The American Pit's own, Sara Taylor, caught singer/songwriter, Alex Di Leo's set at Sunfest 2017 in
West Palm Beach, FL. Catch this exclusive interview where we get to chat with Alex about his Sunfest experience, songwriting, touring, and more behind the scenes info on this amazing artist.
1. So Alex, let’s kick this interview off by talking about SunFest. This was your first time playing the festival right? Was it your first time in attendance at the festival as well?
This was my first time playing at SunFest and it was also my first time attending. I've wanted to go for years now..it was pretty cool to attend for the first time as one of the artists in the line up.
2. What was your favorite moment from your day here at SunFest?
My favorite moment from SunFest was being up on stage and at a certain point, after the second song, I'd realized I felt so at home and that after playing my set here, at my first major festival, I'd be heading to the airport to fly to the west coast for my first tour. And I'd be finishing that tour with my first show in Los Angeles. It was just a great feeling..I had to take the moment to reflect and be grateful.
3. Your music can be described as indie pop, but if you had to describe your personality in just a couple words, what would they be?
A cuddly, fun romantic.
4. Your debut EP, So We Go, came out not too long ago. Can you tell us about the making of this record? What is a song writing process like for you?
A lot of this inspiration came rather quickly..having a brand new exciting, adventurous relationship had me coming up with so many cheery and positive vibes. I’ve never experienced such a comfortable flow of ideas, writing, and formulating them into songs. 2016 was such a high because the ideas kept coming.
Normally when I write a song it starts with me coming up with a vocal melody and recording it on my voice memos. Later on I go and find the chords to put underneath and try to come up with more parts of the song. I normally don't focus on lyrics till the end unless they come naturally throughout which is always the best.
5. A few months ago, you also released a cover of The Chainsmoker’s "Paris", what drew you to cover this song? Can we expect other cover songs from you in the future?
I covered Paris by The Chainsmokers, as the first time I listened to it, I thought it had a really great vibe. Then I searched the song and saw that Paris, in this case, meant a place of fantasy. At the time I was in the process of writing this song called Promise and the lyrics had a very similar concept. I thought covering Paris and mashing it with my song "Promise" would be fun.
At the moment I'm not thinking of covering a song as I'm not a huge fan doing covers to begin with. I'd rather spend the time writing my own.
6. Your about to embark on the High School Nation Tour, so let’s talk about that for a second. How did this come about? What made you partner with HSN for a tour?
My team had always thought playing high schools would be a great idea, but we couldn't figure out a way to do it that would make sense. Eventually we heard of HSN (HighSchool Nation Tour). Once we heard that The Plain White T's were headlining the tour we thought it was the perfect opportunity to get in front of that demographic.
7. What city in particular would you say you’re most excited about playing?
The city I was most excited to play was Seattle. I've always wanted to go and I was looking forward seeing how that demographic responded opposed to the Fresno cities. The Seattle and Portland areas definitely had more of a mature audience which was beneficial, but I enjoyed every city we played in. Each city had a special thing to it.
As of right now we're talking about hopping on the HSN Fall tour for a couple weeks on the East Coast.
8. Do you have any bad touring habits? If so, what are they?
I realized that my worst touring habit is going to bed late. On this tour the shows were during the early afternoon which made an impact in a negative way on me.
9. What was the first concert you remember attending and how old were you?
The first concert I attended was Hillary Duff lol. We went as a family because of my sisters. I fell asleep shortly after she came on. My first real concert was seeing the Fray when I was about 14. They were definitely a big inspiration for me.
10.Fans can see you have a tattoo along your wrist. What is the story behind that? Do you have any others?
A few years ago, I went to Coachella. Three weeks prior to going I had the sudden urge to get a tattoo. We had a driver taking us to the festival everyday so the second day I had him take me to a tattoo shop. When we got there they were closed, the driver had a sleeve so he told me he'd take me to his guy. When we got to the house, he had me rest my arm on a bounty paper towel roll, while his 7 year old son was washing the dishes a few feet away, and his wife was sitting on the couch watching Sci-fi. It was a really interesting hour. When I got back to the hotel, standing in the driveway were the bongo players for Arcade Fire. One of my favorite bands at the time.
The tattoo is an old music symbol from the late 1800's signifying vocal on a music chart. I take it as a message to speak up for yourself.
I was having a bit of trouble coming up with a logo and then realized that it had been sitting on my arm the whole time lol.
11. We also saw here at SunFest that you are multi-talented when it comes to playing instruments by showing us guitar, a little bit of drums, and tambourine. If you could play any other instrument perfectly, what would it be?
During the set we get a little percussive which a relatively new thing for the group and we love it. I used to play the piano on stage but realized I wasn't a strong player and it disabled me from moving around so if I could play another instrument perfectly it'd be the piano.
12. Who inspired you to start playing music?
For my 10th birthday, my grandma randomly gave me an acoustic guitar. At the time, she had a boyfriend that was musician and would play out during the week so I'm sure that's what inspired her to get it for me. I started figuring out how to play it and shortly after I started forming a band with friends and winning talent shows and battle of the bands and thought maybe I should do more with this. During high school, I had a hard rock band called Wyld Fly. It ended a little more than 3 years ago and until last year, I spent that time doing many different recording productions from Country, Adult Contemporary, Pop, and Americana genres. Then I finally found a producer who heard what I was hearing in my head. That's how my EP "So We Go" came about.
13.What does the rest of this year look like for you?
The rest of the year so far is looking like a few single releases possibly followed by another EP. I'm definitely going to be heading back on the road and at the moment it's looking like it'll be around fall and I can't wait to get back out. I might be spending a few months in LA around that same time as well.
14.Anything you’d like to say to your fans?
If you're liking what you hear, subscribe to my website at alexdileo.com to keep up with everything I'm doing and be sure to shoot me an email or a message of where you're from.
Follow me on Spotify as I have a new single called "Strange Open Land" I'll be releasing this summer. You can also keep up with me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
Hopefully I'll be coming through your city soon!