Alex Day, a 23 year-old musician from Essex, England is focused on releasing music that puts listeners in a good mood. And it seems to be working. He has over 500,000 YouTube subscribers, over 500,000 songs sold, almost 100 million youtube views, and was the subject of two recent Forbes articles. Read on as the pop artist talks about how his YouTube channel has seen such rapid growth, why he just released several singles at once, and how he feels about being called “the future of music.”
Without using any “conventional” genre words, describe your sound.
Bouncy happy fun-loving pop music to dance and feel good to
Congratulations on those back to back articles in Forbes! How does it feel to be called “the future of music?”
Thank you, and it feels brilliant! I’m not doing things to try and be contrary or get attention, I’m just releasing music in a way that makes sense and works for me, so it’s nice that other people support my decisions (and publicly so).
You recently released 3 new singles. What was the motivation behind releasing them all together?
I didn’t wanna get caught in the same pattern of ‘here we go again, let’s release a song and try to get it in the charts,’ cause the charts are boring and outdated, and it just seemed like the clearest thing I could do to show I meant that was to release three songs at once, which kills the chart place but is a lot more fun and offers much more variety.
You started your YouTube channel in 2006 and now have around 100 million views on your videos. How have you driven this growth?
It’s basically perseverance. As you said, I’ve been doing it six years, and only in the last year have people really started paying attention to my music. I make sure I upload at least one video a week, keep my stuff consistent and entertaining, and don’t talk about music all the time because people would get bored.
You’re very well known for your YouTube videos. Do you get to play live often?
I could play live (I have in the past, I enjoy it), but I tend not to that much. I can reach more people in a YouTube video and I’m not excluding anyone in other countries that way because it’s all online. Some people live to play to a crowd but that’s not me, I prefer making songs for people to download, share with friends and enjoy—that’s where my passion is.
Aside from YouTube, what are some ways in which you promote your music?
Well I have Twitter and Facebook pages like everyone else in the world, but really it is just YouTube. I don’t have a label, a manager, a press team, a radio plugger, an agent, a publicist, not even a music producer. I make my own music, my own music videos, and YouTube is how I get the word out on those things.
I noticed on your site that you’re very vocal about encouraging your fans to use your music in their videos, projects, talents shows, and whatever else they’d like. What’s your philosophy behind this?
Is that not the norm? I thought everyone would want to do that. I guess it’s just as I’ve said, I want as many people as possible to hear and enjoy my music, and if people are using it in their own projects, that’s a good way of sharing my songs with people. As long as you’re not taking the credit for the song and you’re doing something new with it (not just re-uploading the song with the artwork to YouTube when I already have a video there of my own to showcase it), you can help yourself.
Any advice for other independent artists?
Stop recording albums. I understand that an album can be a great form of art in its own right when all the songs are designed for it and they all weave into each other and they have a concept. Great—but most don’t, most artists don’t write like that, and with the cherry-picking available on iTunes, there’s no point bundling them together. Just focus on making one great song. Keep writing and recording until you have one great song. Then go from there. You only need one great song to make it.
So what’s next on the horizon?
I just released the music video for my summer song “Good Morning Sunshine,” and I’m making the video for another song of mine about falling in love with a ghost (“She Walks Right Through Me”) which will be up soon. Beyond that it’s just spreading the word and hoping people listen, and always writing for the next big song