This is me part II
What is experience really? When it comes to music, the phrase can mean two things: the musical experience a person gathers from practising and living through music, or it can be the experience of a piece of music that hits us right in the heart, right in the soul and floors us without warning. We have all got our own favourite stories to tell about that special concert that we will never forget, because of the massive impact such a thing can have on a person.
Music is often one of the first art forms we cling to when we are young, the first thing we identify ourselves with completely. Music is something we can fully commit to, no matter our age or earlier experience of it, because the effect of an amazing tune is fundamental and almost primal. No other thing holds such power, because music is the middle man between all cultural expressions. That means that if you are experienced in music – or if you just enjoy the experience of music – the leap to fashion, photography, painting, writing or anything else is not that large. Music is always present in the world of culture, wherever you go or whatever you do.
Alton grew up in a musical home, with a DJ father who let his son listen to music from the entire world. “I think the wide range has contributed most to the sound and the music I strive to create,” says Alton about his father’s influence in leading to him making music at a very young age. “I was encouraged and what I take with me from that is something my father said, ‘Inspiration is not something that you can sit around and wait for if you want music as your profession. You have to work constantly and eventually get an idea.’ He still says that, so sometimes I can tweak a kick drum for two hours.”
Alton’s story reminds me of Yo-Yo Ma, the cellist who rose to fame as a small boy and has fought to not only keep his interest in music intact, but also evolve it. I wonder if Alton has struck the same rock, finding it hard to stay interested in something he has done for a long time. “I didn’t make any music between the ages of 12 and 13, and I started for real when I was 15. So, yes, I have come across that, but I think it can be good to gain some perspective on what it is you want to do.”
There is a slight difference between making music and being an artist, merely the act of stepping forward as a person available for worship. Alton has been creating for the better part of his life, becoming a performer in the public eye later on. Is he comfortable with developing himself as an artist? “I think so, but you don’t know what can happen. I might wake up one day wanting to work quietly, but for now I want people to listen and connect what they hear to me, since I put so much into my lyrics.”
The way Alton describes his curiosity for fashion is also a beautiful description of his love for and dedication to music, summing up him as an artist: “I have a great interest in clothes and I don’t connect that to my music more than that I try to be as honest to myself as I can in both categories.”
Alton´s influential mix: