Taking you on a musical journey from childhood rebellion to introspective manhood, Gallowayyys holds your hand while navigating this sonic swirl of awesomeness. We speak with Gallowayyys (the moniker of Blake Alexander) about his new album Angels with Fangs, being a solo artist and much more!
Cliché, but what drew you to music? Also, how did you choose the stage name ‘Gallowayyys’?
My road from boyhood to manhood was paved with rocks and debris. When I wasn’t learning to cover short stop, I was spending my summers in the home of blues. I walked passed Graceland every day, but I never looked to any legend more than I did my uncles. They built careers galvanizing audiences as self-taught musicians. My artist name, which means black sheep, was shaped by their example. To me, it embodies the importance of gravitas, risk-taking, and the power to be felt but unseen.
What inspires you to make music?
When my anxiety is up, I rarely get enough sleep. When I close my eyes my thoughts can race for hours. Most nights I don’t go to sleep until the crack of dawn. I use to self-medicate to level out. But I’ve found that the best way to reflect and organize how I feel is by recording.
What can you tell us about your album Angels With Fangs?
Angels With Fangs strings together transformative themes of boyhood rebellion, and the isolation of being looked over. It tackles feelings of inadequacy and intimacy on the road to discovering my identity. Just when you think you’ve figured it out it takes a turn you didn’t expect.
What do you hope people take from Angels With Fangs?
This album is an honest reflection of my growth from boyhood to manhood. It chronicles some deeply emotional moments that I’ve never openly expressed. I genuinely hope that it finds its way to those undergoing a similar metamorphosis.
If you had to choose a favourite track from the album, which would it be?
‘Angels With Fangs’. The song kicks off the album with an intimate story of revenge. It describes a fallen Angel who allowed himself to be vulnerable with a beautiful vampire. He spent so much time with the vampire that they were practically living together. After ultimately giving everything, he suspects she’s only feeding off him. People try to tell him that he should run, but he’s too invested. When the vampire’s lover is freed from his prison, she immediately goes back to him. The Angel is crushed, but the pain he feels ultimately inspires a metamorphosis. Years pass and the Angel has become an Angel With Fangs. The vampire is eventually attracted to the Angel With Fangs, but when he finally gets his chance, he cruelly sinks his fangs into her.
As a solo artist, what do you think are the benefits and drawbacks of making music on your own?
I think if you’re going to get it out of the mud and find success as an artist, you have to learn how to wear many hats. The best multi-instrumentalist like Kevin Parker, Yves Tumor, and Toro Y Moi don’t wait for others to create the music they want. That being the case, I think the lone wolf approach can be brutal. I think collaboration offers competition, foreign ideas, the opportunity to learn and so much more. But if you want to work with the best it helps to know your way around a DAW and the stage.
What makes you unique as a musician?
The young men where I’m from were raised by strong black women. We never questioned them. They were like Gods to us. The world blamed the black male image for all the problems in our community, but we never got a chance to hear our father’s side of the story. When I finally did, I felt that for the first time, I didn’t need to walk around like a loaded gun anymore. I feel like I finally have a frame for my identity. Going forward, I want to create music with richer storytelling, more gripping musicality, with concepts that push the hard conversations to the forefront. Every step I take is for the generations that follow.
Do you have future plans for Gallowayyys?
At the time of this release, I’m launching my first official merch store with original artwork. Each design was digitally created in conjunction with the album art. I’m currently building out an epic live experience using my custom Ableton Push 2. The visual elements also feature some custom-built stage elements associated with the artwork.
This artist was found on Musosoup #sustainablecurator