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Late to the party

Alex Eydt told David Hennessy about his latest single written for an old woman he met in America, how lockdown inspired him to pursue music despite having little musical experience prior to that and his forthcoming album.

Alex Eydt, is a 25-year old artist from Wexford.

With little musical experience before COVID, it was lockdown that pushed him to pursue music.

He locked himself away and immersed himself in the world of The Beatles and music theory.

Now his ability far surpasses his years in musical terms, largely due to his ambition to not be confined to the same sonic space.

His second ever release Face Her last month landed him on the much coveted and increasingly selective New Music Friday UK playlist, an incredible feat for a new independent artist and testament to his artistic potential.

The debut album, Guardians which is due early this year, is a mesh of opposing genres and conflicting personalities.

Delving into themes of religion, spirituality, and the struggle to maintain sound mental health and doctrine in the modern era, Guardians encompasses many genres from folk ballads to hip-hop and techno tracks.

The current single Daniel (d’s song) was written for the shopkeeper of an antique shop he befriended.

Alex was out on day with a friend when he started tinkering on a piano near the lady’s stall. She noted he had musical talent and they got talking.

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She said: ‘The next time you come back here, I’d like you to have a song written for me’.

Daniel is the song he wrote her.

Alex told The Irish World: “I met this old lady in America: The most ethereal character, just this amazing person that just had stories and they’d lived.

“You can see it in the way they move and talk, they’re just a magical character.

“She just said, ‘Hey, you’re a musician’.

“I was like, ‘Yeah’.

“’You’re gonna see me again one day and when you do, I want you to have a song ready for me’.

“And then I did.

“It was funny how it came about, really funny.”

Did you play it for her then? And what was her reaction?

“I had it recorded on a laptop and I never carry it around and by chance, the day I saw her again, I had the laptop and I played it to her.

“She kind of sat with it for a minute and after it finished, she kind of sat in silence.

“She goes, ‘Play it again’.

“I played it again.

“And she’s leaning in listening really closely to the words.

“She goes, ‘Play it again’.

“And we must have played it about five times and she kept going deeper and deeper into it.

“I saw a little bit of emotion come up on her face and honestly, it’s stuff like that that just does it for music for me.

“Seeing people like really get into the music, really get into the song.

“I can’t imagine whatever that moment meant to her but it was cool. Really cool. Crazy story.”

You say she was going more into the lyrics and stuff, was there a particular lyric that she was bringing up?

“She liked, ‘The story of a man fearful of his words, I’ll tell you the truth but this is only what I heard’.

“She found that funny, she kind of thought that was clever or funny.

“Some of the other lyrics might have touched her in some other ways but that was the one that she kind of winked at me for, she kind of nodded and was like, ‘That’s a good one. That’s a good line’.”

Lockdown was  a big catalyst for your musical career, wasn’t it? That was when you started experimenting and everything else followed from there, didn’t it?

“Yeah, pretty much,” Alex says.

“It was just before lockdown that I kind of just fell into it is what it feels like.

“And then lockdown was just like an incubation for creatives to just kind of explore themselves and their creativity.

“And coming out of that for me, it was kind of a direction shift.

“It was just what I wanted to pursue, so I just devoted myself to pursuing music.

“But I have aspirations for it.

“I think I could do music for a long time in life.

“I don’t see myself ever not making it now that I’ve found it.”

Why did you come to it so late? 

“It’s funny, I don’t know why I only came across it when lockdown happened.

“It was always around in the house. There was no musicians in the family so it was never like, ‘We’re going to teach you how to play guitar’ or ‘introduce you to music’ in that sense.

“But I always loved it.

“I think I always kind of lived through music and I soundtracked my life.

“It was always very central to my life.

“I don’t know why I never took to making it before lockdown.

“I find it really funny actually, I can’t explain why.

“It’s weird. It’s an odd circumstance but I’m glad it happened.

“I’m a bit late to the game but I’m here now, late to the party.”

I can see a guitar there as we chat, how did you start? Was it a case of working electronically? Or did you start off with the instrument? “It started off initially with the instrument because I kind of taught myself a little bit about playing the ukulele, really simple stuff, and then the piano.

“That was kind of the fascination then.

“It was like, ‘Okay, I can write a song’.

“That’s kind of where the first batch of music came from.

“And then this album, Guardians, I was teaching myself different things like sound production or mixing.

“A lot of Guardians kind of came from, ‘Okay, if I can make this sound and put it way up here, or way out to the side or give it this kind of a colour, what path does that open for the rest of the project to go?’

“It wasn’t as musical instrument driven so much as it was sound design driven.”

How would you describe your sound for someone who might not be familiar?

“I’ve always struggled with defining sound.

“As a creative, I aspire to hit as many eclectic genres as possible.

“I don’t want to have a defined sound.

“I think that keeps it interesting.

“It forces you to keep developing and growing and so if I was to say what kind of an artist you could compare it to, that I want to aspire to be, it would be The Beatles, or 21 Pilots or maybe someone like Kanye, because they keep on shifting their sounds, and you can’t really categorise them into one box.

“In a word eclectic is the best way you could describe it. How I would want it described.”

You mention the Beatles and discovering the Beatles- albeit late in the day- was another big inspiration for you, wasn’t it? “Yeah, I think the Beatles are one of these musical pieces that people grow up with when they’re kids.

“When you’re young, the Beatles are playing in the kitchen and it’s just like prerequisite that they’re there all the time growing up.

“I’m sure they were around when I was growing up but I guess I never got an admiration for them until I’d developed or started tapping into my creativity as an artist.

“So when I found them it was just like this wave, it was like this whole magical world just opened up from them.

“I’m a bit late to the table again but I think all the more richer for discovering them later on.”

You’ve obviously had Face Her going down so well, making New Music Friday, you must have been delighted with that..

“It’s cool to see it get legs and take off on its own, but I didn’t find a huge sense of excitement about it, actually which I guess is kind of a good sign because it means I’m not in it for the success of the songs on a chart or a streaming service.

“It was cool to see it do well and to see people have something to say about it, but I think I got what I got from the song already: It’s already gone. It’s already out into the world.”

You’re about to release your debut album Guardians, you must be excited..

“Yeah, very excited. I’m excited to just have it there as part of my body of work because I am proud of it.

“And for where I’m at and all the work that I put into it, I think I’m proud to have it there but I’m already looking at other projects and other ideas and other things to get my teeth stuck into.

“It’ll be fantastic when it comes out.

“But again, I’m kind of looking at the next thing, the next project.”

Why is it called Guardians? “I don’t actually know but it’s the right title.

“It’s the perfect title. I know that.

“I don’t know why but it is.”

Are there plans to perform live? “I have my tail between my legs for this, I actually haven’t played live and I need to figure out how because I’d hope to play festivals this year.

“But again, music being a new thing to me, I don’t know what the ins and outs are of having a sound engineer or someone to control the dynamics of the stage and stuff.

“So that’s something else I’m gonna have to figure out the first half of this year, and hopefully when I have it figured out, I’ll have a good theatrical piece of a show that I can bring around and put on in venues and then also bring it to festivals as a source of life.”

Alex is from the Lady’s Island area of Wexford.

He has also been known to do some acting and had a lead role in the independent film Suit Hung. Tied Tongue.

“Weird, weird project and totally bizarre,” Alex says of it.

“But in the most beautiful ways, it’s a joy to be a part of it because it’s so out there.

“During the lockdown, I was taking as many short film projects as I could.

“One of these projects was with this fella called Sau Dachi.

“I acted in a short film of his and he approached me later on about this idea he had for a feature length film that would be a lot of guerilla style filmmaking, because it would be no budget.

“And what was beautiful about that as an actor is that you had a lot of creative input, because we pretty much improvised all the scenes.

“He really did a good job of putting us at the forefront of the project and letting us decide what way it went.

“I think that really suited me.

“You don’t get an experience like that too often as an actor.

“There were no reins, no ‘you need to do these certain things’.

“It was just like, ‘I trust you. I trust your vision. Go ahead and do your thing’.

“And I think it worked.

“I think it really, really did work.

“I think he pulled it off brilliantly.”

And your music also features on the soundtrack, isn’t that right?

“That’s true.

“And again, he was just fantastic at putting you as an artist to the forefront of the project.

“I came to him and said, ‘Hey, I wrote this poem thing, let me just record it and not necessarily put into the film, but let me just record it and give it to you.

“I just recorded the song, sent it on to him and said, ‘Just an idea. If it fits anywhere, fantastic. Use it’.

“And it ended up making the soundtrack so yeah, it was like a double whammy.

“It’s nice that both crafts are riding on top of each other.”

So you’re going to do both acting and music going forward or what’s the plan?

“Jeez, I wish I had a plan to tell you.

“I honestly don’t know, I just hope I keep making work that’s fulfilling and I find good and purposeful, and that will get me wherever it gets me

“I’ve kind of let go of the outcome.

“I’m just happy to make stuff that I enjoy making.”

How did you get into acting? “I was in drama groups when I was a kid so I knew I liked it and then during college, during the summers, I made an effort to get into movie extras and on film sets because I think I always knew I wanted to do it at the back of my head.

“It was about halfway through college that I started acting in short films and just kept on doing it, never stopped from there.”

Where do you think you would be now if it hadn’t been for lockdown. It sounds like you would still be pursuing music but without that chance to dedicate yourself to it..

“Yeah, I definitely think the music wouldn’t be as far along, the film might have actually taken up a bit more steam if lockdown hadn’t happened.

“I think it was a bit of a setback on the film front but for everything it taught me music-wise it sped up the music, it was definitely the catalyst.”

Daniel (d’s song) is out now.

The album Guardians is out now.

For more information, click here.

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