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Q&A with music composer and singer Alex De Rose

St. Petersburg, Russia-based musical composer, guitarist, and singer Alex De Rose composes every note, sound effect, and drumbeat in his home recording studio with feverish passion in complete isolation. Alex comes alive after midnight and often layers his melodies with perfectionistic zeal until dawn breaks through his windows and he collapses into sleep.

He loses track of time as he squeezes richer emotional intonations out of each second of his songs. He’s a tireless artist who doesn’t stop until he feels like each moment of his work conveys the rich emotions and passions that stir inside his consciousness.

See our exclusive interview with the singer below

How has your musical background helped shaped your sound?

There is a ponderous, humming, a vibration that permeates the air of St. Petersburg. It gets into me and it makes me search for ways to capture and express it to the world. I am very much a product of my environment and my music tends to capture this mysterious quality that this city has for me. My sound reflects the frenetic confusion of the port, the distracting traffic in the streets, and the danger of the subway (wherever is dangerous). Sometimes when I am playing I am drawn to rock and roll, pulled into water depths and the blues comes out, then I am excited and I include some rap.  I can’t say that I choose my own genre — the genre chooses me.

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?

I’ve started working with a lyricist from the Pacific Northwest in the United States named Chris Riseley.  We have so much in common.  It’s weird.  He sends me lyrics and I read them and I use a translator to make sure I understand them completely, and I always end up feeling like I could have written these words, they are so close to what I feel.I take the guitar, at the same time I just try something and read the text, looking for the mood and the general meaning. I catch the rhythm, try different chords and sing the lyrics. I finish this pretty quickly now. Then I do a rough demo and record vocals on it. All this time, I have heaps of ideas from different songs, from some specific styles, I try to take notes about everything. Then when there is a preliminary vocal – I do an arrangement. I try different sounds, instruments, different processing methods, effects. It’s like a journey. I seek and rejoice and do not know where this will lead. And then everything somehow magically develops and I bring it together. For me, it’s all quite mysterious… 

What are or were some of the challenges for you in producing or performing while keeping true to your vision of your music.

When I just start producing a song, I almost immediately hear in my head how the song would sound ready. The song materializes almost completely in my brain.  But it can be difficult to get this sound out of your head and make it real. I search my heart for the right elements and the right sound. There’s a lot of music in my head.  Trying to recreate individual elements. I’m young.  Everything is a learning opportunity for me.  If I need something that sounds like a scream coming out from under a rug — it can take five hours to make that sound exactly right but I find it.

Who are three musicians you think the world needs to hear right now?

I found this band a couple weeks ago – Wild Wild Wets. And I just love it.

Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?

I’m a loner who loves to work until dawn perfecting a mood — but I also love watching the eyes of concert goers go wide when I perform. I like to see shock, surprise, and delight on the faces of the audience.

Any “strange tales” or things that may have happened during a show that seemed too weird to be true?

I play on the streets sometimes. There was this girl who brought a Gecko backstage and she showed me that the Gecko liked to kiss.  I’m not going to kiss a lizard for anyone for any reason. When I play on the streets something strange happens all the time.

Do you find that social media and keeping up with your fans has become overwhelming? Or do you rely heavily on others to take care of that for the band? Which platform would you say that you enjoy engaging with the most?

I’m just starting our so I am interacting with fans personally right now.  It’s usually pretty cool. Even though I like to be alone a lot of the time I always make time in my schedule to thank people who have something nice to say about my music. I am on Instagram mostly.

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you in the near future?

Chris has fifteen songs for us and we are going to release them one by one. I will make the sound of each song different. About these songs: it’s the story of how pharmaceutical companies invented a pain killer but then shifted their marketing so that they could create an epidemic of addiction.  Chris watched the pharmaceutical companies kill two of his sisters so he is outraged.  I’m glad he’s five thousand miles away from me.  That guy is pissed.  If I were people selling Oxycontin, I’d be looking over my shoulder.  That’s all I’ll say.

Famous last words?

I’m really new to doing interviews with music media sites.  Can we call this Famous First Words? My famous first words are thank you for writing about Pink Cloud — if you have questions, please hit me up online.  I’ll answer.

Follow Alex De Rose online

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