Who is Alex Hall? The singer-songwriter joined us to chat about his journey to country music. Get to know the rising star here…
Our Swag Spotlight this week, Alex Hall spoke with our Managing Editor, Christina about growing up in Gainesville, GA, idolizing Elvis Presley and putting in 10 years honing his craft before signing his record deal with Monument Records. As a child, Hall lived on a small horse farm and would go to the rodeo every weekend to race his horses. His first recollection of loving music was randomly finding Elvis Presley, not only loving his music but everything about him. “Elvis grew up very country, in a rural area in Mississippi and then moved to Memphis, everything about him besides his music was really country,” he tells us. “I resonated with him so much, I would dress up as him and put on concerts with my karaoke machine and would sing his live concerts front to back. I studied him, I still to this day could probably give an entire documentary interview about him.”
His love for music was then shaped by his father listening to the country greats, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Kris Kristofferson while his mother was a rock n roll fan, playing ZZ Top, Black Sabbath, and AC/DC. Between sports, rodeo, starting to dig into songwriting and guitar, Hall was already busy in high school but when he was 15 years old he made his first trip to Nashville with his parents and his life changed forever.
The Turning Point:
From then on he would spend hours in the car driving back and forth from Nashville to Gainesville, taking cowrites, playing gigs, and working to gain some traction for himself in the music industry. After moving to Nashville after he graduated high school, Hall explains it was almost 10 years to the day from when he first visited Music City to when he was offered a record deal with Monument Records “I feel like it’s like you are earning your Masters Degree in the music industry,” he explains. It’s like you earn your education to where you get to graduate and perform surgery on people, It’s the way that it works.”
Speaking of his record label, Monument Records, co-presidents Jason Owen and Shane McAnally fell in love with the singer-songwriter and upon meeting, offered him a record deal on the spot. McAnally had been on his list of dream cowriters for a long time, so to have the chance to actually work with him and have him believe in his music is something he cherishes. “Shane is amazing at tearing stuff apart and putting it back together in a beautiful way, I have learned to deconstruct stuff to build it stronger and better, he is an amazing guy, mentor, label head, producer, TV guy and all of the above.”
He then takes a moment to tell us about the first single they released last year, “Half Past You”. Looking for a breezy, acoustic song, to complement the groovy, electric and uptempo other songs on his debut project, the song was originally written by Hall along with Pete Good and AJ Babcock. Then he tells us, “Shane literally ‘Songlanded’ us, saying, ‘I want to push you to rewrite these verses’, he sat in with us and we rewrote it and in about 10-15 minutes we had rewritten every verse and that is the version that’s out now.”
As for 2020, Hall is heading out of the United States for the first time in his life and gets to play C2C in London with headliner Eric Church as well as other festivals over the summer. He also plans to continue writing and recording for his debut record.