Alan G. -
NOT YOUR ORDINARY POP STAR…
This extraordinary young man doesn’t live the expected life of a pop singer. In fact, being a musician tells only a portion of what is going on in his life.
“In a word: Balance… I have never believed that you should be limited to being one thing, or to having just one dream. I don’t think that life should have those kinds of limits placed on it.”
Alan continues, “It’s your life. And you only have one. You can’t spend that one life not trying everything you’ve ever wanted to do. I know it sounds crazy, but I’ve found it to be one of those great truths in life.”
Crazy or not, Alan puts his money where his mouth is. For one thing, his music dreams have always co-existed with his educational goals. Alan has always been a big believer in the value of education – and proved it with an undergraduate degree in business – as well as an MBA.
Amazingly enough, that graduate degree was earned at the same time Alan pursued one of his other career goals: a business career. His educational experience helped prepare Alan for a career in corporate America – where he has spent time climbing the ladder in one of the world’s largest entertainment companies. As a finance professional, Alan has put his business skills to use in facing the day-to-day challenges of his company. “I love what I discovered in the business world – I love the problems and opportunities, the different kinds of people, and the chance to use my other talents. And even though I have a musician’s soul – that’s not all I am.”
And at the day’s end, he proves just that. “When I leave work, I dive into my music and performing – my vocal training, dance classes, songwriting, recording. And I go to sleep totally exhausted! And that’s the greatest feeling – going to bed knowing you did everything you could to just be alive!” When all is said and done, Alan proves that choosing to be a musician is not a limitation on one’s life. And even if “having it all” is not always possible, it is, in Alan’s words, “always worth pursuing.”
SO WHY POP MUSIC?
So why would someone like this be pursuing a career in pop music? Alan laughs at this question, but obviously loves to answer it. “I don’t know why there seems to be this ‘rule book’ that says that you can’t be an intelligent person and like pop music! Unfortunately, there is this stereotype of pop music as being ‘throwaway’ or ‘disposable’ – like the ‘bubble gum’ that some people refer to.”
“I just don’t believe that music should be criticized in that way. It’s music! It’s an art – and some people like some styles, and some people like other kinds. But I don’t believe it’s right to put labels such as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ on a song - or an entire genre. Who could possibly be capable of making a decision like that? Who’s to say that a teenage girl in Kansas can’t have an opinion about music that’s as valid as a man in France or a grandmother in New York?”
“My favorite singing group is the Backstreet Boys – and I also love seeing Britney Spears and other pop stars when their tours come through LA. And to tell the truth, some people think that that’s strange – that someone ‘like me’ shouldn’t act that way - and that these kinds of music are only for people who don’t have ‘refined listening tastes’. But I think that if you can find the music you love, and can go out there and dance and sing along with it – more power to ya!”
“We’re all different people, so we will all have different tastes… In the same way, I write and sing and listen to the music I love – and that happens to be pop music… People may think that makes me less intelligent or less cultured – Fine, they can think what they want. They can look at my education or my business experience and other things like that, and say that I should only be interested in certain types of music. And while I love listening to classical, country, rock, and other kinds of music – I love pop for what it does for me. And that is what I want to share with my audience. So that’s what I’m going to do…”
But Alan’s unique life experiences allow him to bring a very different perspective to his music -as shown in his first three pop albums EVOLUTION, BOY DIVA, and REDEEMED. “What I learned in all these experiences has helped me to live my life – and to open my eyes to the truths out there. I realized that you can’t spend your life sitting down – and that you must actively reach for every dream that is important to you. I love the fact that all of my dreams have had an effect on my music. And that’s the story I want to share. I want each listener to hear the music and understand a bit of who I am - and just maybe, it will also help them pursue the person that they want to be.”
AND NOW… COUNTRY MUSIC???
And because Alan is one of the proudest defenders of pop music, one may be surprised to find that he is also a country music singer!
“Well, if you look at the reasons I love and perform pop music, maybe it’s not such a stretch to realize that these are the same reasons I wanted to perform country music,” explains Alan. “I have always loved country music – its richness, its history, and its personality. It seemed only natural for me to take the next step!”
But there is one aspect of the genre that really makes it special for Alan. “In its own unique way, country music is very hopeful,” Alan says. “The stories can be about sad things, or terrible events, or horrible circumstances – but in the end, country music as a whole still speaks with a considerable amount of hope – even in the face of sadness or despair.”
And it is this quality that drives the theme and the music of THE SUN WILL RISE. “This is a very special album to me,” continues Alan. “This album tells a story about having a hopeful perspective – in the face of growing up and all the challenges that come with trying to become who we were meant to be. I hope that all the fans will find the themes here realistic, but inspiring and encouraging as well.”
2008 brought us Alan's new pop album, "Icarus".
"This album is about pursuing your dreams," says Alan. "There are so many people out there who will ridicule you and mock you for trying something new. We even have TV shows dedicated to watching people fail in pursuit of their goals. But this album is here to say that it doesn't matter what those people say. What matters is that you pursue the passions that are deep within you, that you make an attempt to find your own personal wings and fly. Life is too short to listen to those who waste their time watching and mocking others, when they themselves should be living their own lives..."
"Icarus" features 13 new songs - from sweet emotional ballads to dramatic rock-infused compositions. It is a significant departure from what fans have seen from Alan previously - but one that he hopes will be inspiring and uplifting.
UNCONDITIONAL - a new perspective...
UNCONDITIONAL is Alan's first album of sacred-themed music. "Many fans have remarked that they could hear the sacred imagery and lyrics coming through my songs," says Alan. "It seemed like a perfect next step to create a whole album of sacred music. But I wanted this album to address some very big issues, too. As a gay artist, it was especially important for me to talk about marriage equality and confront the discrimination that people encounter - unfortunately, in the name of religion. This album speaks of Unconditional Love - which means that all people are loved and treated equally. As religious people, we often forget the very foundational tenets of our faith - and I hope this album will be a reminder for all of us."
EXILE - a new adventure...
EXILE is the name of Alan's new pop-rock album - and tells the continuing story of runaway gay teen Billy - as he leaves home when discrimination and hatred become intolerable... As he comes to the big city, we will hear his stories as he ends up homeless, falls in love, deals with bigotry, confronts his darkest hour - and then sounds the rallying cry for himself and all others who are Exiles in the world.
"I am so happy and proud of this album - and the message of 'hope amidst struggle' that it holds," says Alan. "It is my first album to deal more directly with LGBT themes and perspectives, and I can't wait to share it with you!"
EXILE EXTENDED consists of six amazing remixes of songs from the album EXILE, which tells the continuing story of gay teen hero and runaway, Billy.
“The stories of Billy - and all LGBT kids on the street are such difficult ones,” says Alan. “The remixes of these songs from Exile were intended to add more dramatic sounds and more power to these stories. I hope we can continue to honor those real lives with an even more realistic and heightened emotion in the music.”
Reimagined and remixed by Tony Rodini, EXILE EXTENDED recreates the themes of EXILE with more emotion, more intensity, and an epic quality that is appropriate considering the urgency and weight of these stories.
EVERLASTING is Alan's 9th release. It was also the first time for Alan to sing an album of songs written by other writers and made famous by another artist. EVERLASTING celebrates the music and legacy of Andy Gibb - as well as the writing of Andy and his brothers, the Bee Gees.
"This was really a special event for me," says Alan. "To have the honor to sing these songs - and to remember Andy's artistry and legacy - means so much as a singer. Andy was an exceptional artist - and I hope I made him proud."
EVERLASTING features some of Andy Gibb's biggest hits - including "Shadow Dancing," "I Just Want To Be Your Everything", and "An Everlasting Love".
2014 continued with the new pop-rock album and the next chapter in the Billy saga: INFIDEL.
This pop-rock world explodes as we follow the new adventures of our young gay hero, Billy. Beginning in the period after the albums EXILE and EXILE EXTENDED, INFIDEL now explores the emergence of a boy who has found his voice – and who is not afraid to use it – even if it means going against the establishment or the status quo.
“Billy is growing up,” explains Alan. “He is no longer on the streets – but he continues to see the craziness and hurt in the world. And now he has a voice to speak out against what he sees as wrong… But that thrusts Billy into a new chapter that is volatile and vulnerable – one that is always on fire, always dangerous. These new songs reflect the upheaval he sees in life– with the pop-rock music setting the stage for a world that is completely out of control.”
“But now we get to see how Billy feels about all of this,” continues Alan. “As well as what he plans to do about it. Billy is angry. He is so disappointed by what he sees, and what has happened – and how people are being treated. He must speak out, he must act - even in the face of resistance from perspectives that are old and worn-out – but which are still very powerful.”
“This album is quite the radical departure for me – not just in the style of music – but it can be rather provocative in terms of its lyrics and themes,” assures Alan. “But this is where Billy’s story finds its ultimate challenges. And we know that all of the other ‘Billys’ are out there – fighting these battles, facing these horrible circumstances, and running to the frontlines to do what is right. This album seeks to honor them, their humanity, and their courage in speaking out and rising up. And we look forward to seeing what they can – and will – do…”
THE LEGEND OF LITTLE BRO BILLY
Alan's next chapter in his gay song cycle is the country album THE LEGEND OF LITTLE BRO BILLY. This new country album is a flashback to Billy’s beginnings growing up in the American south – and explores his experiences as an out gay teenager as well as the reasons he ran away from home.
“The Legend of Little Bro Billy” begins with the song “Tell Your Story”, which Alan explains is a critical part of Billy’s story – but of a larger mission as well. “We have seen our friends in LGBTQ advocacy remind us so passionately of the importance of being out and telling our stories,” declares Alan. “When our own lives are strong and visible and open – then others can see who we are – and we can start dealing with issues of discrimination, bigotry, bullying, and the like… Billy knows that. And he actively seeks to back that up with his actions. And while he certainly pays the price for that honesty, he knows the value of being truthful to oneself.”
In fact, the Billy saga is dedicated to all the “Billys” around the world who are looking for the representation and validation of their lives and their own stories. “Billy’s story is the story of many young LGBTQ people,” continues Alan. “And it is their stories that I hope to honor and validate. We need to let them – and the world – know that we celebrate that they are here – that they are valued and special – and that we will stand with them so they will never be alone.”
Alan is already back in the studio and is hard at work on his upcoming releases! And some surprises are in the works, too – but in his usual style, this is being kept very secret as the production proceeds!
“It’s a thrilling journey,” says Alan. “My music career is so busy – but so fulfilling – and it’s a dream come true to be doing what I love to do… Thanks to all the fans who have made all this possible – I hope you enjoy the new music, and that you find something special in it for you!”