Music Video:  “Broken
Filmed & Edited by:  Edge Productions—Nathan Dalton, Jerrod Ford & Cameron Lord

Alex Marie Brinkley releases debut music video for her single ‘Broken’

Alex Marie Brinkley won the 2016 Wildflower! Arts & Music Festival Singer-Songwriter contest in Dallas, Texas. Since then, she has been lighting up both the Dallas/Fort Worth and Nashville music scenes. In Nashville, she’s been working with Grammy-winning songwriters and multi-platinum producers, where she recorded her first single and EP. NSAI, The Nashville Songwriters Association International, acknowledged her as “One to Watch” in 2016.

Writing songs since she was fourteen, Brinkley’s original music comes from a place of personal experience and honesty. Whether she is at home on her piano or on stage with a ukulele, her music can be anything from sassy to sad, happy to mad, but by the end—she’s got the audience singing. Her songs are being recognized nationally and internationally, and “Sincerely, Me.” was a finalist in both the Great American Song Contest and the UK Songwriting Competition.

Brinkley is a Kala Brand Music ukulele artist and appeared last year onstage with Walk Off the Earth, a fellow Kala-endorsed band. Even with her busy schedule performing, writing songs, and learning about music production from Berklee College of Music, she still finds time to travel and sing the National Anthem at sporting events for teams like the Boston Red Sox and the Indiana Pacers.

We saw Alex Marie Brinkley at the November 2016 TAXI Road Rally in Los Angeles—where her song was randomly chosen at the final Pitch Panel. We were immediately impressed hearing her song and the unanimous reaction by the panel of music industry all-stars: Michael Lloyd (100x platinum producer, music supervisor), Pedro Costa (music library executive), Rob Chiarelli (100x platinum, Grammy-winning producer, mixer), Ron Harris (A&R and multi-platinum producer), Andrea Torchia (music publishing executive), and Bob Mair (music library executive). We talked with Brinkley about her songwriting and unique collaborations, and the big switch from releasing singer-songwriter style acoustic music to pop/EDM—and how that has been one of her wisest decisions and expanded her musical landscape.

Alex Marie Brinkley Playful Side

ALEX MARIE BRINKLEY Web-Exclusive Interview
with M Music & Musicians magazine publisher, Merlin David

How did the idea of “Broken” come to you?
It’s actually a funny story. I had just gone through a breakup and I wanted to write by myself—about how I was feeling. But my cowriter kept bugging me to show him what I had come up with. Finally, I gave in and we ended up writing the song via FaceTime—at around 2 AM. (Laughs) It was one of the most interesting writing sessions I’ve ever had.

What made you want to write songs?
When I was younger, I always used to write poetry and my parents told me one day I would start writing songs. I never believed them until one day, I wrote a song. I improvised lyrics and a melody over the chords of “Let It Be” by the Beatles, and that’s how my first song was born.

What is your creative process?
Although my songwriting process is extremely random, I usually start with a melody or a lyric idea. I’m best at writing to a track or instrumental, so I usually just sing random lyrics or melodies over the top of the track until something that I like comes out.

Alex Marie Brinkley Close UpTell us one experience where unique moment inspired you to write a song.
I recently wrote a song called “Messy.” It started from a conversation I was having with my mom. I went to see a concert with a guy who had just ended things with me—he bought the tickets before we stopped seeing each other. A lot of unresolved feelings came up because we spent time together at the concert. The line “people are messy” popped out during our conversation, and I wrote the song later that night.

When did you release your debut EP The Other Side?
I released it earlier this year, in February 2017, and I couldn’t be more excited. It’s available everywhere music is sold digitally. I also started writing for the next one, and I currently have a ton of new material that I can’t wait for everyone to hear.

Tell us how TAXI has helped you.
TAXI has helped a lot. I got a chance to write for a movie last year. One of the songs made the cut. It was so cool that they reached out after they heard my single “Broken”—before it was released. I had submitted that song to their listings, and that’s why I got a chance to write a couple of songs for a movie.

How is TAXI’s yearly November conference helpful?
The TAXI Road Rally was wonderful. You meet so many people. I met a guy, David Frost, who was signed to Songs Music Publishing, and he wanted to make the songs more contemporary. So I picked one of his songs, and put my own spin on it. And that was cool because it’s going to be released through his publisher. And that was just one connection I made at their yearly conference—the TAXI Road Rally.

What is it about TAXI that works best for you?
I love TAXI—just to get feedback on the songs, even if your songs don’t make it through. It’s so helpful to me—as a writer and an artist. And Michael Laskow was super nice when I met him. He was super cool.

What if some people are not ready for the honest feedback?
I started with TAXI when I was 16 years old. So, I’ve been using it for four years now. Initially, it was really hard for me to hear the feedback—just because I was a newer writer and every song was a big deal. Songs still are a big deal, but the more I write, the easier it is to take criticism. It has helped me accept that it’s a good way to grow—just getting feedback and criticism. It’s definitely helped me with my writing—being able to be flexible and go with what they’re telling you. On the flip side, it’s one person’s opinion. Just because one person says they don’t like your song, doesn’t mean that other people don’t like it either.

Have you heard your songs on the radio?
I’ve had some Internet radio play. And there’s a local Dallas station, KNON, that plays some of my songs. And Spotify. It’s always cool to say, “I’ve had a song on the radio.” The people at KNON are so incredibly nice. Just the fact that they played my music is wonderful. Radio is unique because now everyone has music on their phone.

Alex Marie Brinkley Live PerformanceWhat songwriting tip would you like to offer?
One thing I’ve learned is to not be afraid to try new things. I made the switch from releasing singer-songwriter style acoustic music to full-on pop/EDM, and I couldn’t be happier. If I had never been open to trying a new genre and didn’t make that leap, I definitely wouldn’t be here talking with you right now. (Laughs)

Who inspired you to write songs?
Ed Sheeran and Bebe Rexha are definitely two of my inspirations. They write all their own material, as well as write for other artists, and that’s so cool. It’s something I hope to do in my career.

What can you not live without—that helps you write, record or perform?
I’m currently endorsed by Kala Brand Music. Nick Hernandez is the guy I mainly talk with and he’s so cool. I love him. Kala has the best ukuleles. I use D’Addario capos, and also Gigy Bags ( Gigy is a relatively new company. It’s just a lady, Jen, and her daughter making bags—hand-made gig bags. And they’re totally worth it. They’re really nice bags. I think they’re located in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Then there’s UkeLifeCo—they are all things Ukulele. I did meet Jack at the TAXI Road Rally. They do sell ukuleles but they have a lot of cute merch. I have a t-shirt from them, hat, stickers. I think they also work with a charity.

Has your ukulele been integral?
The ukulele has been such an important instrument for me—definitely helps me when I play live. All of these companies are absolutely fantastic, and I would highly recommend them. I love to write to tracks, so I usually start my own instrumentals and tracks in Logic Pro X. Apple, help a girl out. (Laughs)

What Performing Rights Organization are you with?
I’m with ASCAP right now. They collect royalties for writers and artists when your music is played live, online or on the radio. It definitely takes some of the weight off my shoulders and allows me to focus on the creative side of music, rather than the business side.

Alex Marie Brinkley Broken Single CoverTop 5 Musicians who inspired you to become a musician?
My mom—Pamela Riley, Ed Sheeran, Bebe Rexha, Taylor Swift and Kelly Clarkson.

My mom was a musician, especially when I was younger. Now she mainly teaches singing and piano. She was a musician before I was born. She did jazz. Our musical styles are very different, but she put the love of music in me and helped me get started. She is so supportive. And that’s the most important thing.

What are your Top 5 favorite albums of all time?
Red (2012) – Taylor Swift – this album got me through my senior year of high school.
X (2014) – Ed Sheeran
True Colors (2015) – Zedd – especially the song “Beautiful Now”
I Don’t Wanna Grow Up (2015) – Bebe Rexha
Pageant Material (2015) – Kacey Musgraves

What is the best advice you were given?
Stay true to myself. Especially when I first started out in music, I wanted to be just like other artists. Being unique is a blessing and something I always try to remember to cherish. Not only does that help me in the music industry, but also in my life.

What advice would you like to give other musicians?
There are going to be so many people who try to change you—to fit a certain mold. But at the end of the day, being who you want to be is the most important thing. Don’t be afraid to sparkle.

Alex Marie Brinkley-cd coverWhat’s next?
I’m currently writing a ton for myself and for other people, as well as diving into the world of music production. I’m hoping to self-produce and release new music in the next year, so stay tuned. I collaborate with a lot of musicians. Many EDM DJs send me instrumental tracks, and I write a chorus or a hook on top of it. I’m doing a ton of that right now.

How did you get into that?
I’m that person who will email a ton of people until I hear back from them. (Laughs) I just emailed a bunch of different musicians, especially EDM artists I found online. I wrote, “Hey, my name is Alex. Here are some links to my music. I’d like to write with you. What do you have in mind.” And I got a few responses that way. With the track I’m working on right now, the guy’s manager found me on Instagram and liked the music I posted. It’s kind of random but I’m very persistent if I want to work with someone. I will definitely let them know. (Laughs) It expands my writing style—and making connections is always good.

On your “Broken” video, who were the dancers?
I actually went to high school with the dancers. The girl is Jordyn Waldo, and the boy is Tucker Heim. And my Mom gave them singing lessons. I love the connections.

When is your next video?
There’s another song from my EP that I want to make into a video: “Boy Problem.” I hope to get that done by the end of the year. Watch for it.

Where can your new fans get more info and stay updated?

You can also visit her on all social media accounts. She says, “Please come and say ‘Hi.’”
Instagram: @alexmariebrinkley
Twitter: @alexmbrinkley

Alex Marie Brinkley Instrument

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