For a generation that came up during the time of Glee, it’s not hard to recognize a theatre kid’s potential with modern pop songs. They could fiddle on the roof with as much ease as they could belting out a song by Bey. With that, it was a delight but not a surprise to hear from Alexis Gerred.
Having spent time on stage in productions of everything from Our House to American Idiot, the actor is now focused on his eponymous debut. That, and getting ready to perform his original music live for the first time at Live Launch at London’s The Water Rats on January 12th, 2019. Alexis cannot wait for it, noting, “It’s my main focus at the moment, now that the album’s out. Once that’s done I’ll be looking at playing other concerts throughout the year.”
So while we mark our calendars and wait for more dates to be announced, let’s get to know more about this wonderful fusion of musical theatre and pop singer.
Kendra: One note into “Sweet Angel” and it was clear as glass that you had a theatre background. Those projections were impressive and on point. When did you realize you wanted to be a musician off stage?
Alexis Gerred: My job has always been to tell someone else’s story through a song. I guess that’s imprinted into my style of songwriting. I truly believe every song should take you on some sort of emotional journey. That’s what all the great songs and artists do and I have always wanted to emulate my musical heroes. Queen, Rod Stewart, Paul Rodgers and George Michael (I could go on forever).
However, I was never presented with an avenue to pursue it. I’ve always been happy to just do what I love in front of an audience and hope people enjoy it. But I’ve been around the block long enough now that I know that time is limited in “show business” and I just wanted to add another string to my bow to keep the fire burning or, ultimately, before it was too late and the opportunity passed by. It was a brave move but one well worth taking!
Kendra: When it came time to release your debut, were you nervous because it wasn’t a part you were playing but rather yourself?
Alexis Gerred: Of course, but mainly because I had no idea that I could song write!! It’s not something I was ever brave enough to try. I thought I’d give it a stab for fun one day. No one needed to hear it if It wasn’t good enough. And believe me…a few creations will never surface. But it became frustratingly addictive – almost therapy. Nerves really kicked in when I released “Sweet Angel.” That was the single used to promote the Crowdfunding campaign to fund most of the album. I’m not saying I was confident but once I hit and passed the crowdfunding goal I was very humbled and excited to push forward and release the rest.
Kendra: All in all, your music has this beautiful positivity in it thanks to songs like “Face the Crowd.” Was there a song that inspired you to keep your head up?
Alexis Gerred: I’m extremely lucky to have had a wonderful life so far, full of love, support, and amazing experiences. But there have been a couple of dark patches in my timeline where I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. It’s not something I want sympathy for but I think it’s important to be open about mental health. Believe me, I wrote lots of songs that were bitter, angry and sad. However, the tracks that really stamped themselves naturally onto the album were the positive tracks. I guess subconsciously I wanted to remain positive on the album and only reflect back on the bad times to keep my mental state in check and for it all to be relatable to the listener.
“Save Me” is actually a diary of how I was feeling during the time I was really tangled in depression. The lyrics are far from positive. There is no other song I’ve written that inspires me as much to keep thinking positive and to not slip back into darker feelings.
Kendra: Circling back to the theatre, if you had the chance to star in a show about either Rod Stewart, Robbie Williams, or George Michael’s life which would you choose and why?
Alexis Gerred: Well they’d all be a treat to play! Hugely dynamic characters. I’d love to play Rod for his music, Robbie for his stage charisma and George for his story. There is a lot of raised eyebrows about the domination of Jukebox Musicals in Theatre these days. But people don’t have the money to gamble on something they don’t know if they’ll like! Plus, It works to my advantage in that I have a particular Pop/Rock sound that isn’t suitable for a traditional musical…so for me, long live the Jukebox!
Kendra: Other than your show in January, what are your plans for 2019?
Alexis Gerred: Being an actor, It’s all so unpredictable. But what I can tell you is that I’ll be gigging and writing between jobs. I’ve already started creating new music and we’ll see where it leads. A second album may not be possible, but why not be prepared with a catalog of songs if it is!? There’s no question that Would love to keep releasing Albums, it’s whether people want to hear them. So fingers crossed!