Alex Hughes On New Single “After 31”, Life Lessons + More

Kat Harlton

Canadian Pop-Country artist Alex Hughes, recently released her compelling new single “After 31” via all streaming platforms.

Produced by Nashville-based producer, Shannon McArthur (Adam Duritz, Counting Crows), “After 31” is a true coming-of-age moment and the most honest and raw of Alex’s releases to date.

Born and raised in Calgary, AB, Alex has practically been singing since before she could talk, growing up to find what she believes to be her truly authentic and distinctive sound. Weaving R&B runs into classic country melodies with pop-driven beats has led Alex to great success with multiple sold out shows in 2021, a Country Music Alberta “Horizon Female Artist of the Year” nomination, and a Top 12 Finalist position in the Project WILD Country Artist Development Program. 

Since releasing her current project’s debut single, “Strong As You”, in 2019, Alex has been making waves in the Alberta music scene; collaborating with incredible artists including a feature vocal performance on Fayence Dream’s album, “Hang up on Me” and The Blue Jay Sessions group collaborative song, “Sitting on Top of The World”. Alex is also highly commended as a songwriter with credits on Leaving Thomas’ acclaimed album, “Nothing Comes for Free” as a writer on the song, “Lie to Me”, as well as Ryan Lindsay’s CCMA nominated album, “The Ride” as a writer on fan favourite, “Darlin’ You’re Classic”.  

After the cancellation of shows in 2020, Alex spent her free time continuing to hone her craft, co-writing over 50 songs with writers from Calgary, Nashville, Chicago, and even the UK, and also released her follow-up singles, “Gentleman” and “Drive” featuring Shannon McArthur.

With plans to record and release her debut full-length album in 2022 and tour it across Canada, Alex has never been clearer in her vision and is focused and driven to see it through.

We had the opportunity to chat with Alex about her new single “After 31”, life lessons, and what’s next. 

Kat: Can you talk about the inspiration behind your latest single “After 31”?

Alex: After 31 was inspired by a conversation with my co-writers Lydia Sutherland and Parker Graye. I was feeling anxious about turning 31, it really felt like I was jumping into my thirties (and getting old). We we’re talking about how at many stages in life you feel like you should have achieved certain things and maybe haven’t yet. We decided to write a song about the feeling of wanting to have accomplished more but realizing that age is really just a number and that kind of pressure is unnecessary. 

Kat: What do you hope fans take from the track?

Alex: The song reminds listeners to not put so much pressure on those life moments. There is no time limit on achieving your dreams, and that’s the message I hope fans take away from this song.

Kat: What do you find is the most challenging part of your creative process?

Alex: Lately, I’ve found it hard to not let distractions get in the way of being creative. Spending so much time at home over the last year has made it easy to think, “Oh I should just go do the dishes”, or do a chore at home. I created a dedicated space and set “office hours” to make sure that I don’t let those distractions take away from spending time writing and being creative.

Kat: What has been a career highlight for you so far? What have you learned along the way?

Alex: The last couple of releases have been a career highlight for me. I feel like I’m finally finding my sound and writing music that is unique and authentic to me. It’s been quite a journey to get here and it’s taken a lot of soul searching and deep thinking, which is a never-ending process that I will continue to do but “After 31” especially, is a song I’m proud to release and share with the world. I’ve learned that being vulnerable and writing about things that are personal to me can be really therapeutic. When you realize that other people can relate to your experiences and might have gone through similar things that shared connection is incredibly special. I feel honoured I can connect with people through music.

Kat: What’s next for you?

Alex: I’m currently participating in an artist development program called Project Wild. This program is a huge opportunity for Alberta-based country and folk artists and I will be dedicating myself to this unique opportunity till the end of February. There are multiple challenges, collaborations and a week-long bootcamp, followed by a showcase series. As part of the program and for future planning I’m currently working on strategizing the release of my debut full length album and hope to tour that in late 2022. 

For more on Alex visit:

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