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Abraham Alexander on working with Leon Bridges and why Red Rocks means so much to him

Initially raised in Greece, but later moving to Texas, Abraham Alexander had what for many is an atypical and turbulent childhood – moving away from one continent to a new one was an experience he calls “daunting and scary” but also “exciting.” In addition, soon after moving to Texas, he lost his birth mother in a car accident and wound up being adopted by a new family.

All this helped set the groundwork for the music he’d eventually make, songs that mix a range of emotions and explore themes of love and self-discovery.

Alexander’s debut SEA/SONS, released in 2023, is a powerful modern soul album, one that’s also infused with influences including gospel, blues, indie folk, and R&B. His voice lends passion and vulnerability to songs such as “Stay” (featuring guitarist Gary Clark, Jr.), “Tears Run Dry,” and “Deja Vu” (featuring Mavis Staples).

abraham alexander sea sons album cover

Alexander recently spoke with Colorado Sound Morning Show host Ben about some of the songs on his debut album SEA/SONS, what it was like as kid moving halfway around the world, and why Red Rocks was such an impactful experience for him. Read highlights below.


Ben: “Tears Run Dry” is a very emotional song. What was going through your mind when you were writing it?

Abraham: That’s a funny story. True story, I just watched a movie called A Walk to Remember, which is this old 2000s movie. I had been home nursing an injury, and I was watching a bunch of movies for the first time. I watched that movie and it just clicked for me, and the song came out in five minutes. [The song] was a commission from dear friends of mine, and then I watched that movie and it just came out. I love that song so much.

It’s wild how songs comes about. Sometimes it’s a deep meaningful experience, and then sometimes it’s ‘I watched a TV movie.’

Absolutely.

What was it like for you moving from Greece to the United States? I know you moved to the US when you were 11.

As an 11-year-old leaving the only place he’s ever called home, it was daunting and it was scary, and at the same time it was exciting, because of the life that me and my family lived in Greece. And so just the opportunity to really re-create who I was and rediscover myself was just a really beautiful opportunity. And so it was bittersweet.

Growing up, your dream was to be a soccer player. When did it click for you that you were going to be making music for a living?

Man, I’m still trying to figure that out. For me, sports was a really wonderful way to discover the world. And I pushed the limits of my physical abilities to help my neighbor and to help my teammate, and music was the first time that I learned how to push the limits for myself. And I just kept diving into that, and then just one opportunity [led to] another. And what’s something that I very much love about the state of Colorado and will forever be grateful is I signed my record deal after I played a show at Red Rocks in 2021, opening up for Leon Bridges. And for me to play Red Rocks and also sign my first record deal, it was such a beautiful feeling and emotion, as you can imagine.

And I think that was the day that it really sunk in of like, ‘Oh my God, this is real.’ Because while on that tour, it was really difficult. I was making it because of merch every single night, and I wasn’t sure if I was ever going to finish that tour. And I’m going on it, and people are seeing the joys of what it looks like on the outside, but in the back end, I was like, ‘Cool, I just played Red Rocks, but can I make it to the next city?’ And it was out of the graces of people coming and really finding that kindred spirit with my music that helped me move along. And to do that and sign a record deal on the same night that I played Red Rocks, I will forever be thankful for the state for that venue. So I think that was the day that it clicked for me.

Abraham Alexander seated white shirt pants
Photo courtesy Dualtone Music Group

Speaking of Red Rocks, I mean, have you ever been to a venue like it? What was it like playing there?

Oh, man. It felt like I was at church in nature. There’s one thing about being there and seeing the natural beauty, but ultimately, it’s the people that come and fill that space that really make it what it is. If you weren’t playing to people, you would just be in this empty space, but it’s literally the energy and the people of that space that make it. I had family and dear friends from Texas fly in, [but also] just the people of Colorado really embracing me.

And to this day, [Denver] is one of the best cities I play shows in just because of that introduction. So to completely answer your question, it was church, it was heaven. It was unlike any other thing I’ve ever been to.

Speaking of Leon Bridges, what’s your relationship like with him?

Oh, man. That’s the homie. That’s one of my brothers, and I’m grateful for him, because he’s the one that sparked that fire in me to really start doing open mics and see what happens. And for him to take me on a run post-pandemic in 2021, on the first tours going out after the pandemic – and for people to be thirsty for music again and to be open to hearing something different – it changed my life.

One of your guitar heroes is Gary Clark, Jr., who plays on your song “Stay.” So as a side note, you have to have either a singing competition against Leon Bridges or a guitar battle against Gary Clark Jr. – which one are you picking?

Ain’t no way. Yeah. They’re really just a class of their own. And Gary, to be inspired by someone like him and then for him to turn around and play a part in my debut album, that’s unheard of. And what a gift. It’s crazy. When I do interviews like this and they mention it, it just really just sinks in. I’ve never seen that, and for it to happen to me is very humbling.

Who are you listening to right now?

That’s a great question. I am listening to bands like BAILEN, who are a sibling group that are incredible, and the Teskey Brothers. They’re absolutely amazing. I’m also listening to Omar Apollo, Frank Ocean – you can never go wrong with Frank. Let’s see. Kanye West is on this constant rotation for me, but a newer band for sure is BAILEN.

So I got one more for you. I ask this question to every musician I interview. What band or artist would you drive 105.5 miles to go see? They can be dead or alive.

Michael Jackson, period. Oh, you know what? Bill Withers as well. I’m going to do two. I’m sorry. I’m going to do two.

Abraham, I appreciate your time. SEA/SONS is truly an amazing album. I’m looking forward to the rest of your career.

Thank you so much, man. I really appreciate it.

Abraham Alexander returns to Colorado in June, supporting the Black Pumas. They play Mission Ballroom in Denver June 14-15, and the Ford Amphitheater in Vail June 16.


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