Dammien Alexander w/Brothers, JB and the Bizness Friday, February 3, 10pm Bearly’s House of Blues and Ribs, 1269 Barrington Street $8/$20 includes album
WHO ARE YOU? Dammien Alexander is a well-traveled musician and shoe designer who refuses to be penned in by a genre. His latest record, Love + Infinity, will be released on California label Underground Sun, the songs written and composed between the beaches of Costa Rica and Guatemala as well as the slightly chillier Halifax. “My girlfriend at the time moved to Guatemala and I was hesitant, I mean I’m a professional musician, I thought ‘what am I going to do in Guatemala? I already live in Nova Scotia, which is career suicide, you want me to move to an even more remote place?’ But I ended up going.”
Having worked on the album for the past two years—his first album since 2010’s We Are We Have Been Waiting For—Love + Infinity marks the welcome end of a musical dry spell. “I ran out of juice. I had nothing new to say. Then in February 2013 I went to Costa Rica, it was exhilarating. I started connecting with nature and spiritually with life, I found deeper meaning in what I was doing. I started writing songs on the beach and my style changed, I was playing more funk and more blues.”
WHAT DO YOU DO? My styles are so varied I’m often asked what I am. That’s always been the question, how would I classify the music. I would say I’m a fusion artist, who fuses popular root music forms. I fuse blues, jazz, funk, pop into one sound. It’s all based on soul music, it’s about consciousness, it’s about love. That’s what I do—I make music about love. That’s why the album is called Love + Infinity. I make love music, but high-energy music, I’m not a ballad-y guy, I’m more of a rock and roller that’s also sentimental.
WHERE DO YOU DO IT? I practice right on North and Wood. Right by the Macdonald Bridge. I used to live on North Street and I would come out and see my neighbour Don Mackay and we’d start talking. He built the studio in 2004, I think, and called it Spaces Between Studios. There’s a lot of history there—Amelia Curran, Jenn Grant, Ria Mae, a lot of people have recorded there. It’s a friends of friends studio. My producer from LA flew up and actually finished the record with me there.
WHAT’S NEXT? There is a new video coming, but beyond that I don’t have much of an idea. This is a US release, it’s not really Canadian release, because of the demographic—Canada doesn’t sell a lot of soul music, the last Canadian soul artist of note was jacksoul. There’s not a lot coming out of Nova Scotia or even Canada. I want to win a Grammy, and I let that be known, I want that! I’m just going to be the best act I can possibly be and take it to the highest level.