Actor and singer-songwriter Alexander James Rodriguez has been working hard in 2020, despite various lockdowns and pandemic constraints. When he progressed from acting to artist and recorded his first set of singles in May, nobody could have anticipated the number of streams and support the 13-year-old actor would have received in such a short period of time. He is set to close out 2020 with 1 million streams on his debut release My Crew and has since written and recorded three more songs releasing in 2021. With his music platform becoming a force to be reckoned with, Alexander has dedicated his voice to help children in need around the world by using his latest single, Holiday in LA as a fundraising drive for UNICEF.
Vents Magazine sat down with Alexander James Rodriguez to talk about his original songs My Crew, Your Smile and Up To You, as well as Holiday in LA for UNICEF, and what fans can expect from him next year.
Vents: Your single, My Crew and the lyric video for it, released in July and has since been a fan favorite. How does it feel to be both actor and singer-songwriter?
When productions in Los Angeles went into hiatus, and schools went online, I decided to turn my time to making music. We wrote My Crew to celebrate friendships during a really tough time when we often were unable to see our friends whether at school or in groups. My Crew is about friends that stay with you regardless of distance or situations. We all need for friends during unprecedented times and My Crew is an uplifting song to celebrate all friends. I had hoped to make a music video for the song, but with everything going on we opted to put together a cool animated lyric video with photos of all my friends over the years.
Vents: Your second single, Your Smile, did manage to have a music video. Who came up with the concept and what inspired the song?
Your Smile was written to celebrate someone’s beautiful smile. In this case, a girls smile that lights up the room. Living in Los Angeles we have some wonderful beaches and backdrops to showcase the city, and since I am a keen surfer and skateboarder it seemed only fitting to use Malibu beach and Topanga Canyon. We couldn’t make an elaborate music video, so we invited my best friends to participate in the music video and aside from my mom on wardrobe, we only had one videographer who doubled up as the editor – to keep things simple.
Official Music Video: https://youtu.be/eU1_lDU7WkE
Vents: Tell us about the third song in the series, Up To You. The lyrics are very inspirational and uplifting.
Yes, Up To You was always written to give people hope. The lyrics are about how we are each a champion in our own way, and it is up to us how we can make a difference in not only our own lives but others too. It is hoped the song will make you feel stronger and that anything is possible. I have made a handy playlist called THIRTEEN that people can listen to all of my songs.
Spotify playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/7KO9ACnWqRPOTdDDupYJRs
Vents: It is so refreshing to see a young person trying to make an impact and help other children. Kids helping kids in the world. Your cover song, Holiday in LA we understand was recorded for UNICEF. Tell about that decision.
I think it is really important that if you have a voice and celebrity status, you use it, which is why back in the summer I made the decision to record a Christmas / Holiday song that would be for charity. I chose Holiday in LA because I had sung it in elementary school for a Holiday show and it really made me feel jolly. The chorus is filled with children’s voices, which is perfect for a children’s charity, and although we couldn’t hire a choir for the song, due to the pandemic, I rallied my best friends, yet again, for backing vocals. I wanted to help UNICEF and so all proceeds from this song are to support their efforts.
Holiday in LA Audio Video: https://youtu.be/qY6k95a_YPI
Vents: What’s up next for you?
Well, I am continuing to audition for film and TV roles and have just finished recording my next three songs which will be ready to release next year. I am super excited as I wrote on all of them in some way whether melody and lyrics. I want to grow as a singer-songwriter and hopefully a label will be interested in me. Meanwhile though, I will continue to use my social media platform to inspire others, work on my UNICEF campaign, write and sing songs. Somewhere along the way I will graduate from middle school.
Keep up with Alexander James Rodriguez here:
Stream here: https://linktr.ee/AJRodriguez
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