Kendra Baker – Special to Southern News –
Since receiving a Yamaha keyboard from his parents on his fourteenth birthday, Alex Grimotes, a senior business administration major, has been creating music.
“The type of music I make is mainly hip-hop and R&B, but I can expand to other genres of music,” said Grimotes, who said he considers himself a singer, song-writer and rapper. He can also produce his own beats.
In January 2011, Grimotes performed in front of 14,000 people at the Garde Arts Center in his hometown of New London, Conn. for the “First Annual New London Talent Show.” In July of that year, he performed at New London’s Crocker House for an audience of 100 people.
Grimotes’ girlfriend, Angela Guilfoyle, a junior social work major, attended both shows.
“[Grimotes] definitely pulls off being in the spotlight,” said Guilfoyle, who said she was surprised at how well Grimotes interacted with the crowd. “Normally he’s more closed off in front of people he doesn’t personally know, but when it’s about his music, there’s this new energy about him—a really contagious energy- you can tell it rubs off on the audience.”
Grimotes said growing up in a large family that plays and listens to different types of music is what inspired him to start creating music. He also said to Joseph Kirschner, a dailycampus.com correspondent, that Kanye West’s music inspired him to “make his own sound.”
“I think [Grimotes’] music is very original,” said Guilfoyle. “He has a lot of talent and unique ideas that would separate him from other [artists] in the music industry.”
Grimotes, who said he believes the music industry today is “lacking unique artists and creativity,” said he’d want to stay an independent artist without having to cross the music industry if he had the option in the future.
“Having no control [over] what you say or do isn’t what I’d want to involve myself in,” said Grimotes. “I would love to contribute my life story—something real, something people will never forget, something not manipulated by someone else.”
Grimotes said he utilizes a variety of outlets in order to promote his music: through social network websites, at parties and with the help of his friends.
“I’d say my biggest challenge has been marketing myself because I dislike it so much,” said Grimotes, “but my biggest supporters are my friends and local artists, and they definitely help [promote] my music, which has helped me grow as an artist.”
Steven Peck, a senior business administration major and one of Grimotes’ close friends, helps endorse his music.
“I promote [Grimotes’] music through Facebook or by sharing his music with my friends,” said Peck, who has known Grimotes for four years. “I also give him feedback as to whether I like his songs or not.”
Grimotes, who decided not to major or minor in music, said although he has a passion for music, it doesn’t entirely define what he wants to do with his life.
“I’d love to either own my own business or become an important management leader to a company one day,” said Grimotes. “I believe I have the knowledge a lot of music majors have so I decided to expand my mind on how a business is operated.”
Grimotes said in five years, he sees himself in a high paying management position at a fortune 500 company if music doesn’t get him where he wants to be.
“Honestly, I’m satisfied with music as a hobby and I’ll never stop making it,” said Grimotes. “Even if I’m working a full-time job, I’ll always have a passion for making music on the side.”