NAME: Alex Lahey
JOB & INDUSTRY/WHAT DO U DO: Musician
FAVOURITE BAND: Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band FAVOURITE SONG: Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen
FAVOURITE FEMALE ARTIST + WHY: Dolly Parton – because she paved and continues to pave a way for female musicians to truly express themselves and own their art without being judged on their appearance.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
"I am a musician, who primarily identifies as a songwriter. I tour, write and record my own music under my own name, as Alex Lahey. My life is a bit of a venn diagram of being an artist while effectively running my own business. It’s a big ask for a young person to do that, but I love every minute of it and really dig into the responsibilities of it all."
IS THIS WHAT YOU ALWAYS DREAMED OF?
"I just take every day as it comes. For me, I have always wanted to be a musician and the fact that is my full time job now truly is a dream come true. I don’t think I ever glamourised the job - I always knew it would be hard, but I still love every part of it. I am very fortunate to be surrounded by some amazing people, whose support and encouragement keep me grounded, focused and maintain my perspective."
FORKS IN THE ROAD, HOW DO YOU MANAGE THEM?
"I’m definitely a 'big picture' kind of person, which I guess means that I try to grasp a broader perspective of what a scenario means. There can be so many different facets to certain challenges I face as a musician, such as artistry, creative integrity, business practice, and relationships of all kinds. For me, I never compromise on my morals and ethics, and I will break down a decision from there."
DESCRIBE YOUR WORK ETHIC…
"Driven yet balanced, considered and kind to myself and those around me."
DO YOU HAVE RITUALS? WOULD YOU SHARE ONE WITH US?
"My band and I have a 'kissy kissy' ritual, which is basically everyone giving each other a kiss on the cheek before we walk on stage. We always beat ourselves up about it if we forget to do it - lucky that doesn’t happen very often!"
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR INDUSTRY?
I love that you can totally throw the rule book out the window in terms of convention - there is so much room for innovation and the opportunity for that to be embraced is no bigger than in the music industry. Artists and listeners want to be surprised!"
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO CHANGE ABOUT YOUR INDUSTRY?
"The music industry, in many ways, is a collection of small businesses working collaboratively - whether it be an artist, a venue, a festival, a punter, a radio station and so on. Due to this nature of the industry, there is very little governance over what is appropriate behaviour and standards in engagement between all parties. As a result of this, many people find themselves exploited or unable to continue working due to poorly managed or unresolved conflict/s. Not to mention feeling unsafe in certain environments, such as a festival or a gig. I believe that there is room for some sort of recognised standard to be set in the industry so that people are protected from prejudicial behaviour and that there is safety for all across the board - whether it be in a major label conference room, or a comments section on a radio station’s Facebook page."
INEQUALITY, DOES IT EXIST IN YOUR INDUSTRY?
"Absolutely. To speak to gender inequality specifically, non male identifying artists are marginalised all over the world - there are massive discrepancies within festival lineups - in billing, fees and treatment on the ground - as well as the treatment of non male artists in the press and in the studio. As a queer female artist, I feel that I have a responsibility to speak out and encourage the creation of safe spaces that facilitate equal opportunities for all people, regardless of their gender identity or sexuality (if any)."