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RMH 23: Abraham Alexander

Abraham Alexander


He is a musician living in Fort Worth, Texas hailing all the way from Athens Greece. His soulful, blues style voice brings listeners into a personal journey, evoking emotion in the deepest sense.

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Episode Transcription: 


Hello, FORTituders Welcome back to The What is this about the 18/19th show he


must have put that kick drum like man, I’m gonna crank this kick drum on 11 on this track, you know he’s a drummer, that’s probably wise.


What now is more apparent to me is you weren’t listening to a single thing. That’s okay. It gets old. You know, we’re glad to be here. What I have to say doesn’t mean a damn bit of difference. But we have a good guest today Brinton.


First of all the weather around this Fort Worth is much like my mood swings. I mean, you talk about hot in cold but you know, yesterday was the day before were just fantastic. How are you? How are you handling the heat wave that’s hit us if I acclimate if I have a few days to acclimate. So today’s not a good day, but in a few days when I’ve acclimated, no problem, I can adjust. It just takes me a little time and effort to do so. Huh? Do you guys have any family trips planned? We do we you know, I have a younger brother who lives in Montana. Let me tell you about myself real quick. Just kidding. Go ahead. Brinton well, Montana is a reclusive paradise. And that is what my younger brother is going to visit all right. Yeah, I know you know this because you know McGee, but the phone conversation Biggie sounds a little bit like this. Hey, what are you doing? Nothing much McGee got a lot of stuff going getting ready for the podcast stuff. All right. I’ll assume what you’re doing. Okay. Yeah. What’s going on up there in Montana? Nothing just working at the bar. Oh, all right. Are you busy? Yeah, we were slammed the other night. We had six people in here. Are you thinking what I think you’re thinking what would you get him on the show? Oh, I tried when he was in town before.


Well, based on what you just told me I think our listeners he wants nothing to do with sighted about this. But so we’re going to go see him. What are you going to do? We’re going to Colorado next week on a off the grid type trip we’re gonna take this fishing trip on a little rubber boat. The guide in Santa Canyon, the Black Canyon river with my mother and stepdad and my kids and wife who doesn’t much appreciate the woods or that or nature like I might be sleeping on the side of the river and tense so yeah, three days of that with out devices is very exciting for someone in my position. Yeah, the place we’re going is kind of devices too. And it’s crazy how much he paid to get away from device somehow I think my wife or excuse me, my daughter will figure out how to tick tock in this situation which is damn near impossible but the girl Tick Tock is a big player in her wildlife right now. It’s the boy fishing is all all that matters. So


we’ll be good there but I think that’ll be sweet man though. Like you guys will get to know each other again. Really? Well.


That was the whole point. So thank you for with your mom right there. Oh yeah, for sure. That’s always helpful for the marital relationship thing in our tent. So yeah, we get there. Susan? Yes. Okay.


Brinton today’s guest we got a good one. Yeah, we do that we save everybody this one this guy’s is the epitome of cool. He’s probably the one of the more up and coming artists in this town. I think people call him Abraham Alexander. You listen to his stuff. I have very soulful, very cool, smooth, smooth vibe.


Yeah, he’s got a little connection to another guy around here doesn’t he who kind of busted out with a lot of that soulfulness back but we’re gonna we’re gonna push


on that a little bit. See if he can tell us some some roommate news. his roommate happens to be a guy named Leon bridges. Yeah, we’ll get to that if we can. This is about him. No, this isn’t about Liana, right? He has to


draw a line a little bit. Was he telling me not to ask him that gotcha.


But October 6, he’s playing Red Rocks. Leon’s playing in Abraham. Our guests will be opening for him at Red Rocks. Oh, no kidding. Guess what? I’m going. Are you already going? Already got tickets? Yes. Who are you going up there with? We’re going for a couple more friends with the Seretse Donnie and Julie Surette.


Well, I was gonna offer up that I have a connection in there, and my brother lives in Denver, another brother. So I might just see you there. That could be amazing. Yeah, it really could. Alright, so we’ll get them on. We’ll get them going. Next up, Abraham, Alexander. Slow down.


All right for tutors. We have in studio with us the greatness of Abraham Alexander. Welcome to the show, buddy.


Hey, thanks for being here. Is that is that a mug synthesizer that’s up there on that anything that good? I could pick that out the warmth of that thing. Are you music? Yeah, I’m in the music. Okay. pedal steel guitar doesn’t really lend itself here it goes. Oh my god, him start a home man. Awaken your squeaking. Just silence Abraham’s mic. Let’s talk to Brinton now. Hey, hey.


Anyway, thank you for being here. It’s a pleasure. It’s a privilege to have you on the show with us. And you’re gonna sing for us a little bit here after the show after the interview. Before we get stuck if we get in too deep to your life, you’re born in Athens, Greece, born in Athens, Greece. Crazy. Very cool. And one thing led to another you immigrated here at the age of 10 years old, correct to Fort Worth. Arlington, Arlington. Okay. You attended Arlington? Lamar High School. Yes. You are one of nine siblings. You


told us one of nine. Yeah. Can you name them all? Probably not. Not. There. There’s Samuel, David. Me. Emmanuel. Jensen, Draco. Colton, June and Xavier.


How many living the life you’re living right now? Six of them. Yeah. But doing that with geordi. And nobody, right? Nobody else. Yeah,


no one, which is insane. Because I didn’t really want to do music at all. Like, like sports was my thing and thinking about going into medicine. And yeah, my birth dad played music. Phenomenal guitar player, phenomenal. piano player. And so but like, we didn’t have the best relationship, and I didn’t want anything to do with it. Was this man Greek? Your birth Dad? Yes. Yeah. Yeah. And, but I just, I was like, You know what? I’m not my thing. I love sports. And I want that to be my, I want that to be my cross that I take in a sense, and or champion or whatever you want to say. And


yeah. What do you think happened there? added it. I mean, was there something that happened that that pivot took place like a little bit of letting go forgiveness, kind of like what? What kind of transpired


a compilation of a few things one, I tore my ACL playing college ball. And where do you play ball? Texas Wesleyan. And here in Fort Worth talking soccer?


Yes. Yes. Not table tennis. Because we know they have we’ve talked about the table tennis table tennis. Yeah, it’s Texas. Wesleyan league


is insane. It’s like UT football. I’m serious. It’s I’m not kidding. Like that. Table Tennis will pack the gym more than a basketball like like they’ve won an NAIA championships. But


is it the most exciting thing like I can only imagine being in a live situation and watching that table tennis like that?


I would see them practice. And it’s the most fascinating thing ever. Like you think you’re decent at Table Tennis until you see them be like five feet away from the table. Right? And just smack that thing. And the next person recover. And send it right back. Yeah. And you just like, how? Yeah, it’s it’s insane. And like they go to the Olympics. And they win and then come back. And I’m like, yeah, it’s it’s it’s wild. Bradesco, he


had the privilege Brinton had the privilege of telling coach Ray there Jasmine Raider over there that he played the pedal steel. So we Yeah, we had some good I share, I share it with


only the select few who I feel most comfortable with. Yeah, we’ll Well, we’ll have to collaborate or something now. So thank you, that has been recorded here.


But Abraham’s lawyers? No, listen, I have the tapes. That state. He wants me on this. I mean, why did what did you understand?


So you tore your ACL at Wesleyan playing soccer? Yes. When did music start for you in the in a more more professional fashion.


So this would have been an 18 1718. I was just like, you know what, let’s, let’s do it. So I kind of digress on the story. But I had an opportunity to go to London with the guys here from like, here, Fort Worth. Yeah. And they were showcasing and I had released a song called America and went there. And this label from London heard it. And they immediately reached out like, Hey, you were just here in London, would you be interested in coming back and doing a few sessions and working at Abbey Road, and seeing if you like us, and we like you and kind of go from there. And that was really because before it was just I don’t know if it’s what I want to do. Like I just love doing it out of writing and creating different in a different way. But that was the moment that it like, Oh, snap.


Yeah, this is a possibility, where you get contacted by record label. That doesn’t happen to everybody. I mean, I’m not saying it hasn’t happened with me, but I’m just saying a lot of people don’t experience that. Okay.


You know, it was such a blessing. You know,


did you have a manager and stuff when you went over there? Like No, I mean, it was that informal. You just went over with the Group and you’re like, I’m gonna do this. And then here you go. That happened that quickly, just like that.


Yeah, just, I mean, there were, you know, waiting to hear responses and this and that. And, but it was pretty, it was pretty instant. And, you know, for that I’m grateful for that story and to go back to, you know, London, where it’s not where I was born, but Europe is kind of home for me. Yeah. And to go back and discover myself the second part of life from in discover that, and in the country, and being a foreigner, but still being a native, and having all those blends, and it was, it was a beautiful experience. How


old were you at that time? I was 27. Yeah. And it was before, then the world kind of got all crazy, right? Like, if you think about that, and just a world context. It’s like, what a beautiful time to be have been there do


it, you know, it is it’s like, thinking about it, too, is like, man, I just had this. Awesome. To be honest, like, it sucked, one going into going to London and saying, Okay, this is what I want to do in 17 1819 going on tour for the first time releasing music. And then in 20 thinking like, man, I just did all this groundwork. It’s about to like, go up in flames in a sense, like, in the best way. And COVID Yeah, yeah. And so. But yeah, it’s just, again, it’s the journey, you know, and that’s the thing that I can talk about, and look back on and say that, if that didn’t shake me, then this is this is for real. And this is what I’m meant to do. And I should keep pursuing your music.


Your music talks about some of these journeys. I know this. What are your Do you have musical inspirational folks in your life? Who do you emulate or want to emulate in your musical life?


Man, I, you know, I, again, I want to decide exactly where I’m going in life that I want to be as authentic to, to me as possible, but I definitely draw inspiration from artists like Gary Clark, Jr. JOHN legend. Leon bridges, who’s from here. Paul Simon, phenomenal writer. Yeah, there’s, there’s so so so many artists that I love, and I draw from and that, that inspire me. And, you know, one of them gave me the best advice is like, they never had a plan B. Yeah. And if they, if if, like, success wasn’t even a thing for them, it was just, they knew that this was what gave them life, and made them feel alive. And so if if that’s the same for you, the success is going to come.


So you know, you got those those beautiful songs like the one we kind of opened in with but then either you got like, 335 in America. So what what happens to Abraham? And where does he sit in writing? Those two contrasting kind of emotions, right? So so much kind of love filled, like that aspect is real soft side of you. And then this really kind of torqued upside. So take us through that.


Yeah, it was specially with 335. And me being in London, I was like, am I trying to be like someone else and had I had that fear of Am I going to turn up the same way that he did. And writing that song helped me drop that baggage and drop that way, and it’s emotional for me, and I’m sure you can hear it within the song. And America at the same time. I wrote it in 2016, after the shooting happened in Dallas. And I was just trying to figure out a way for me to use what I had to make sense of everything. And so sometimes when you don’t have words, songs, you know, make make sense of things. And that was kind of what came came about. Yeah,


you mentioned it earlier. COVID how did how did your COVID your we talked a little bit off air about this but how did the COVID your affects you? How did you survive it? You’re obviously back on back Go doing doing playing your craft to the world and progressively state progressive state. Excuse me. How did you how did you survive last year?


It was it was rough, you know, few few events that took place last year, but in the beginning of it I was like are you know it’s gonna be two three months and he was like, it’d be a nice little vacation. And I can relax. He got old fast it. Oh my god. I was like, You know what, I’m gonna write a few songs. And then it was like, I wasn’t getting out of bed. Yeah, yeah, it was just it. And then to put the cherry on top, I ruptured my Achilles. And so it was just one beating after the next and after the next but I spent a lot of time with my family. And that was my saving grace was was them and their love. And that’s your mom. And are you married with kids? Or is this? Okay? Yeah, this is my parents and my siblings. Yeah. And so just, you know, they just got a new house out in Benbrook. And, you know, got the whole pole going on. And so all my friends that were kind of social distancing, like we would get together for like, two, three weeks and be together and try to, you know, play games or whatever was to kind of lift our spirits up. And so and they were bonds that were solidified because of those things. And we celebrated our birthday together. And


were you all done up? Like with the heel? Like, at that time? Were you?


Kind of in and out? Yeah, towards the end? Yeah, cuz he was Christmas time. You know, it happened in November. And so Christmas, like we’re all celebrating and I’m there with my load scooter. riding around New Year’s, New Year’s Day, I took my first step, like on the boot. And that’s when it snowed. It like snowed here in Texas on New Year’s Day. And it was, you know, snow melting, sigma, significant. The significance of that is just new beginnings. And so it was definitely that for me, to where I was like, Man, it’s it’s no one purifying, and then melting of starting something new. And so it just really just gave me such joy. like, yo, whatever happened. It happened. Like, let’s get up. Let’s do something. Let’s write songs. Yeah. Do you read a lot during that time? I did. I did. Man. It was some of my best writing. That it’s it’s so funny, the correlation between pain.


And I was about to ask if you are in some pain medicine at that time, which might have helped with no, I’m really kidding. But


honestly, though, I didn’t hold on to the pain meds because I wanted to feel it. Yeah. Yeah, it was just like, I don’t I don’t want to, like I did for like, two three days. And then I was like, Okay, I’m, I’m kind of done. Like, I wanted to feel the pain. It’s weird to say cuz some people were like, Are you an idiot? Like, why would you want to feel the pain of Achilles, but it does something mentally because of like, I was saying this off air. The, the the days between the the injury, and my surgery date, there was a lot of mental battle that was going on. Yeah. So tell us what was going on there. One, just the condemnation that I was giving myself in the fact of like, Hey, man, you haven’t worked. And you just did this to yourself? You’re an idiot. Like, it’s not gonna be this just just those. And it was I probably, I mean, it was basketball, not soccer. What is up with that? Exactly, man. And I was just like, Why couldn’t it be the sport that I love? And I play? I would have felt better about myself, probably. Probably not, my ego would have probably been bruised a lot more. Yeah. And so there was there was a lot of condemnation, but I was able to overcome that. And I think feeling the pain actually helped because I first wanted to be numb. And now I’m actually feeling something and also there was the pain to me signified that I was healing already. You know, instead of man, I don’t I don’t want to feel anything at all. I want to be numb. I don’t want to get up. I should just lay in bed. But feeling that pain, it’s like, man if if my leg because at first I was like my body felt me. Yeah. And that that pain was like now my body’s trying to fight back and trying to heal. And so he was just switching those mentalities in my head. And switching that thought and switching my way of thinking that really pushed me forward. So 2019 was an ebb and flow of ups and downs. Well, we’re


glad you survive the ebbs and flows for sure. This without spilling the beans. There will be a tour in your in your not too distant future. Yes. Will some of these new songs be on this tour? Definitely.


I’ll definitely be playing some of these new stuff on this tour. And I’m excited going going with the band.


When will we find out the dates when will that be announced? Sometime in the new year. reading between the lines we’re not supposed to ask that. Did you not hear before we started he tried to slip a slip up. Right?


Yeah. So Abraham who is working excuse me, tell us the truth to power project. Can you tell us a bit about that


man, that was a phenomenal collaboration that A group of artists did. And it was birthed through the pandemic of wanting to help you know and George Floyd, wanting to help just black businesses and families that were affected by by COVID. And just families period to, and it was just different artists. They’re doing original work or doing covers, and just coming together and doing something bigger as a collective than we could have done by ourselves. And it’s crazy. I think I just saw this right before coming here. That the the album’s charting on Billboard No kidding Yeah, that’s cool just with every what songs on there of yours? I did bridge over troubled water by Paul Simon. Oh, very good. Yeah, it’s it’s such a you know, it’s got that so why boy doing gospel music and to me, I would say it’s top five best songwriters of all time. Yeah, he’s he’s phenomenal.


We don’t disagree with you want a bit so also one of your songs America made it on the on the documentary the HBO documentary? Yes. Did a sports did still, that was very cool.


Oh, man, that so. So I released American 2017 then took it down when I signed to the label and put it part of the package. But I spent, you know, worked two, three months, and spent all the money and like poured it into me. Like, I didn’t have a band, I didn’t have anything, support all the money into making the song. And just seeing the fruit that’s like, come out of it like, amen. This is the first big sink, or just the first sink for that song period. Yeah. And for it to be used in the way that I wanted it to be used. Again, another blessing and an HBO which like everyone wants to work with them and to be a documentary about sports. And yeah, like just the world coming back together and like overcoming something that the whole world went through. Yeah, you know, is what we write the songs for.


So um, do you Did you record that stuff? Here? You do recording here? Are you right?


I did so so America was done at spaceways Studios right here in Fort Worth. Okay. And did it with producer named Wilhite? He’s a freakin genius, man. Yeah. And, yeah, he’s phenomenal dude, and wrote that song, again in 17. And it was one of those or wrote it in 16, after the shooting, produced it in 17. And it was one of the quickest songs that I’ve ever written. Because he was just me just writing on it if you can’t see me, yeah, just writing it was like non stop, non stop writing. And then once I probably 2030 minutes, and once I looked, I was like, the songs finished.


Wow, so powerful. So what do you think it is about what’s going on here? We got this creative class that I think has been here and maybe not as exposed. What’s happening in Fort Worth, Texas, because you’re not the first you’re kind of you’re hopefully not the last that we’ll have and talk about this.


I think Fort Worth is finally starting to realize the eclipse witness that’s that’s around here. So there’s there’s they’re seeing the colors, people are recognizing one. This is not just cow town, and it’s not just one lane. There. They’re different avenues to go through. And perception becomes reality. Once you see someone make it, then everyone believes that they could do it themselves as well. And so just seeing more people come out and pursuing things and like being successful than everyone else is like Okay, we got it like we can make n the city and Betsy price did a phenomenal job in spearheading projects that would put artists at a spotlight, you know, like South by Southwest in 2018 and 2019. And then they partnered with like balaghat yellow helicopter and did some incredible stuff, going to London. And so I think just people are believing that one. My city’s behind me. And to like, my music doesn’t have to be country. It doesn’t have to be rock. It doesn’t have to be blues. Can you play pedal steel on something other than country though? Yeah, you can. Okay. Yeah, you don’t have to answer that. Absolutely, man. I honestly just did pedal still on one of my records.


Really? Who was a pedal steel player?


I remember his name. He was a noob he did not know how to play Pettit he was he’s young guy. Yeah, yeah. From North Carolina that ruins you rules you out there.


Well, because we’re gonna get my instructor on here who with he said, You got to find more young guys, man. No, we’re worried our instruments gonna die. Nobody plays pedal steel.


I would love to learn big I’m a noob on slide guitar. Oh, yeah. Well, we Got it. Done. Now I got a new friend wrapping up


wrapping up the portion of the show where we just talk. But the cool part about this connection that I wanted to share is that I had trouble connecting with Abraham before and we happen to share a mutual friend the police chief. Yes, Neil Noakes. I was with Neil and he was a he’s a friend of the show. He’s been on the show and your name came up and he’s like, hey, hang on a sec, texting about the dinner table. And before we know it, we’re talking here you sit. So we want to shout out to Chief Noakes for hooking us up. He’s a fan of yours as his Mayor price. And the new mayor Mattie, Mattie Parker, we’ve talked about this during our times together. So that’s awesome. You got some friends in high places, which


is very cool. Well, I think to your point, you know, the city’s behind you. And I mean, not that we’re speaking for the city, but the city does find a way to support what it’s gotten. They become the biggest fans of it. Look at TCU. You know, and other institutions like Texas Wesleyan.


Yes, that type of thing. You know, one of the shows we can talk about this is this one is that it’s been released, but you’re going to be in a place called Red Rocks. October 6. Yes. I know this, because I am going to the show.


Yes. And now that I know of it. Yeah. My brother who lives in Denver. I may be sleeping on the couch that


you’ll be opening for Leon, one of your friends, which is very cool. Yeah. Cool place to see a concert. Have you ever been there but never been? Oh, for the first time. Funny thing is though, and last year, I made a bucket list of things that I wanted to do. Like it was like, oh, man, I just hurt myself. And I’m gonna make a bucket list. Yeah. Yeah, to be over. But I made a bucket list. And I’ve knocked out two things. And in that 20 or 25 list, nine is playing Red Rocks. And two is riding a horse. Wow. Okay. What do you ride the horse here? Yeah, so I did. The stables. Benbrook sale Yeah, and then I’d let go for you. I was I felt great, man. It was like I was meant to do it on my life. You know, I was like finally I’m gonna text here. Number one on your list. I can’t tell you that.


Okay, but I bet you could write a song like 22 left or something like that you know where you could just when you hit those numbers but good on you for going down to already that’s pretty admirable to set that goal and go after it.


I want to tell you number one because it’s like knock on wood type thing but I want to hit all the continents to on that on that list three admirable Yeah, well, you’ve already done a couple right? I have I have funny I did Africa two, which was like insane. I was in Africa for like, two days, three days and then I had to come back here play a show in 18 for the visit Fort Worth people and then fly out the very next day to London. And so very cool, man. Yeah, so so almost there. I think I still need the ages. You need an article that’s going to be a tough one I


think because there are no shows being booked there that I know COVID still pretty heavy never know about things can happen. We got people going to the moon good. Last question for you, Abraham. This is our patented fortitude question but family aside what was the best day of your whole life? Man let’s do with going further cuz you don’t have kids and you’re not married yet. So let’s say family in and special. Girlfriend boyfriend type stuff. None of that stuff can count.


You know what I think was man the Benbrook stables? That was that was Hi. I want to say maybe trusting Christ was probably look at you. Alright. Wiley. So I speak. Thank Deborah people’s gave us the Christ. The answer is Well, that was good. That’s a good answer. Yeah, I think that it was between that or being you know, finding my family and so but you said families out you know, the whole adoption thing was pretty high up there. Very godly man. I don’t know about all that. Yeah, I’m just I’m I’m trying man. But But I think definitely finding my faith was was a big, big day for me.


Very good. Well, Abraham. Thanks. Yeah. Thank you so much. We’ll play a couple songs. Let’s do it. Thanks, man. Thank you. Thanks for being here.


Slow, baby. We’ve let this wire that’s between. and now you said I am. Hello. Everyone. I see. You’ve heard it from another. Oh, this isn’t notes on us he


mess turn Coastie. Hmm Ks Wi Fi IE and we play in this lovers game you cry eat I try but they stayed the same. This is a no song I see


this turn ghosty slow down baby don’t want to rush this fee oh don’t let this fire that’s between no


burn Coastie I know I am alive you guys every word I sing hashtag you to another oh this isn’t no song I see that sir turn ghosty Kelly’s Wi Fi IID when we play in this lovers game, you cry eat her try but they stay the same. This is a note song ice mass turn calls the great