obstacles? 

Alex Harris:  Some of the biggest things I have faced have been internal self-doubt at times. I always had a 9 to 5 while making the music, and it can be discouraging when things don’t stick. I can remember days thinking that maybe I would never be able to turn music into a full-time thing. Not seeing things through, I believe, gets in the way of a lot of people trying to make it in the arts. I almost gave up, but something said to keep going, and now I am able to focus on music all the time. I am just super happy to have music out and to be working on my first album. 

Jacob Elyachar: Let’s talk about your upcoming studio album. What can my readers expect from your debut record? 

Alex Harris: I am excited to share it with everybody, and I feel it is my best and most balanced project I have put together so far. I wanted to have the right balance of rap and R&B on this one. I also am doing some of my first features with this project. It has a few international artists on there, and I think it has a broad reach. This album will be one people can play from top to bottom and stay locked in. I want it to be theatrical. 

Jacob Elyachar: Who are your dream collaborators (singers, songwriters, and producers)? How would they enhance your sound? 

Alex Harris: I would love to work with Kendrick Lamar or Frank Ocean. Those two guys have molded a career and bodies of work that will be around for a long time. I think they are some of the last artists to keep that mystic about them and always deliver something that connects when they drop albums. And hell, yes, it would enhance the sound! I am a fan of anything those guys do, and I know ever to get the opportunity to work with them would bring out the best in me because I look up to them so much. 

Jacob Elyachar: If you had the opportunity to meet with aspiring rappers who are looking to advance their careers, what advice would you share with them?

Alex Harris: I meet lots of great artists on the come up, and we always talk about things like this. I have learned so much from collaborating with people and taking the things they have taught me and applying it to my work. I would say one of the most significant pieces of advice was to be vulnerable. I think to make music that resonates with people; you have to put it all out there. Nobody wants to feel like they are listening to somebody trying to sell them something. Your story and connecting with people is what will separate you from everybody else.

For more information about Alex Harris, visit his website!

You can also connect with Alex on social media. Visit his Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, & YouTube channels.

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