European Tour Announcement

Hey guys!

I hope this finds you well… :)

I’m excited to write you this update.. being in the midsts of the album recording process here in NYC, there hasn’t been much to announce or share quite yet… This album has been a while coming and it’s very important to me – especially the process. I find myself introverting more than expected during this time. I will tell you – I am thrilled with where the songs are being taken and I can’t wait to share them with you!!!!! Soon!!!

I am beyond excited to be supporting Ron Pope & Wakey!Wakey! on tour this winter. It’s going to be my first time playing overseas – and truthfully, I wouldn’t be able to continue making music and playing shows if it wasn’t for your support along the way. So, thank you! I’m coming for you!!! Tickets on sale HERE!

I’ll be playing..

Jan 31 UK, Glasgow, Oran Mor

Feb 01 UK, Belfast, Mandela Hall

Feb 02 Ireland, Dublin, Vicar Street

Feb 04 UK, Manchester, Academy 2

Feb 05 UK, Sheffield, Plug

Feb 07 UK, Nottingham, Rescue Rooms

Feb 08 UK, London, Shepherds Bush Empire

Feb 09 UK, Bristol, The Fleece

Feb 11 Germany, Hamburg, Ubel & Gefahrlich

Feb 12 Sweden, Malmo, KB

Feb 13 Sweden, Gothenburg, Tradgarn

Feb 14 Norway, Oslo, Parkteatret

Feb 15 Sweden, Stockholm, Tyrol

Feb 17 Germany, Berlin, Lido

Feb 18 Holland, Amsterdam, Paradiso

Feb 19 Germany, Cologne, Luxor

Feb 20 Germany, Frankfurt, Batschkapp

Feb 21 Germany, Munich, Strom

On this tour you’ll be able to hear some new material from the upcoming album.. 
Also! Here is a video from my performance at Irving Plaza on Saturday night. What a memory that was…

Thanks again for your support and see you from the road!

All my love, 
Alexz

Image

This is what my first tour looks like…

Hacking, amongst other things.

Hey,

Writing this post was something I pondered on for a few weeks.. but, it’s an interesting story and I thought I should share it with my loyal fans..  especially if any of you have gone through what I’ve experienced recently..

I came to remember why I started this blog in the first place. To have a sounding board for those who care to read, but especially for my own reflection on my journey through life and being an artist… a place where I can share my truth.

Have you ever been hacked?

It occurred to me how many people haven’t experienced this first hand… for those who have, I feel for you. Many of my friends have seen me in tears – especially when my whole email got deleted (by accident) since 2005 (!!!) at the Mac Store trying to re-configure my iCloud of all things.. I’ll get there in a sec..

It’s devastating. For some reason, it’s been happening to me for years since first signing with Capitol Records in 2006. Demo’s have been leaked, co-writes have been leaked, photo’s of course, and recently my iCloud was compromised which revealed my personal calendar/journal and all of my industry contacts. I change my password every 5 days. People I have worked with have been emailed by an impersonator asking for demo’s and un-finished material…. This is embarrassing. It doesn’t represent me and it could have potentially damaged my relationships had I not realized and personally contacted these friends myself. — See attachment below of one (of many) false emails to around 20 writers I had worked with….

False Email

Threats as well. See attachment below of (one of many) emails to one of my personal addresses demanding demo’s after getting a hold of my personal calendar…

Threat

I also got a screen-grab photo of my calendar sent to me as well. SUPER exciting viewing my yoga, writing, and dating schedule.. (?) (Ps. On my off days, I’m a CIA Agent).

Even members of my family have been targeted. More recently, verbally abused over twitter. This lights the flame in the belly.

I’m a singer-songwriter who has used the crowd-funding platform as an exchange for the music I create and the shows I play. I realized that “going directly to the fanbase” was a new shift in involving your listeners first hand on the product you deliver. I love that I get a chance to interact with my fans like this — I am incredibly thankful for this support, and it has given me the chance to tour twice this past year, create merch to sell world-wide, set-up my next album, shoot music videos and live videos, meet my supporters first hand, and everything else that initials being an independent artist. However, after reading some comments via-twitter, under my instagram photos and my blog email –  I did not realize there was more that was expected or wanted of me? Boundaries being crossed, and entitlement felt from a minority group of fans.

My most recent experience via the internet.
I had been receiving notifications from Instagram that a specific few were trying to hack into my account… lovely, but what do you do? I left it for a few months…
See attachment of notification below. I decided to black out the names for respectful purposes. I don’t know why Instagram specifically in this case, but these were the emails I had been receiving – quite a few times..

Instagram

At this point, I had decided to respectfully take matters into my own hands, reach out to the names that had been shown to me via these notifications, of course privately. I had these emails via Kickstarter, or my email lists from live shows I had played. This is what I wrote.

My email

After receiving e-mails back that there had been no such kind of occurrence, (phew!) (Names and emails I will keep private out of respect!) I believed, trusted their truth and then emailed back a response, a thank you, and that was that.

So, it seems like there could be a rumour going around that “Alexz is accusing her fans of hacking her”. This to me, is crazy because I’ve always lived my life giving everyone the benefit of the doubt.

On that note, if you are indeed reading this, thank you for your time. I appreciate you hearing my thoughts… Further, If you are someone who has been blocked recently from my twitter feed – please know – I wake up everyday, as do you. Sad moments, great moments, up’s and down’s, fears and tears. I choose to surround myself with light, goodness and things that help make me feel strong and create the music I love creating so much. What would you do in my position?

I will honestly block anyone who is disrespectful to me, or my family. Nothing more is owed than the product I create and the appreciation of my genuine, amazing fans. I thank you, again if you have been one of those supporters. I have enjoyed getting to know some of you personally, and I truly wouldn’t be here without the loyalty of those who listen to my music. It is such an exciting time.. I’m looking forward to more shows, albums, and potential tours – aiming to play overseas as soon as the album is ready for release.

- Love,

Alexz Johnson

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
Viktor E. Frankl

House Of Bodies, my personal thoughts.

I thought it would be appropriate for me to post my thoughts and feelings on the recent Netflix release of House Of Bodies, here on my personal blog. This won’t be long. 

As some of you may know, I am a key character in the film. The abrupt release being on Netflix surprised me as much as the Director, Alex Merkin. I had not seen, or even been privy to an edit of the film, nor had any of the actors for that matter. 

It saddens me that so much talent, passion and hard work lead to such a poor edit of our film. An edit that doesn’t lend itself to the script at all. An edit that we never would have signed up to be involved in. It’s embarrassing, and diminishes the craft. 

This film came into my life at a time that was completely kismet. I had just moved to NYC and needed something of substance to lock down my visa so I could continue to perform, tour, record and persue my music in the US. 

In the end, fear based thinking and money seems to win the race when working amongst companies that treat the creative process like a manufacturing house. 

There really isn’t much of a lesson to be learned in these situations.. maybe an understanding of the inundation of fear-based thinking in the film industry. Regardless, I am so proud of the cast and crew involved in this film — it was so much fun spending time and falling in love with our characters… Alex Merkin was a kick ass director who gave so much freedom to express, screw up and grow. – Thank you, everyone. x

If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative. 

- Woody Allen

http://blogs.indiewire.com/shadowandact/netflix-and-queen-latifahs-flavor-unit-entertainment-announce-multi-year-agreement 

Tour, New Music & 2013

Hey,

I love this blog. I feel it’s a good way to get perspective on my choices and upcoming routes I plan on taking, and while doing so it also lets me bring you into my thought process.. Honesty and vulnerability all tied into one! At the end of the day, one can hope they’re headed in the right direction.

This last few months has been amazing..

I got to check-off my first US tour wish (!!), I learned so much on the road, I got to meet so many of my fans and really got a chance to connect with them. I fell in love with music all over again and since wrapping up the tour in LA Aug 18th, I’ve been writing non-stop for the next album. Videographer & photographer Jessica Earnshaw documented the tour here.

It’s always a strange feeling getting off of a movie, or a tour, or anything that creatively heightens the senses. You have days where you’re left with yourself (which can be a challenge). Being still… I felt this was something I needed to do for a bit before heading into the next music project. Just be with myself for a second and really think about the sound I’m going for. I pulled the plug on going to London to start recording (for now).. As badly as I wanted to immediately start the next album, something inside of me said to slow down, write more, look at all of your options and songs and make sure you’re doing this because the timing is right, not because you have a fear you’ll lose an opportunity.

I think those are important things to think about…

I’m so excited about some of this new music I’m writing, I need to take a deep breath.. kid in a candy store.

I played Webster Hall on Sept 28th, opening for Lindsey Stirling, which was such a blast. I have a some shows coming up this month that I’m excited about. Rockwood Music Hall for CMJ Oct 17th, and opening for Charlene Kaye & Jay Stolar at Brighton Music Hall Oct 29th in Boston, which should be sweet.

I’m in the process of going through paperwork in signing with music management. It’s a gift having the extra hand on a day-to-day basis as things move forward, or sometimes backwards, depending. Also depending on when you ask me, lol. I’m so stubborn with things like publishing and or/record contracts based on my history with them. That being said, I feel I’m surrounding myself with people I trust and want to build with so I can trust a little more.

I’m also working on a documentary that I’m excited about getting out to you.. :) Amongst other things.

It’s fall now in NY.. and I just found a record player for 80$. It’s a good day.

Love Al

Update on Packages and Hey!

Hey!!

I’ve been getting a ton of emails and tweets regarding where your Kickstarter packages are.

…I have no idea where they went.

..Just kidding.

They are on the way to you. Depending on where you live, you should get it in about 3 weeks at most. I wish I knew in hindsight how much time it was going to take to gather information from 939 people, on top of getting this tour off the ground. I’m sorry for the delay and thank you kindly for your patience!!

Also, for those who sent in rad t-shirt designs for this Skipping Stone tour, BLESS YOU! They are all so creative and different.. I ended up finding a great design that is in production now! I look forward to showing it to you guys.. hopefully you like it!

We leave for tour so soon..
I’m playing Rockwood Friday evening and sharing the stage with some fierce talent!! Misty Boyce and Theo Katzman.. it’s going to be a kickass way to kick-off this tour.

I’m also super excited to be back in Toronto July 26th to play The Drake! My dear friend Barb of Mamabolo is opening!

Again – thank you for being patient with your packages. Next time I’ll know it will take longer than a month..

Kickstarter excel sheets – it’s been real peachy keen, but I’m happy to not see you around for awhile…

Love Al

 

A Kickstarter Update

I figured I would blog about this as well – I sent this out via Kickstarter last night… and here it is again!

I’ll be using this blog as a place to document my tour experiences, and for starters I am thrilled to announce my upcoming tour dates HERE!!!

What a whirlwind couple of months this has been….I have learned so much about touring and merchandise, and releasing music independently, and producing music videos, and tour budgets… it’s incredible how much it takes to get a full band on the road. I’m blessed to be surrounded by amazing musicians here in NY, and I’m confident that I’ve put together quite the wicked band for this tour.. I can’t wait until you see them live.

It was amazing seeing the Kickstarter analytics of where backers were donating from around the world… it gives me so much drive to make sure I reach you. I was disappointed when facing the reality that I won’t be able to make it oversea’s for this specific tour, but I won’t say I didn’t try to budget it in. It just logistically wasn’t do-able this time around.

Just to break it down…

67k – Kickstarter takes 10%

57k – 10k to cover my visa to tour the US

47k – 10k merchandise for backers & tour

37k – 2,500 for PR

35k – The final tour budget I’m working with to headline my first US tour w/a full band.

I am pleased to say that your packages have been sent off this week to the fulfilment company for them to be shipped worldwide. It was too risky sending them individually myself, being that I won’t be home this summer incase any don’t reach their destination and bounce back. It took awhile to gather everyone’s info for shipping. The fulfillment company also helps run my online store, which has just launched today at www.alexzjohnson.com!!!

I am so thankful (for you.) and excited to finally get a chance to hit the road and share these songs… I feel this is an opportunity to build on this first tour and keep growing and learning and hopefully geographically expanding where I get to play!!!

That is the plan. It’s what this is all about.
Thank you for being a part of it.

Huffington Post did an interview with me about this whole experience, I thought I’d share.

Also, you will be able to follow the tour through photographs via alexzontour.tumblr.com

Love,
Alexz

Dear 19 year old me..

I was writing my 19 year old self a letter and decided to put out a twitter message in hopes someone would want to write one and share it with me… It’s always so cathartic being reminded how similar we are. Here’s a few of the wonderful letters I received.. Thanks so much for passing along. You added so much light to my day.

My letter is at the bottom.

Enjoy.. x

 

Dear Young Self,

Enjoy your young years as much as you can because you’ll never get them back. They can seriously be the best years of your life.

Pay more attention and be grateful to the ones who truly love you – family and friends, but be careful of who you listen and become friends with. People will try to trick you into believing what they say but listen to your heart. You have to learn that mistakes are okay as long as you learn from them. Above all, always be honest.

Forge your own path, follow your muse even if it don’t seem practical to others. Your life is great, so it’s a good time to prepare for the future. Study hard, but don’t make it your life. Always take care of your health and exercise more.

Be more self-confident by accepting who you are, and always be yourself. What other people think of you isn’t nearly as important as what you think of yourself. Don’t look for a role model to imitate. Look for your inner self and you’ll find a person who may be forgotten, but who lives in you. Look for Christ.

Love,
You.

I would tell my future self that it’s okay, I’m going to get cancer, take more pictures, and live for the minute, and love yourself.

-Faydra,
Arvada, Colorado
Dear 19 year old me,
Brace yourself. You’re life is about to turn upside down! First off, you’re pregnant. Yup, that’s right. There’s a bun in that oven. You’re about to go through some very, very rough times but it’s ok. It does get better! Soon you’ll marry the man you love and he will join the Army. Don’t freak out, but you and your son (yup, it’s a boy!) are going to have to live alone for a year. You’re going to have to do all kinds of new and scary things by yourself, but it will make you so much stronger and appreciative of everyone you know and everything you have. Be strong! Remember, it’s ok to cry. Your husband will deploy twice and it will take it’s toll on you but in the end it will all work out. Don’t focus so much on the hard times (like living alone in a different state); instead, embrace the special one on one time you get with your son and how strong you and your husband’s bond becomes! Distance really does make the heart grow fonder. Remember that. Well, That’s all I can really say to you right now. Stay strong and keep your chin up! ;)
Love always,
25 year old you  =)

Dear 19 year-old Matt:
Stay/finish college, you’ll have to work twice as hard to get 1/2 the money.  You’l catch up eventually, but it would have been a lot easier.  I know you’ll be tempted to drop out in your junior year b/c you thought you life was falling apart and that no one was on your side.  But, the tough times are put in front of you so that you grow strong in all facets of your development.  The more you overcome, the more that is revealed to you.  It’s ironic how the worse it gets, the greater the reward.
Don’t be ashamed or afraid of love.  It’s better you learn to have your heart broken when you’re younger.  In your 30s you feel it much, much worse.  It still is worth it: the love, anger, work, disappointment, anticipation, hope & despair….but it’s like the chicken pox, better to feel the pain of a broken heart @ 19, than @ 35.
Love,
35 year old Matt.
Dear Nineteen Year Old me,
Stop worrying about when your life will begin. You’re not a spectator in the world, you need to stop idly standing by. You are meant to interact and bond with the strangers of the world. That is what life is about. You’re scared of getting hurt. You have no idea how strong you are or how the pain only makes you stronger. I know you’ve been rejected and it feels like nothing else matters. Rejection says more about the person doing the rejection than it does about you. Don’t waste your time worrying about what other people think. YOUR opinions define you. Being a chameleon and absorbing other people’s views will never let you stand out. Connect. Connect with others. Thats the promise of this world… That you will meet people who will shake up your world, break your heart, and maybe even change you forever. Don’t wait to fall in love, but Always make it count. If you aren’t in it all the way don’t waste his time. But if you are… Be honest. Don’t let your fear speak for you. Fear will only make your tongue sharp and cruel. You won’t be able to take words back no matter how hard you try. Make your words count but don’t use them to harm others. No matter how much you hurt at the time. Forgive your family for the flaws they’ve exhibited in the years past and the years to come. They’re the people you really “belong” to.  The people who will always gather together when tragedy hits home. Also, Don’t worry about your stupid loud laugh.  It’s awesome.Stop worrying about when your life will begin. It already has.

Jenna
Dear Curtis,
Look at you go, buddy!
You’ve pulled through a lot and you’re reaching your goals.
But I have some advice for you, the time you spend worrying about what people think about you is time wasted. You are not going to please everybody even if you try with all your might. What’s important is that you don’t give up on what’s important to you and you don’t doubt yourself for one second!
There may be people who don’t like like your music, they may not like your clothes, style, personality, but if it’s important to you and you love each and every one of those things, then that’s the most important thing.
Please, don’t be ashamed of yourself, stop worrying about how people perceive you and just, be!
Love yourself more, you are a talented young man and you have people who DO support you.
Don’t be in such a rush to grow up, have fun!Your friend,
Curtis

If I could write a letter to me at 19.When the chance presents itself take it. It doesn’t matter what it is, just go for it. Life is made up of experiences, so don’t waste them. Make them as interesting as you can  When you get the chance to go sky diving, travel Australia, and go surfing just do it don’t even hmmm and ha about it.

Switching majors in Uni was for the best, kids are great but being a teacher isn’t your dream. Start learning Russian and how to read Chinese, it will make the decision to do a masters much easier. At the moment you’re fumbling a little bit deciding if you should or not, but life is still moving on and you have a sweet job at the moment.

You’ll still be confused about what you want to do for the rest of your life, but embrace everything you do. Living in a trailer without heat or water for a month isn’t the worst thing in the world. It will help build character and make you happy to be Canadian. Sleeping with a touque and bunny hug on but denying being cold while it snows outside, well it makes for a good story.

You’ll meet all sorts of people: good and bad, but embrace it. Don’t let people get you down. They’re just there to make you stronger.

Most of all always go for what makes you happy. Visit with your grandmothers more and spoil them as much as you can. Tell your family you love them and keep in touch with your friends. You will be separated by a vast expanse, so enjoy each others company while you can. You’ll miss walking to 7eleven like penguins and laughing til you fall down crying.

“Keep your head up and your shoes tied cause it’s just about time to run.” – chad parenteau

Love,

Future You

Dear 2005 Valerie,You don’t know it yet, but you have a learning disability. Yes, you’ve managed to grow up without it being diagnosed. And yet, it will be another 5 years before it is recognized.  So, this undiagnosed “disorder” will play a major role in manifesting the obstacles of your early 20s:  repeatedly failing college courses, believing you are stupid and lazy, and ultimately becoming depressed.

But believe me:  You’re not stupid or lazy, or unmotivated.  You’re just not yet aware that your brain functions differently from others.  You’re unique.  So forget about doing things ‘the right way.’  Figure out what ‘your way’ is, and do it. It doesn’t matter where you “should be”–appreciate where you are and accept that all the failures you’re experiencing and will experience are blessings in disguise.  Because if you take away every expectation of where you should be, oughta be, could be, you’re not a loser at all.  And these experiences will guide you later when you revisit them.

It will be another year after your ADHD diagnosis that you will be frustrated with your “lack of progress” or “return to normalcy.” You will have forgotten already: you’re a unique person. Your brain functions differently from others.  It will never be normal, and for certain, it thinks of the strangest, most interesting and random things. Remember that. Celebrate the creativity that comes with it and enjoy the satisfaction that comes with being aware of all your idiosyncrasies.

Be kind to yourself. Forgive all your mistakes. Know that you’re a good person. And get enough sleep.

Love,
2012 Valerie

Hi Cloé,

 

You don’t know me yet but someday, in 5 years, you will. I’m you. Well, most specifically future 19 year-old you. And I have so much to say that I don’t know where to start.

 

You’re a little bit lost, uh? I know you, don’t lie to me. You pretend like you know where you’re going but you have absolutely no idea what you want to do with your life, and it scares you.
Well I have some good and some bad news for you: even at my age, you still don’t know. But the good news is that you’ll have done some awesome things and regret none of them.
That’s right, your life during the next 5 years is going to be awesome.

Ok, maybe not really. Actually the first 3 years are going to be a little bit rough, what with graduating from high school at 16 and getting totally lost in university because these people are no way like you. But you know what? The next two years are so worth it.

 

You’re probably reading this letter from your bedroom in the South of France, with IS music blasting out of your stereo system. Mom and Dad are getting divorced, and it’s very painful; I guess you’ve discovered Instant Star just a few months ago, and it’s really helping in the process. Jude’s parent’s divorce makes you feel like you’re understood and not alone in this, even if you won’t admit it. And you’re already becoming a big fan of Alexz, right? Don’t worry, that doesn’t go away either. I’m actually writing to you on an idea of her!

 

I can imagine you from here, wearing black jeans and dark clothes, and some leather black Converses. You love colors and dresses, but never dare to wear them (except for your socks right? I remember only wearing colorful socks.) Your hair is tied into a tight ponytail. Me? Well… I just got out of work, so I’m still in my business clothes: classy black dress, high-heels, soft make-up… But on lazy days, I’m more of a colorful dresses person now.

 

But let’s get back to business…

 

First year of college is hard because you’ll still be very shy, too shy really. When Mom will propose you to get help for it, do it. It’ll be an excellent decision. (I guess now I’m the kind of girl you want to become someday. Be confident knowing that!)

 

At the university, you’ll meet this incredible girl who will help you in the process of getting less shy and facing your social anxiety. She’ll become one of your best friends, and you’ll move to Chile together, for 5 months. (That’s right, Chile! Awesome right?) There, you’ll get to travel all across South America with just your backpack, your friend and a crappy map, and you’ll do things I know you don’t even dream of doing right now: climb a volcano, bath in geyser water by -10°C, walk in the Uyuni salt desert, learn Tango in some hidden place in Argentina… It’ll be awesome. You’ll also live in a big house with 11 roommates, from different countries, who will become your second family; I’m still very close to some of them now. Please, don’t fight it when your friend proposes you to move there. I know it will be a hard choice for you to make, but it will be an excellent one and you’ll never, ever regret it. Really.

 

Oh, and by the way, I didn’t tell you from where I’m writing to you right? I’m in Chicago right now, for the next 5 months. “On a plane I’m leaving for Chicago…” Oh sorry, forgot that you don’t know that song yet. It’s an Alexz’s one! Not to spoil you or anything, but it’s an awesome song which will actually inspire you to go where I am now.

 

It’s awesome because nobody knows me here, so I get to be whoever I want to be; I know that’s what you’ve always wanted.

 

Don’t worry too much about falling in love already. It will come when it does. Even now, I’m still trying to find myself so I just decided to let it go and enjoy my life. Do the same, and don’t let peer pressure force you into dating people when you don’t really like them. There are so many things out there to do and live, you don’t even imagine.

 

But never forget to love people, and to love your family and your friends. Your family is amazing, you already know that. But you’ll come to know during the next 4 years how amazing and how strong they are. Love them. Show them. Share the love with everybody.

 

Just go live your life, and be awesome. Because if today I’m proud of the roads I’ve taken it’s because I know you’ll make the right decisions. Don’t be scared of the future.

 

Be confident.

 

And most of all, be yourself.

I love you,

Your Future You

Hey Alexz,

Stop the negative mind talk. You are way too hard on yourself… what’s the point of any of this if it isn’t fun?

What do you love the most? Why do you love it? So, is it worth it?

Stop taking so many other people’s stuff on.. even though you come from the middle of a huge family, you’re not responsible for each and every one of them.. you need to save some stuff for you!

Stop being so hard on people you love in your life as well..  even though it’s because you want the best for them – it hurts them more than helps them..

Call Grandma and tell her you love her before you lose her.

Eat a sandwich for crying out loud.

Keep surrounding yourself with like minds.. you are who you hang out with.. trust your taste in character.

Remember to focus on the little things…the little amazing gifts that are all around you.

Do the music you want to do, regardless of the struggle. Keep your eye on the ball.

That time you think your heart is going to explode in pain….. it’s a good thing!! Trust it.. learn from it.

Trust ME.

Allow your face to turn red if it chooses, always. It’s endearing, not weak.

Take a deep breath and be careful with your words – they’re all we have.

Dance more.

Love your 25 year old self.

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