Alex Vargas: An interview with the remarkable musical talent from Denmark
The massively talented performer, producer and songwriter Alex Vargas is fresh on the London scene from an explosive live show where he got such a loud reception one might have thought Justin Timberlake was in the room. Coinciding with his latest release, Cohere, Vargas is performing select dates in the UK and Europe, including Southwold and Copenhagen. He has agreed to take time out of his busy life to answer a few of our questions and we are eager to see and hear more of him in our part of the world soon.
Did you enjoy performing at Omeara?
Very much so. What an incredible audience!
Clearly you are a remarkably musical person – the accuracy of your vocal performance is worthy of classical singers. What is your musical background and, more specifically, vocal training?
I was in musicals as a kid, and through that I had a bit of training. Most of my “training” was more of a learn on the job type of school.
What are your biggest musical influences? Biggest personal influences?
Aretha Franklin and Sam Cooke are my favourite vocalists. I have a huge number of heroes though. My family and friends are my biggest personal influences.
Do you listen to a lot of modern music?
In the past few years, yes. I was stuck in the 70s for a while…
Would you call yourself primarily a singer or songwriter? Or just an all-round musician? None of the above?
It’s hard to pick one. I think it changes from day to day. It’s mostly based on self doubt to be honest. When the songs don’t come easy I catch myself thinking “maybe singing is all I’m good for”. I’d like to think that’s not the case though. I’ve taken on more responsibility in attacking production too, but I’m definitely a writer before I’m a producer.
You gained recognition quite young. Has this affected your personal life?
Not at all.
What are your thoughts on the music industry today? Is it harder to be noticed with all the competition online and factory-produced mainstream music?
The industry both excites and frustrates me, but I try to focus on the positive. People are making up their own minds these days rather than just eating what they are fed. Sure, there’s a lot on offer, but as a music fan I feel spoilt at the moment. There’s plenty of extremely powerful music to dive into.
What is the Copenhagen music scene like and did it inspire you? Is it frustrating to have to write in English to gain international recognition?
I’ve always written in English. I was raised bilingual, and it never crossed my mind to write in Danish.
What do you like to do outside of music?
I’m a social person, so if I’m home I try and spend time with my girlfriend and friends.
How do you go about preparing your live sets?
Hours and hours of panic usually does it.
Do you prefer live or studio work? Would you do David Guetta-style collaborations with pop artists?
I prefer to not have to choose. If you’re asking if I’d have other singers on my records then I’m already doing that. And I’d love to do more of it.
Are there any other genres of music you’d like to explore? How about musical theatre (with that voice)?
I do get greedy genre-wise, and I think I’ve managed to mix quite a lot in there up until now. I don’t see a reason to stop experimenting.
What are your plans for this coming year?
Festivals are coming. And I’m gonna get writing again.
Any vocal tips for aspiring singers?
Practise, practise, practise, practise! And put yourself in front of people. Nerves will fuck with your pitch when you first start out, so you might as well get used to people looking at you!
Thanks so much for speaking to us.
You are very welcome!
For further information about Alex Vargas and future events visit here.
Read our review of Alex Vargas’s show at Omeara here.
Watch the video for Higher Love here: