The Musician Spotlight Series shines a light on up-and-coming bands and solo acts creating heartfelt and original work across genres, giving them an opportunity to talk about their music, their collaborators, and why they do what they do.
“Canadian Pop-Country artist Alex Hughes, released her compelling new single “After 31” on November 12th via all streaming platforms. “After 31” is a true coming-of-age moment and the most honest and raw of Alex’s releases to date. Born and raised in Calgary, AB, Alex has practically been singing since before she could talk, growing up to find what she believes to be her truly authentic and distinctive sound. Weaving R&B runs into classic country melodies with pop-driven beats has led Alex to great success with multiple sold out shows in 2021, a Country Music Alberta “Horizon Female Artist of the Year” nomination, and a Top 12 Finalist position in the Project WILD Country Artist Development Program. Since releasing her current project’s debut single, “Strong As You”, in 2019, Alex has been making waves in the Alberta music scene; collaborating with incredible artists including a feature vocal performance on Fayence Dream’s album, “Hang up on Me” and The Blue Jay Sessions group collaborative song, “Sitting on Top of The World”. Alex is also highly commended as a songwriter with credits on Leaving Thomas’ acclaimed album, “Nothing Comes for Free” as a writer on the song, “Lie to Me”, as well as Ryan Lindsay’s CCMA nominated album, “The Ride” as a writer on fan favourite, “Darlin’ You’re Classic”. After the cancellation of shows in 2020, Alex spent her free time continuing to hone her craft, co-writing over 50 songs with writers from Calgary, Nashville, Chicago, and even the UK, and also released her follow-up singles, “Gentleman” and “
When did you know you wanted to be a musician?
When I was 7 years old, I entered a country karaoke singing contest in my hometown of Calgary, Canada. I fell in love with the stage and have been singing and performing ever since.
Are you trained? How did you develop your skills?
I worked with a wonderful vocal coach, Marie Bridge, in my teenage years and have also taken some guitar lessons – sporadically. I was in choir all through school too, but I would say most of my skills in performing and song writing come from my dedication to my craft over so many years. I’m continuously trying to grow and develop as a singer and songwriter.
Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
I grew up listening to all kinds of music, everything from Snoop Dogg to Dolly Parton, and that has really influenced my music. I have always been fascinated with beautiful and haunting voices and one of my all-time favourite artists is Eva Cassidy. The pain and heartache she would deliver in her performances really inspired me to keep pushing to find a sound that could draw on people’s emotions and really resonate with them.
How would you describe your sound?
Listening to so many different artists growing up has really helped shape my sound. I love weaving R&B runs into classic country melodies – like a Patsy Cline melody mixed with a little bit of Alicia Keys. I have always loved rhythm too, so my songs tend to have more pop driven beats. My voice has always sounded Country and I love that, so I try to create music that honors my natural sound and pair that with a good beat and relatable lyrics.
What’s your favourite tune in your repertoire and why?
My new single “After 31”, is my favourite song in my repertoire right now. I’m really proud of this song and love performing it live, especially in a songwriter round or a more intimate setting. I have seen how people react as a result of relating to the lyrics and that’s such a rewarding feeling as a songwriter.
What can audiences expect from one of your live shows?
My live shows always have a little bit of something for everyone. My original songs are a mix of upbeat party songs to heartfelt and lyrical songs. I also love to throw in “countrified” versions of unique covers, like 90’s pop songs or a modern take on a classic country tune. I always try and make sure everyone can sing along to at least one song!
Where can we find your music?
My music is available on all streaming platforms; you can also find me on social media (particularly Instagram) where I share upcoming shows and some of my everyday musical journey!