Fort Worth soul/R&B singer Abraham Alexander is the kind of guy you want to take home to Mom. He’s clean-cut, young, good-looking, very religious, and uncommonly polite. But don’t confuse his calm, reserved demeanor with a lack of passion.
On the Greek-born 26-year-old’s debut single “America,” released recently on Spotify, Alexander’s silken vocals conjure images of prominent Black Civil Rights leaders. It’s a timely protest song reacting to the spate of police shootings of black men in recent years. Last July’s violence in Dallas, when five police officers were gunned down, was his tipping point, he said.
“I remember feeling distraught about five innocent police officers losing their lives,” he said. “And I started to think about people like Martin Luther King Jr., who actually did something positive, and Malcolm X and Rosa Parks. It was the walk they took that encouraged me … to take that baton and keep going forward.”
“America” is rooted just as much in gospel as it is traditional protest music. In the tune’s chorus, Alexander turns to his Christian faith in the face of racial friction: “America / Land of the free / Tell me to run / But there are shackles on me,” he sings forcefully. “America / Home of the brave / I love this land / But thank god I’m saved by grace.”
Alexander’s perspective is unique, since he didn’t come to this country until he was 12 years old, unable to speak a word of English. His parents left their home country in the wake of racial and economic tensions. A little more than a decade later, Alexander sees his adopted home country in the same light. It’s his faith, he said, that keeps him sane.
“This is a great country,” he said. “But no matter how much I might love it, sometimes it doesn’t love me back. And the only place I feel I get that love completely is through Jesus Christ.”
In his early years, Alexander eschewed music. He and his father, a musician, didn’t get along, so the young would-be singer wanted to distance himself from his old man. But after living in this country nine or 10 months, Alexander’s mother passed away. He eventually turned to music for comfort and a creative outlet.
He’s a self-taught guitarist whose playing and singing have already caught the attention of a couple of local R&B/soul luminaries. He co-wrote the music to a song performed by Brandon Marcel and was a backup vocalist on Leon Bridges’ critically lauded major-label debut album, Coming Home.
Alexander started out playing at the dearly departed Live Oak’s open-mics, but so far in his nascent career, he’s mostly played gigs in Dallas – including opening up for R&B superstar Ginuwine at House of Blues.
Will Hunt of Spaceway Productions (Burning Hotels, Evanescance) is recording and producing Alexander, who will put out one more single in the coming months before his EP drops in early 2018. He hopes to release a full album by next summer. Until then, he plans on playing more gigs locally as he ramps up to the various releases.
“I love Fort Worth,” he said. “Something is brewing in the water here, and everyone can see it. So the more shows I can play here, the better.”