Ahead of the release of his new album, Alex Aiono spoke on the HL podcast about how the BLM movement inspired his latest work.
Alex Aiono dove deep into his personal faith and his view of the world to bring together his musically ambitious and culturally relevant his debut album The Gospel at 23. The first single off of the album was Aiono’s collaboration with Dee Wilson, who he discovered on social media singing “The Medicine” in the midst of the protests following the murder of George Floyd back in June.
“I was listening to the song and was brought to tears about just how raw and real it was,” Alex explained of his discovery of “The Medicine” on the HollywoodLife podcast. “I had been seeing so much back and forth from both sides just attacking each other and going at it and everybody feeling like they had the right thing to say — and I heard the song and it just spoke to what we really need right now. In a religious background of the song that I connected with was that we need God help us and set everything straight and inspire the hearts of people to change where they need change.”
He continued, “The thing that I really connected with is that, although the lyrics referred to a higher power, God, is the truth, it’s the medicine we need. The same way that when you have a cold you take NyQuil, when you have a headache, you take Tylenol, when you have systemic racism, there needs to be a medicine for that so that it can be fixed and that medicine is love, that medicine is in is inclusiveness and inclusivity. That love is acceptance of other people and acceptance that everybody truly is created equal, and everybody truly deserves equal rights, equal treatment, equal justice.”
“The Medicine,” and his latest release, “Good Morning” are both perfect teases of the rest of the 23-year-old’s debut album, due out on July 24th. Alex explained on the HL podcast that he went through a period of reflection and self-proclaimed “selfishness” where he wrote songs to just “tell my story.” “It was very selfish, in a good way,” he said of building The Gospel At 23. “This album, to me, when I look back at it… when I was writing the songs it was me telling my own story. I didn’t care about hurting people’s feelings or what people would think of me… It talks about everything — my weaknesses, my strengths, the times that wrong was done against me, the times that I did wrong, myself. My fears about growing up my fears about being grown up,” Alex detailed.
However, he added, “looking back now at what I thought was, in good way, a selfish moment of writing songs, was actually connecting with people more than I ever imagined.” When taking friends and family through the tracks on The Gospel At 23, Alex revealed the feedback showed him “how connected we all are as human beings, because we do go through the same things, whether they are exactly the same or just same underlying issues.”