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Pre-rituals and Lyrical Discussions With Alec Whiteley

“When I was younger, I really struggled with like, understanding people. So now I’ve got this huge catalog of weird things I’ve done and confusing interactions that I can express and share in songwriting.” 

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By Julia Brunette

Many artists have what I like to call a pre-show ritual. Some warm up their vocals through choir-like exercises and others chug an energy drink minutes before stepping on stage. For hyper-pop artist Alec Whiteley, the hours before performing almost always go the same.

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Whiteley plans an outfit, gets makeup done by a friend and prepares to get hyped, with a couple of Monster energy drinks in between. Whiteley has been interested in music for about four years, with inspiration from Whiteley’s sisters who were in choir.

“I really wanted to write my own stuff, but I was so bad at guitar,” Whiteley says. “So I learned how to make beats on my computer for the rest of my high school career. But I have been able to take things more seriously for the past two years.”

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Alec’s music takes inspiration from nostalgic pop songs like “Fireflies” by Owl City. Whiteley’s recent single is called “NEVER COMING BACK” and is about a breakup. 

“My ex and I broke up on really good terms,” Whiteley explains. “I was kind of sulking on the idea of never coming back together and feeling trapped. Like, ‘You’re not coming back. But I’m stuck with you.’ That was the idea of the song.”

Many of Whiteley’s songs are meant to be associated with feelings and stem from experiences they experienced when they were younger. Whiteley is on the autism spectrum, and it affected their relationships growing up.

“As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned how to deal with certain things better,” Whiteley says. “When I was younger, I really struggled with like, understanding people. So now I’ve got this huge catalog of weird things I’ve done and confusing interactions that I can express and share in songwriting.” 

“My songs really aren’t meant to be a meaning but more a feeling,” Whiteley continues. “You know, I like the production just as much as the lyrics and harmonies just as much as the lead vocal … all of it is meant to be one experience that gets you feeling a certain way – less about a certain topic.”

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Whiteley’s favorite part about being a musician is performing and being in front of a crowd. During The Basement’s Battle of the Bands in Rexburg, the audience waved their phone flashlights, sang along, and tossed roses at the end of Whiteley’s performance.

“If I could tour, that would be the coolest thing in the world for me,” Whiteley says. “My end goal is by the time I die to be famous enough that I can live off of my music and get to do it every day.”

Whiteley continues to perform at The Basement in Rexburg, ID and hopes to continue to perform and produce new music after a move to Pocatello. For now, follow Alec Whiteley on Instagram and stream “NEVER COMING BACK” below!

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