Alex Hall Found His Unique Sound When He Stopped Mimicking His Heroes
Alex Hall was only 5 years old when he was bitten by the musical bug. After his family introduced him…
Alex Hall; Photo by Matthew Berinato
Alex Hall was only 5 years old when he was bitten by the musical bug. After his family introduced him to the music of Elvis Presley, Hall made up his mind: he was going to be a singer.
“From the time that I could remember music, I always wanted to be Elvis Presley,” Hall confesses to Country Now over the phone. “That was the first recollection of music that I have.”
His parents soon bought him his first guitar, but when they enrolled him in guitar lessons there was one issue: “The guy came back out five minutes later and said that I didn’t know how to read because I hadn’t started kindergarten yet. He said couldn’t teach me.”
Hall picked the guitar back up nine years later and he hasn’t put it down since. He began to play, write and sing and even started making trips to Nashville with his parents.
By the age of 15, Hall was playing in bars and restaurants around his hometown of Gainesville, Georgia. He wasn’t old enough drive himself, much less get in with a valid ID, so he relied on his “incredibly supportive” parents to cart him around.
Hall can’t help but laugh when he thinks about his first few live performances.
“I only knew four songs so they were nice enough to let me play the same songs over and over again,” he says, adding, “Two of them were songs that I wrote…I don’t know what they are called and I never want to hear them again.”
As time passed, Hall built up quite the touring schedule, averaging an impressive 125 shows a year throughout high school.
“Typically, if I had school, no matter where we were, we would drive back through the night. I would get to sleep at 4 or 5 o’clock in the morning some nights and then get up and go to school. After school, I would go play a show somewhere,” he explains. “I played almost five nights a week, whether it was acoustic at a restaurant or opening for someone like Frankie Ballard, Thomas Rhett or whoever. It was pretty crazy. It was a lot of sleepless nights.”
His high school years ended up being quite different than his peers. “I was not the star quarterback,” he acknowledges, but his hard work more than paid off. Nine months after graduating high school, Hall relocated to Nashville where he signed publishing and booking deals almost immediately. From that point on, there was no looking back. “Either I was going to do it or I was going to fail trying,” he says.
He spent the next several years touring, writing songs and figuring out exactly what he wanted to say and the kind of artist he wanted to be.
“For the longest time, and I didn’t realize it, I was really mimicking people that I idolized, like John Mayer, Kings of Leon and Keith Urban. It was a lot of redoing what they’ve already done and it wasn’t going anywhere for me and I started to realize that.”
It was then, after “countless hours locked in a bedroom with a guitar,” that he tapped into his unique sound and ultimately figured out what he wanted to say.
“I don’t really sing about tailgates and Bud Light, even though I love tailgates and Bud Light, that’s not really me as an artist. I’m not going to say that, so what am I going to say? Who am I going to speak for? Who are my people? It’s been a journey of figuring that out,” Hall explains. “For me, it’s been locking myself into a studio and playing with guitars and [learning] what works and what doesn’t work.”
Now signed to Monument Records, Alex Hall is ready to share his music with the world. His just-released song, “Half Past You,” is the perfect introduction to who he is as an artist and what’s to come on his full-length project.
“I think it showcases a lot of my influences, but it doesn’t sound like anybody else,” Hall shares of the breezy track, which he co-wrote and co-produced with Shane McAnally, Pete Good and AJ Babcock.
“Half Past You” features an infectious beat and clever lyrics that find Hall coming to the realization that he’s not over his ex.
“‘Cause I know in my heart that it’s way too soon / Dialing your number’s what my fingers do / I shouldn’t have called I know it’s half past two / But I’m drunk and I guess I’m only half past you,” he sings throughout the chorus.
Hall may not have lived out the story in the song, he’s happily engaged, but it’s a familiar situation that nearly everyone can relate to.
Following the release of “Half Past You,” Hall and his co-producers are hard at work on his debut project. As he continues his journey as an artist, Hall says he has one goal in mind (no, it’s not to be Elvis!).
“I just want to be known for being an incredible musician and an incredible songwriter that people respect but also, that people will come to a festival, club or hopefully, eventually a stadium, and just want to be there for 2 ½ hours hearing my songs. That’s my goal.”
Lauren Jo Black
Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.