Focus: We Are Alex James | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Who are you and where are you from?
My name is Alex James, a musician based in Newton Aycliffe, but you can just call me Alex. I am 24 years old and was diagnosed with a progressive muscle wasting condition called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy at the age of four. Although I have a physical disability this has never defined who I am nor will I ever let it, I aim to inspire and help others through my story and music.

What is it that you do?
We Are Alex James, a wheelchair fronted alternative indie rock band based in the North East of England. The band is currently made up of Alex (Frontman), Chris (Bass), Liam (Guitar) and Nathan (Drums). The aim of our band is to raise awareness of disabilities, highlight the importance of accessibility within the music scene, help charities across the North East, and further challenge preconceptions of what a rock frontman should be.

How long have you been doing it?
I have been a musician for 7 years and along the way completed a diploma, BA honours and master’s degree in music, and performed at countless venues across the North East. Our band was formed back in 2019, as part of one of my Masters of Music projects. It originally started out as a group of mates playing good music but soon developed into something much more meaningful. I wrote all the music and lyrics for the band and we now have a very strong repertoire of rock songs to share.

What inspires you?
My songs revolve around ideas that affect me directly, but also indirect stories that reflect on concepts that many people face in day-to-day life. Music is a universal tool that allows people to express what they want to say without actually saying anything. It is the performance that speaks and allows an established emotional connection between band and audience. But I do feel like my disability always inspires me to do better, create music and prove that someone with Duchenne can continue to defy the odds.

Tell us about your work/music?
My music is described as having an accumulation of raw, dirty rock and roll sounds with a combination of hammering bass lines, energetic guitars and singable vocal lines. I’m heavily influenced by the likes of, Royal Blood, The Pale White, Airways, Sam Fender, The Foo Fighters and The Arctic Monkeys.

What have you got coming up in the future?
We are set to release our second single, I Said That You Looked Fine (out 30th April), which was recorded in the Newcastle University studio a few days before the first national lockdown. It was written around the theme of rejection. The idea of shooting your shot with someone, being turned down and never seeing them again. This track was written prior to our debut single, Direction and ultimately set the foundations for the band’s unique alternative indie rock sound.

We are hoping to secure a debut performance by the end of the year and give the people a show. We also have many more singles to share with the music scene and to further show what Alex James are capable of. 

Where can people find out more about you?
You can find us on Instagram – @itsmealexjames , Facebook – @itsmealexjames and Twitter – @alex_jamesmusic

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