Alex Westwood is a 19 year-old, midlands-based singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist & producer who independently conjures up creative, experimental and organic music which distorts the definition of genre, all from the comfort of his own bedroom.
His first release ‘Clouds’ (released earlier this year) was the starting point of his artistry, blending elements of folk & jazz whilst simultaneously using production techniques in order to immerse the listener into a storm. Whilst writing this song, he maintained the memory of a lake he frequently visited as a child which acts as the core lyrical concept for this song!
‘Clouds’ is a stripped-back, piano-based song using elements of jazz harmony woven into the fabric of the composition. Whilst maintaining a minimalistic instrumental sound, the use of music production & sound engineering also keeps the listener on their toes by creating a surreal soundscape of stormy weather in the latter half of the track; this use of ambient sounds can be summarised as a moment of sheer beauty.
Alex’s vocal performance blends so well in this piece of music. He holds back from belting long, impressive high notes & fancy vocal runs in favour of more modest melodic ideas which drives the music to it’s optimum musical potential. Lyrical themes incorporate topics such as the power of nature, a desire to belong and even small references relating to disregard for the environment; these topics give ‘Clouds’ a mildly dark tone. Alex has said that when releasing this track, a memory of a lake he frequently visited during his childhood was the basis for this track, this memory constantly came back to him when creating this song; this makes the song very nostalgic and very personal for him.
The production quality in ‘Clouds’ is very impressive for an initial release by an independent artist. Whilst the mixing of the core elements is at a great quality, the highlight of Alex’s production in ‘Clouds’ is his use of water and rain sounds to add to the mood of the song; this use of production is like the musical equivalent of pathetic fallacy, allowing for this track to get in touch with the listener’s emotions beyond the use of just melody, harmony & rhythm.
As a final note, the fact that this track (as well as the 3 following tracks) was entirely designed by one teenager in his bedroom with only one mic (2 if you count his phone), instrumentation of varying quality, a basic setup & a laptop is an astonishing feat and an incredible achievement to be made by a young person today.
He truly burst onto the Birmingham music scene in an impressive fashion..
Alex Westwood is a 19 year old musician based in the Midlands, UK.
During his very early upbringing, he was introduced to musical artists from the reggae, punk, folk & pop genres, including Bob Marley, The Clash, Black Uhuru, Take That, Oyster Band & The Bushburys. During his childhood, he was encouraged to do violin lessons but later dropped the instrument due to lack of progress (aka, being very bad), which led him to pick up the guitar not long after. Throughout his adolescent years, he developed more confidence in his vocal abilities, picked up other instruments (drums, bass & keys), performed in a wide variety of contexts (most notably in a Youth Theatre Group, as a solo performer & with a couple of bands), learnt about music theory, developed his understanding of music technologies & broadened his taste in music to cover a wide variety of musical talents, including (but not limited to):
Led Zeppelin, Muse, Björk, Jeff Buckley, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder, Radiohead, Steve Vai, Jacob Collier, Snarky Puppy, Steven Wilson, Queen, Miles Davis, Keith Jarrett, Hozier, Slipknot, Kendrick Lamar, W.A Mozart, SOPHIE, Parliament/Funkadelic, J.S Bach, Jaco Pastorius, Allan Holdsworth, Charlie Puth, Aretha Franklin, Polyphia, Bobby McFerrin, Herbie Hancock, Prince, Aurora, John Coltrane, etc…
In early 2021, he decided that he wanted to make a name for himself as a solo artist and started generating his own creative material in his bedroom and releasing it independently on major streaming platforms. His music gained much praise & attraction from friends, family & music industry connections due to the experimental nature, diversity of styles, hidden complexity & emotional honesty, all whilst still being digestible for the listener.
His fans have also been shocked to hear that every single component, from the artwork, to the mixing, to the instrumentation, was all done solely by Alex.
After introducing himself as an artist on to the music scene, he now embarks onto exciting future projects, including the process of making his debut album which is due to be released between late 2021 to early 2022; all from the comfort of his bedroom.
Links to Music:
Amazon Music – Clouds by Alex Westwood on Amazon Music – Amazon.co.uk
Youtube – https://youtu.be/UhYlCO8UmlE
Youtube – Alex Westwood – YouTube (@Alex Westwood)
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/alexwestwoodmusician/ (@alexwestwoodmusician)