Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, it wasn’t long before 21 year old singer/producer, Alex Aiono, moved to the City of Angels, where he pursued his dream of having a career in music. Having acquired over 5M YouTube subscribers, 2.4M Instagram followers, 485K Twitter followers and over 590M YouTube views to date, we would say he’s made a good move! 😏
At the age of 14, Alex was living in Los Angeles, when he started posting cover videos of other songs, on his YouTube page. He recalls that one of the first videos he put out, was a mashup of Rihanna’s “Where Have You Been” and Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake”, and he was thrilled because it had received approximately 1,000 views! So cute.
1,000 views may have been a lot for him then, but compared to his other uploaded videos, it’s nothing. Alex continuously put out more covers and mashups on YouTube and explored the aspect of production. Seeing as how he played half a dozen musical instruments – from the drums, to the piano and even the ukulele – Alex strived to learn how he could include several instrument sounds in one track. He figured that learning how to produce music, would allow him to do that. To this day, he says that two of his biggest inspirations for learning how to produce are Pharrell Williams and Timbaland:
“I’m obsessed with producers who put their own stamp on things and work to shift the paradigm. The people I’m most inspired by are the one who know who they are, stay true to themselves, and create forward-thinking records.”
We LOVE. ❤️ His love for production is what made Alex create a mashup of Drake’s “One Dance”, and Nicky Jam’s “Hasta el Amanecer”, which went realllll VIRAL, having amassed over 57M views to date! We think that Alex following his passion has ultimately paid off! 👌
Let’s backtrack a little bit. As a kid, Alex says he and his family would really bond over one thing: music. This is definitely why Alex knows how to play so many instruments. He says he was raised listening to music by Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Lauryn Hill and others. On his inspiration for music in general, Alex says:
“[John Legend’s] voice is what shaped me wanting to sing and what shaped the way I do things when I sing, like how much rasp I put on a note.”
These two actually got to work on a track together, which Alex says was one of the most special moments in his life, because he had always been inspired by him.
When Alex moved to LA, he was at the Santa Monica Promenade busking, when one of his manager’s friends stopped to hear him play. He says:
“I put a little basket out to try to get some lunch money, one of my manager’s friends saw me playing, and the rest is history”
Unbelievable how being at the right place at the right time can really make a difference. In 2013, Alex put out his first piece of original music, in an EP titled Young & Foolish. Crazy enough, the title track itself was co-written by John Legend. 😱
Alex Aiono – “Young and Foolish”
Moving forward to February 2017, Alex released his first single as a signed artist to Interscope Records. His track “Work The Middle”, was produced by Axident and D’Mile Emille II, who have both worked on other hit tunes in the past. In an interview with Celebmix, on the song, Alex says:
“[It’s] a modern day song about a girl that you meet and you really like, and that you want to push the boundaries a bit and flirt your way into getting her to go out with you. It’s cool because it’s things that go on in every day life.”
Alex Aiono – “Work The Middle”
For his second single, released in April 2017, Alex dropped “Question”, which he says, is a song which discusses having to move on from a toxic relationship.
Alex Aiono – “Question”
Apart from his music, Alex has also starred in a YouTube series called Royal Crush. He can also be heard as a host on Radio Disney. Additionally, he has supported The Wanted, Austin Mahone and even R5 on tour.
On performing live, he says:
“The most important thing is to put positive energy out there onstage and really connect that way with my fans.”
AWWWWW. Cute. 😍
So what’s next for Alex? You can catch him on tour with Sabrina Carpenter! Plus, he’s working on new music so we’re told we can expect more music to be released soon! 😉
Are you a fan? Comment/react below or tweet us @umusic to let us know what you think!