By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Ocean blue clear skies, emerald green leaves and golden sunflowers are just some things that inspire Pop/R&B singer Alex McQuade.
McQuade, 15, even wears sunflower-related clothes whenever possible and has revolved his sophomore studio album Inflorescence around his gardening interests within the past year.
“I wrote a lot in the spring and summer about growth and I think that kind of helped me to make a project that was very plant-inspired,” McQuade said. “I have a song on the album called ‘Photosynthetic,’ which is about after a relationship, starting to become dependent on yourself.”
Inflorescence’s album cover was taken in Germany from a trip his father brought him on. Flowers and other nature-inspired beauties helped create an image of what the new songs meant for him.
“I can relate each song that I wrote back to a certain place in Germany that I was at and I think that’s really cool,” McQuade said.
Inflorescence, due out Mar. 29, carries heavy 80’s/90’s R&B influence. Once released, he expects to perform more around his area and experiment further, a key reason why he creates music quickly.
A longtime outlet for entertainment and creativity, his love for music began from age two when instead of toys, he carried around CDs. Once he grew older, his father bought him a microphone.
“We used to make little on-the-fly songs that were just stupid and fun and I think that’s one of my favorite memories in general,” said McQuade. “Just every day, I’d see my dad and I’d go, ‘Hey, can we make a song?’ and it’d just be him with the software just pressing record and it’d just be like some random campfire type song.”
Nowadays, high school, close friends and coffee shops are the norm for McQuade, who hails from New Cumberland, Pennsylvania.
Influenced by R & B powerhouses from Rihanna and Bruno Mars to alternative artists like Beach House, McQuade’s eclectic tastes fuel his energy to create. He recorded in his bedroom and released previous work for fun on iTunes. He felt he progressed enough where he could go into a studio and put an album together. With his parents’ help, he released his debut, Jejune Intercommunication in Feb. 2018.
The first song he recorded, “Fly,” the album’s upbeat lead single, sparked his desire to continue.
“I just filled my entire album around that song and just the way that it made me feel,” said McQuade.
The feedback made it all worth it.
“All of my friends listened to it non-stop and made me feel like they were finally hearing myself, if that makes any sense,” McQuade said. “They were hearing what I felt inside.”
A start so young in the music business has its pros and cons. He feels that it’ll make him a better musician come five to 10 years.
“Well, I think an advantage is that I’m not expected to do this as a career or something to keep financially stable,” McQuade said. “It’s just kind of a creative outlet and I don’t really know where it’s going to go, so I think the mystery of the outcome is almost a sum of some parts of age aspects, but I think it’s a setback because a lot of people don’t take it seriously when it comes to music and all that because you haven’t had as much experience.”
He feels his weakness comes from his biggest critic – himself.
“I’m never happy with my final products because I always look for flaws and I think that that can be one of my major downsides in general,” McQuade said. “I hope that I grow to the point where I realize that once something happens, it happens and that creativity is not only what you initially do, but what makes the end result.”
When it comes to his music, his overall goal is to make a memory.
“I try to create an environment or an atmosphere for memories to happen and I think it’s helped me put music to do that and I know I’ll set up a feeling,” McQuade said. “I think it creates an artificial feeling that only music can do, so that’s kind of my message through music – take my music any way you want to, take the meaning any way you want to but I want someone to feel something in general listening to it.”