Passion Behind the Art with Alexander Coombs

 

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1. When did you fall in love with music(what age and the story of how it happened)?

I was about 5 years old the first time I fell in love with music when my older sister Nathalie was placed in private piano classes. My mom went and bought a piano for the house so that my sister could practice. I would hear her practice whatever she learned that day in her lesson and when she got off the piano I would search note by note until I was able to play what I heard her practicing. It was pretty much like a puzzle to me, and I needed to “decode” whatever combination of she was playing sequentially and rhythmically to be able to “unlock” the song.

 

2. When someone hears your music what do you want them to feel?

When people hear my music, I want them to feel whatever it is that they need emotionally at that very moment. I put a lot of passion into my playing and i believe passion to be a raw energy that can be transmitted one way but received in another. Some compositions that have come from a dark place in my life can be something that amplifies the great moments of someone else’s life when they hear it. I don’t need everyone to cry when I play and emotional piece and I don’t need the world to jump in joy when I play something bright. It’s all a matter of perspective and I just want people to be able to experience the truth and genuine compassion that I try to emit every time I play however they choose to experience it at that moment.

 

3. Who was that person(s) that believed in you the most?

I’ve been extremely lucky to be surrounded by so many people that believe in me and support my goals and aspirations. I give my family tons of credit for allowing me to be myself and for putting up with all the terrible noises I can make when I’m practicing. The thing I’ve found about motivation is that it can come from anywhere at any time, and it can come from anyone or anything. Whenever someone comes to me seeking advice, or approaches me after a show to tell me that my music moved them a certain way, not only are they showing a genuine belief in me, but they are also sparking a sense of belief in myself. The most brief and random moments sometimes have the power to change your perspective completely. The people who are able to light the fire in other people are the real MVPs.

4. What was the greatest struggle you had to overcome?

The greatest struggle I had to overcome as a musician was myself. Time and time again as a younger guy I would struggle with the belief in myself that I needed to pursue a career in music. As much as I had people around me who believed in me, I ultimately needed to believe in myself. I wasn’t even a music major when I first got into school. I was registered as an architecture major at FIU just because I didn’t believe that I could find success as a music major. The first day of school I walked into the architecture building just to walk back out because at that moment I realized that I wasn’t doing what I loved, but running away from what I loved. I switched majors that day and never looked back. The greatest struggle I had to overcome as a musician and as anything else has and always will be myself.

 

5. What advice would you give an up and coming musician?

This question is always a hard one because I always find more and more things to say to musicians over time. My number one advice to other musicians is to play every chance that you get and with as many musicians as you can. Music is a language and the best way to learn it is to put yourself in situations where you have to speak it. When you are practicing, take that time to look at things in a smaller scope and strive to understand the principles of music as best you can. When it’s time to play, just forget about all of that stuff and just play.

 

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