Listen to the award winning song “Fallin So Fast” above.
The International Songwriting Competition (ISC) is an annual song contest that provides the opportunity for both aspiring and established songwriters to have their songs heard in a professional, international arena. George Fox graduate Alex Post (’10) came away with a victory this year in the contest winning third place in the Hip Hop/R&B category. The winning song is off an album written with jazz musician Erin Elizabeth Aubrey.
They originally met at the Contemporary Music Center as part of the Best Semester program. The next summer they spent a week recording a 17 track album that fused Alex’s hip-hop experience and Erin’s jazz vocal and piano skills. The result is some very smooth jazzy hip hop with film noir undertones. Take a listen to their album on iTunes. Check out a Q&A with Alex below about his music, the experience of recording an album, and the triumph of winning at the competition.
How long have you been making music?
Nine years. I started with beat boxing into a tape recorder at 15 years old.
What made you decide to attend George Fox to study audio production?
I heard about the program, applied, got in and went. I didn’t even visit and I loved it!
How did the “Ace and Pearl” project come about?
I met Erin in Massachusetts during a semester at the Contemporary Music Center. I heard her perform a song one of the first nights there and told her that her music would be perfect for sampling and making hip hop beats out of. She then goes on to tell me that she loves hip hop, even though she is a southern belle from eastern Tennessee with a thick southern accent. She quotes some Jay-Z lines and tells me that we need to make a song together, so we did. After that, I traveled around with a high school conference called CIY (Christ In Youth) and I ended up in Tennessee for a couple weeks, with a week break in between. As soon as I found that out, I called Erin and we started plotting a way to get together and record a couple songs while I was in Tennessee. We ended up with a 17-track album.
What was the recording process like?
Hot and humid in a small apartment. We set up in the room with the best acoustics and started writing and recording nonstop for the entire week. We only took breaks to eat and do a little excercise on occasion. By the end of the week we were both pretty much delirious. We recorded all of her piano and vocal parts, and I made all the beats during that week, then I brought it home to record all of my parts. The last thing I did was send songs over to Jordan Freiburghaus, Grant Ebright and Jared Nagreen (fellow fox grad) to lay down the bass tracks. Jordan played the bass for “Fallin So Fast”.
What was your experience like at the CMC?
It was a fun time. The East Coast was awesome. I met some of the most talented musicians I know personally and developed some great relationships and partnerships.
What is the International Songwriting Competition?
A competition for independent musicians to submit music to and hope the pros like it. There were more than 15,000 submissions from 115 different countries. The judges were people like Timberland, Ben Folds, Rhianna, Kelly Clarkson, and so on …
What was your reaction to winning third place out of over 15,000 entries in the International Songwriting Competition?
Erin called me and I said, “What do you need? I’m in the gym.” Then she said, “Oh, OK, so I guess you don’t care to hear we won third place in hip hop and R&B.” Then I thought, “Hmmm … that’s pretty cool. Not too bad for a white dude and a southern country girl.” Then I ran home to tell my mom.
What’s it like being a Christian hip hop artist?
Just like it is being any other kind of artist. A lot of work, no pay. It is interesting to get feedback from people. Some say it’s encouraging and they can relate, others say I’m not Christian enough. My aim isn’t necessarily to sound like a Christian artist — it’s to incorporate my Christian worldview in what I say to spark thought and, hopefully, conversation about topics everyone thinks about, deals with, struggles with, finds joy with, whatever.
I notice that this project isn’t your only one. What other albums have you worked on?
Customary: Take Me Away: Solo project. Very much hip hop, with features from artists like Othello of Lightheaded, Surreal, Sareem Poems of LA Symphony, Darryl Answer … and fellow George Fox students/alumni Katie O’Doherty, Jael Chambers, Tim Williams and Shawn Henschel.
Pony Cop: Invastion. A duo with Katie Carlene (O’Doherty). A mix of electronic and hip hop music. Will be performing at GFU Orientation 2011.
Contrast. A duo with Tim Williams, current George Fox student, very much hip hop.
Ace and Pearl. Duo with Erin Elisabeth Aubrey, with jazz piano and hip hop mix.
Any projects coming out soon?
Brass Knuckle Bullies with Dominique Berho, recent George Fox grad. It’s mix of folk, jazz, funk and hip hop. It’s gonna be FIRE!
What are you up to these days employment-wise?
I just landed a job with a media company in Boise, Idaho, called Sovereign Creative. They are legit and I hope they keep me.
See some of Alex’s Music Videos: