“I see myself still doing what I love, still making the same style of music I grew up and fell in love with. The music industry is every changing and unfortunately a lot of artists are changing who they are just to be relevant. I don’t want to be one of those artists. I want to be true to who I am, whether it’s popular or not.”

Check out the interview with Leo Alexander exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.

Skilly: Where did this all start? Tell us about your journey in the entertainment business.
Leo Alexander: I’ve been in music all of my life, from being in the church choir when I was little to being in my high school band. I didn’t get intro songwriting until after my father’s passing in 2007. Before his death one of the last conversations we had was him telling me to always follow my dreams and that’s something I’ve held on to this day.

What would be your biggest piece of advice for the young kids out there trying to do what you do?
Don’t get caught up in trying to be like every other artist these days. If your sound is different from what’s playing on the radio today and you are ok with that, then that’s perfectly fine. People will appreciate you for being true to yourself.

What are some of the hardest challenges and tasks in your position?
I’ve been doing this since 2007 and for the most part it’s just been me. The hardest challenge I have come across is wanting to expand my team but not finding the right people to do it. I’ve found it easier to do it alone because I rely on myself to get everything done and if anything were to blow up in my face I can take full responsibility for it.

We all know the entertainment business is very tough, but what do you find is the best way to promote and advertise your music?
Social media is your best friend. Unless you’re a household name, people are not going to go out and look for your music. You got to make them see it. Submit your music to blogs. Enter different contests. Do covers of music today and add your own twist to it. Do anything it takes to get the world to see and hear you.

Tell us about your city. How are the artists and the fans?
Being that I am a North Caroline native, I am subjected to the “J. Cole Standard.” Don’t get me wrong, I have mad love for Cole and respect what he does. But because of the spotlight he’s put on our state, a lot of labels, radio stations, and even listeners are looking for the next NC rapper to blow up. My sound is completely left field of that and despite the few “mainstream records” I have had, it’s not enough to keep their attention. And I’m perfectly ok with that.

Where do you see yourself a year from today?
I see myself still doing what I love, still making the same style of music I grew up and fell in love with. The music industry is every changing and unfortunately a lot of artists are changing who they are just to be relevant. I don’t want to be one of those artists. I want to be true to who I am, whether it’s popular or not.

Who and what were your biggest inspirations? Who do you look up to in today’s world?
I’m a 90s baby, I grew up on r&Bb artists like Brandy, Usher, Aaliyah, Timbaland, and Ginuwine. Those artists are responsible for my r&b foundation. What I’ve come to love in recent years are artists that break the mold of what is to be expected of them. Being a black artist you’re expected to sound a certain way and the thing that I love about these artists is that they give a middle finger to that idea.

How do you feel about the music coming out today? Do you like it?
I feel like the music of today is coming in short waves. What is considered popular now will be a thing of the past in the next 6 months. I understand that music is ever changing, but what I’m seeing now is artists being less genuine and more concerned about being the next big thing.

Where can we contact you and find you online?
Bandcamp: leoalexander.bandcamp.com
Soundcloud: mr-leo-alexander
iTunes: Zodiac
Twitter: @mrleoalexander
Instagram: @leo.alexander
Facebook: MrLeoAlexander