Many people say that home is where you heart is, but Simon Alexander believes it is wherever you want it to be. His latest album A Place To Call Home considers this concept and the search for a place that you consider your own home. Filled with a collection of his acoustic recordings, the album is an intimate look into his experiences. We sat down with Simon Alexander to talk about the album, his music, creative process, future plans and much more!
OSR: What is your earliest musical memory?
Alexander: I remember sitting in my dad’s car listening to a lot of Beatles and Sting when we were driving to places, but also listening to my parents’ old vinyls in our living room. Funny enough a lot of the music I still listen to today.
OSR: What first drew you to folk music?
Alexander: I think I’ve always had it at heart, even during periods I wanted to do other things.
But songs like ‘Going to California’ with Led Zeppelin or ‘Old Man’ by Neil Young always struck a nerve with me, and I think I also wanted to be able to convey emotion through music like they could with those kinds of tracks. So I started playing acoustic guitar and quickly found what I wanted to do.
OSR: Your debut album, A Place to Call Home, is a collection of acoustic recordings, but is there a common thread linking the tracks?
Alexander: For years I’ve been writing music in different kind of homes, from recording guitars in small shared apartments to writing lyrics on the top of mountains while abroad. Because to me a home is wherever you want it to be. It’s all up to where you feel that you belong and can find peace.
So, with this album I wanted to give a small piece of me, a personal reflection on different situations throughout my life where I’ve either been in search for something or have found a place that I call home.
OSR: What was your creative process for the songs on the album?
Alexander: Since they all are written and recorded by myself with a small setup of gear it’s been made with a lot of love and coffee. Most songs often just kind of write themselves within a couple of dedicated hours with my guitar, some others have gone through a lingering process of re-writes and changes in personality. It’s all therapy to me, just pouring out thoughts and melodies into creations.
OSR: What was the biggest challenge you overcame while creating A Place to Call Home?
Alexander: I’ve become much better at just letting go and saying a song is finished, otherwise I can polish them forever. I really dig the emotions each song can convey by having some rough edges, perfection can sometimes mean a lack in personality.
OSR: If people could listen to only one song on the album, which would you recommend and why?
Alexander: My favourite would be ’Heading Nowhere’ since it’s a very timely one. I didn’t want to write about the pandemic we’re going through, so I instead let myself think about what comes after and turned it into a dreamy song.
OSR: If you could have people feel one emotion while listening to your music, what would it be?
Alexander: I want people who listen to feel inward and contemplate about whatever is important to them, to then be able to open up and express themselves. Also to just feel relaxed on a Sunday morning with a large cup of coffee.
OSR: When creating music, do you feel your environment plays a role in your sound?
Alexander: When I write lyrics it does. I tend to write best when there is either complete silence or a whole lot of hustle and bustle. What surrounds most often affects what comes out on paper.
OSR: If you could perform anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Alexander: I’d love to travel around the U.S and perform wherever, it’s always been a small dream of mine.
OSR: What can we expect from you in the next 12 months?
Alexander: We actually went into the studio last month and ended up with something new I’m really thrilled about, so I already have more new music coming before the year is over. More on that soon.
Other than that it’s hard to have a set schedule in these times, but people can follow my social platforms for all updates.