Alex Hughes Talks New Single “Gentleman”

Kat Harlton

Pop Country artist, Alex Hughes just released her catchy new single “Gentleman”. Born and raised in Calgary, Alex’s Country background is rooted in a long-standing relationship performing alongside The Calgary Stampede Committee at hundreds of events across Alberta.

In 2019, Alex was honored to be selected to participate in “Canada’s Music Incubator’s Artist Entrepreneur West Program” at the National Music Centre in Calgary. Alex’s artist career has also taken her to Los Angeles, where she lived for a number of years while working alongside Grammy Award winning producer, Walter Afanasieff. While in LA, Alex had the opportunity to perform at numerous charity events, Hollywood parties, and at the House of Blues on Sunset Boulevard. Alex has also been lucky enough to spend time in Nashville, where she was a multiple award winner at the North American Country Music Association International Awards.

We had the opportunity to chat with Alex about her new single, her unique upbringing, and what’s next.

Kat: Can you talk about the inspiration behind your latest single “Gentleman”?

Alex: Gentleman is a girl power anthem, influenced by 90’s female country but with a modern spin. It calls out the guys who are all smoke and mirrors, all bark but no bite. Being a Gentleman is a state of mind, it’s about being respectful and chivalrous. This song is directed at that guy at the bar who thinks he’s too big for his boots.

Kat: Your unique upbringing as a member of a large multicultural family played a huge part in developing your style and interest in music. Can you talk about some of your musical influences growing up, and how that’s influenced your sound?

Alex: My grandparents were Anglo- Indian and part of a club that got together on the weekends for dance parties. They danced to swing, jazz, Latin music – they’d dance to everything. So, I got the chance to listen to all types of music growing up – our family BBQs were a rotating jukebox of everything. I had cousins who were in a boy band in Calgary in the 90’s. They would perform at the family BBQ’s and I would get to “open” for them. I got into Country at around 8 years old when I discovered LeAnn Rimes – there was just something about her that felt new and cool but at the same time, kind of like her songs were always meant to be “old school” country songs. I try to incorporate all the unique influences I’ve had in my life into my songs and I think that’s what gives me my own unique pop-country style.

Kat: You’ve performed alongside several successful artists such as Kenny G, Brett Kissel, and George Canyon. You’ve also had the opportunity to take your music career to Los Angeles, and work with Grammy Award winning producer, Walter Afanasieff. What has been a highlight for you, and what have you learned along the way?

Alex: Great question! ……. I used to put a lot of pressure on myself to sound perfect or write perfect songs, but it’s only in the last few years that I feel like I’m stumbling into the artist I’m meant to be and that is far from perfect. The biggest highlight for me so far is finally starting to release new music that I feel is mine. Living in LA was not easy. I felt so disconnected from my roots in Canada but working with someone like Walter was a once in a lifetime opportunity. He’s recorded some of the greatest singers of all time (Whitney Houston, Celine Dion etc.) so I picked up an incredible amount of knowledge about vocals in the studio which is something that I’m super passionate about. The music scene back home in Canada, especially in Country is really growing and I’ve been given some amazing opportunities that I’m incredibly grateful for, getting to open for homegrown talent.

Kat: Is there an artist you’d like to perform with, that you haven’t had the chance to yet? Or a song you would love to do a cover of?

Alex: I’m obsessed with Chris Stapleton; his voice is magic. I would love to perform with him and harmonize. I sing along and try and follow his runs all the time – so it would be insane one day to be able to perform “Tennessee Whiskey” or “Fire Away” with him. I already cover both those songs though! I love trying to cover unexpected songs so maybe something unexpected, I’ve had Wu Tang Clan requested at shows but still haven’t figured out how to make a version of any of their songs work for me but I’m still trying!

Kat: How are you staying connected to your fans and the industry during Covid-19? What’s next?

Alex: I’ve been able to do lots of live streams, including an opportunity to open for Aaron Pritchet during WildFest, which was a virtual music festival put on by Wild 95.3 in Calgary for the Calgary Stampede. That was a great way to connect with my fans and reach some new fans from my hometown! I’m trying to stay active on social media and have started making and sharing TikTok’s which have showed my fans a funnier (at least I think they’re funny) side of me. It’s definitely been tough not being able to gig in real life but I’m super grateful for the time that this pandemic has allowed me to get back to being creative. Next, is hopefully a couple more singles and then an EP!

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