Tuesday 04 August 2020
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WATCH: Local songwriter’s virtual sing-along

WATCH: Local songwriter’s virtual sing-along

Sunday 17 May 2020

WATCH: Local songwriter’s virtual sing-along


A Jersey-born musician and filmmaker is inviting the public to sing, dance or cheer along to his latest song and submit clips to create a music video celebrating ‘togetherness’.

In a video published online, Todd MacDonald, who goes by the stage name ‘Alex Alex’, explains the idea for his project and how people can get involved.

He’s been delighted by the response so far, and plans to feature all of the clips in the new video for his song ‘Alone Together’, which depicts the ‘universal’ feelings experienced during lockdown. 

Express spoke to the songwriter to learn more about the project…

Why did you want to write this song and what gave you the idea to have as many people as possible sing parts of it with you?

I can’t actually place when or how it happened which must be the blur of lockdown! As I began to write, it felt like a reaction to how separated I was feeling from everyone and how so suddenly this was such a universal feeling.

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Pictured: People are encouraged to sing along and send videos to be included in the song’s music video.

I think it’s the first time I’ve felt such a strong sense of collective emotion and I think that’s what made me write something that wasn’t just about my position but everyone’s. I immediately imagined a wall of voices all singing together because all around me people were feeling the same thing.

What’s the response been like so far?

It’s delightful and highly entertaining to see so many funny and joyful takes on it which is really at the heart of what this is all about. It’s not about being able to sing amazingly well or being super confident with being on camera. It’s just about having a fun moment and maybe doing something new that you can say you were part of in this strange time.

I’ve had some incredibly valuable musical contributions as well. Who knew a cheese grater could be such a staple part of the rhythm section?

How can other people get involved?

Anyone and everyone can get involved by watching the video I’ve made that introduces the whole idea over at alexalex.co.uk

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Pictured: Lyrics are displayed on screen so that people can easily sing along at home.  

Even if it’s not for you, you might get a giggle or two out of me being daft on camera. I’m encouraging every type of contribution imaginable because it’s really designed to be a freeing creative outlet for everyone. Even if you don’t want to sing, you could dance, cheer, laugh or jump around to it. 

What’s your vision for this project in terms of visual, musical and emotional impact?

This is very much guided by what people submit because everything I get will feature in the final video. That’s the beauty of this kind of collaboration because it always sends you somewhere you never imagined.

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Pictured: "My instinct when this all started was to try and work out how I could and should continue creating during this time." (Photo Credit: Lucy Le Lievre) 

It’s such a surprise to open up people’s videos every time they come in because you have no idea what they’re going to look like! I’d love it to result in something that people feel proud to have been involved in and look back on fondly as a fun thing they helped make during lockdown.

You mention in the video that this is quite different from your other music in terms of tone, do you think your focus as an artist has been changed by the coronavirus pandemic?

My instinct when this all started was to try and work out how I could and should continue creating during this time. So much of my creative process is basically me being locked away in a dark room so in that respect, my existence hadn’t changed a huge amount. But as soon as I started to try and settle into things it felt completely wrong to not be trying to address the reality directly.

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Pictured: He hopes to create a “huge choir of joy” with the project. (Photo credit: Lucy Le Lievre) 

I think people often have a hard time understanding why writing cerebral melancholy is so fascinating for me to explore in my music and that’s fair enough! I’m still working on how to explain this myself, but at this time, I wanted to be a million miles from it. I’m glad of that too because it’s opened a little door perhaps, who knows? Maybe there’s an album of party summer hits in me after all but I wouldn’t bet on it.

How have you managed to stay ‘creative’ during lockdown? What challenges have you come up against in this respect? 

It has been a real challenge for me and for many other people I know. No one should be made to feel that they have to ‘make the most’ of the situation by learning a new skill, writing a novella or weaving a tapestry.

I don’t think it’s too extreme to say that success right now is survival. This project is my offer to people to contribute creatively in whatever way they can if they feel they can do so at this time. It’s a bit of fun that I hope spreads a bit of joy!

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