This is actually part one of the three part interview of Alexie F.
We learn about some of his influences leading up to the man he is today.
Photo taken by Juan Figueroa (Alexie F's father) circa 1972
Trina: How & when did you discover you were an artist?
Alexie F:good question,,,,,i didn't really know until years later,,,that i was actually an artist,,, but there was always art and music around me,,,,my father was a musician & painter,,,, there were bongos, congas etc... @ 5 years old, I received a white marble lined set of bongos from my father,,,, i was also blessed to be raised in the projects where @ that time there was a lot of diverse people with diverse taste in music,,,,my dad adored music,,,he had an incredible collection of music
Trina: What are your loves? What do you really appreciate?
Alexie F: being artistic,,,, i love 2 laugh
joy is something that we all strive for,,,,but many don't know how to reach it,,,find ur nitch that makes u happy,,,,& don't be a Same shit different day person (man I hate that),,,,(in a soft voice) i rather be a man going backward than forward (reflecting) cuz people gave a shit back in the day,,,,unlike now people r only about themselves,,,,,that ain't love
Trina: Did your upbringing have any influence on your artistic ability?
Alexie F:in the beginning,,,,when my dad was around, i was always listening 2 music,,,if i wasn't doin' that,,,,i was up late nights watching nbc,,,,,,,carson,,,,,don kirshner's rock concert,,,,hahahaha,,,,when i really should have been asleep,,,,i also got 2 see my family jam 2 music w/my dad,,, & spend time with my grandfather in the summer in pr,,,so much incredible music around,,,i was very blessed 2 have grown up when i did
Trina: Name some of your artistic influences?
Alexie F: lucky enough,,,companies back in the day offered to send music for a penny
Trina: (snickering) Yeah I know I remember
Alexie F: i would randomly choose music & after a while i would run out of choices,,,,peter frampton's frampton album, billy joel, foreigner's 4,,,, my mom was listening 2 tom jones in the house,,,,came in late on the beatles,,,,i was introduced 2 them by my hippie babysitter,,,,(thinking) hmmmmm,,,,,,,don't remember her name,,,she had me listen 2 the doors, jose feliciano, karen carpenter,,,,jimmy hendrix,,,they all left an impression on me.,,,my dad turned me on 2 led zepplin,,,i believe that they were a huge influence on the way i absorb music,,,they aren't just music, they r an experience,,, if u haven't heard it yet check out led zepplin III,,, listen 2 black dog,,,,one needs 2 be self influenced,,,& not let others totally influence them
Trina: What is your affiliation with the visual art world?
Alexie F: i have always been connected,,,my father was a painter, a poet, a musician,,,, my ex-girlfriend's father's friend was an art dealer so i would see a lot of great art all the time,,,,i started collecting recently,,,i have 3 of my best friend's works and 1 of her husband's pieces called mother nature viii,,,,i regret that i do not have any of my father's work
Trina: When did music become a part of your life?
Alexie F: music was always part of my life,,,it was always in my house,,,i grew up around it,,,i can't remember never having music around
Trina: What are some of your contributions to music?
Alexie F: 1st job,,,i was part of the staff @ sparkle management in the bronx which put out latin hip hop (also known as freestyle) music,,, i went & begged for a job,,,,marc anthony came out of that camp,,,he wasn't the only freestyle artists who went to salsa,,,la india, 1 of the founding members of tka was also very successful in salsa music,,,not many succeeded like they did,,,but going back to what i did,,,, under george vascones direction,,,, i would get artists groomed for their opportunity to get seen
Trina: like Sean was for Uptown Entertainment. You were basically an A& R person
Alexie F: yes u can say that ,,,,i also have collaborated & written music with many different people,,,,house music, freestyle, r&b, hip hop
Trina: How many musical instruments can you play & are you classically trained?
Alexie F: piano, drums, congas, bongos & guitar,,,no i am not classically trained,, i mean i didn't attend julliard or anything
Alexie F: i mostly learned by listening,,,& i play by ear,,,i have had some lessons early on,,,but i went off on my own & did my thing
Trina: Is there one artist who you wish to work with?
Alexie F: musically? theatrically?
Trina: Either or both
Alexie F: currently,,,larry david of curb your enthusiasm & seinfield fame,,,,very gifted & funny man,,,,ted danson said on the george lopez show that he was a genus,,,,,that is true,,,musically? (pauses) WOW,,,,, there r so many people ,,,thom yorke (from Radiohead),,,i think that his music is constantly evolving,,,i can listen to the album (Amnesiac) & hear something new every time i listen 2 it,,,his music is timeless,,,,timeless,,,what an incredible musician
Trina: What is your affiliation to Hip Hop?
Alexie F: that is a very interesting question ,,,,,,,,,,,,,i was born a few blocks away from where hip hop was created,,,,, i was born & raised in marble hill projects in the bronx,,,,,,, if u don’t know sedgwick/heath ave gave birth to hip hop,, i use 2 walk to school in the late 70’s early 80’s,,,hip hop was like a cousin, a nephew , a brother 2 me,,,,,it has always been part of my life,,,,song writing has always been part of my life,,,my luv 4 music lead me 2 hosting an online radio show called as u know the zro hour,,,, the web address http://www.thezrohour.com/