Alex Winston is a pop singer and recording artist now based in New York who just wrapped up a tour opening for Neon Trees. On Tuesday, June 30, the Bloomfield Hills native will play something of a homecoming show at the Loving Touch in Ferndale. We caught up with her via phone to learn more.
Going all the way back to the begining, Winston says she started playing music as a young child, and says that music is what she’s always wanted to do. “I never really wanted to do anything else, and actually I still don’t,” she says.
Having begun playing at 10 years old, Winston's musical influences vary from the Motown greats to the Canadian singer-songwriter Mary Margaret O’Hara. Self-taught in many instruments, Winston describes herself as someone who can “play a lot of instruments poorly.”
“I play guitar on stage, that’s really the one instrument I’m comfortable playing live,” she says. “But when I record, I play a bunch of different instruments just well enough to record them.”
Winston skipped college in hopes of starting her professional music career in New York, and attributes her confidence in this decision to her love of music. “When I decided to skip school to play music, I kind of already knew that was the path I was going to take,” she says. “Luckily, my parents were really, really supportive of that.”
That support from her family has helped her to launch a career that has spanned nearly a decade and has produced one full-length album, King Con, along with several EPs, including The Day I Died, released earlier this year.
Winston's forthcoming sophomore record is expected to have a more '80s pop feel. “I don’t know, I think because of the subject matter probably, but I immediately had John Hughes in my head," she says. Having just finished recording, Winston is on tour and says playing her music live is the real reason she got into this business.
“Getting to play new material for an audience is just such an awesome experience, it’s honestly the best part about being a musician,” she says. “I don’t like to just sit there to myself. When I get [back from touring] I will just start writing music again because that’s my thing.”
In the meantime, Winston says she's geeked to play to a hometown crowd at the Loving Touch.
“I’m honestly excited and a little bit nervous,” she says. “I’m excited about the show because I haven’t been able to be in Detroit much and I miss it, but it’s also really nerve-racking, because I get to see all my friends and family — those people who were there for me at the start. I know I have to do a really good job.” Bryce Karl Huffman is a summer intern at Metro Times.