Music for the Masses

Mauricio Alexander aims to move the crowd with his latest project

By Van Sias

Needless to say, music is a big part of singer/songwriter/actor Mauricio Alexander’s life.
Classically trained pianist for 12 years. Alto saxophone for three years. Self-taught singer and guitarist since he was 12. Time spent as a hip-hop artist by the name of Enemy Combatant, spitting out rhymes (to quote that old “Law & Order” slogan) “ripped from the headlines.”
Now Alexander has started his most ambitious music mission to date: the 112,010 Downloads Project. The most songs that are downloaded on his Web site will be on his debut album. And that’s just the tip of the MP3 player as he’s looking to tally up more than 100,000 downloads by the beginning of the new year. The money raised will go toward the production costs of the album and a national tour.
A listen to “Summer Song” – with its lyrics of longing and upbeat groove that evokes the feeling of the season – on Alexander’s Web site is an example of the creative forces that have shaped the artist.
“When I first started writing, my very first influence outside of just the Led Zeppelin-Chili Peppers stuff when I was a kid, I have to comment on this: The first indie artist I started crafting my sound after was Ani DiFranco,” he said. “And the reason why she sticks out is because she’s one of those people that are very unique in how they blend their music. She’s a very soulful artist.”
Being “soulful” is a readily apparent feature of Alexander’s sound, enabling him to find a kinship with some of today’s leading musicians.
“Who I’m listening to that I feel is generating similar sounds is Citizen Cope,” he said, adding, “Dave Matthews has got one of the best jazz-pop bands, whatever you want to call it. “You probably hear that mixed with a little bit of indie rock (in my music).”
Music isn’t the only art form through which Alexander expresses himself. He graduated from Oberlin College with a degree in theatre, and has traveled the country as part of a national theatre tour. Acting is still a strong component of his life with one of his biggest career projects to date already in the pipeline.
“I recently shot and starred in my first SAG indie film called ‘Departure’ with Tracy Perez, Brian Luna and Chelsea Gregory,” he said. “It is in post-production for a 2010 spring release to film festivals.”
Alexander is currently doing stand-in work for actor Tony Plana on one of ABC’s most successful programs, “Ugly Betty.” He’s also done stand-in duty on such major motion pictures as “American Gangster,” “Righteous Kill,” “Illegal Tender” and “The Bourne Ultimatum”
“We live in a world where everything is cross-platform: If you’re a musician, you probably end up acting on a show,” Alexander said. “Companies are always looking for fresh ideas: My wish is that they can use my music for the show. All it takes is for a producer to say they really like that song.”
Rather than waiting for the opportunities to appear out of thin air, Alexander has decided to take matters into his own hands.
“Everyone needs a vehicle (to express themselves creatively) and if someone doesn’t create a vehicle for you, you have to create the vehicle yourself.
“I love that idea of being an entrepreneur,” he added. “That’s exciting to me.”

Check out Mauricio’s Web site at http://www.mauricioalexander.com.

Photo: Leyla Tatiana Rosario

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