5 Questions For: Strawberry Guy

by | May 8, 2024 | 5 Questions For, Blog

Alex Stephens, also known as Strawberry Guy, initially made his mark as a keyboardist in a band . However, he soon felt the need to explore his own musical path, leading him to embark on a solo career in Liverpool. His 2019 debut EP, Taking My Time to Be, featuring the viral hit Mrs Magic, amassed a staggering 350 million Spotify streams, largely thanks to its immense popularity on TikTok. Strawberry Guy’s music uniquely blends classical Romantic influences, reminiscent of Debussy and Ravel, and contemporary indie pop. This fusion, his introspective lyrics, and rich instrumental arrangements create a dreamlike, psychedelic soundscape evident in his album Sun Outside My Window.

Strawberry Guy’s creative process is deeply rooted in introspection, drawing significant inspiration from natural landscapes and impressionistic art, much like Monet’s paintings. This connection to nature and art is a reflection of his upbringing in the scenic Welsh countryside and the art that adorned his home. It’s a connection beautifully mirrored in his music, notably influenced by the evocative soundtracks of Studio Ghibli, which enhance the narrative depth of his compositions. On May 10, Strawberry Guy will perform for the first time in Bucharest at Control Club. Ahead of the indie-pop sensation’s appearance, we grabbed him for five quick questions.

How has your hometown of Liverpool shaped you as an artist?

Well actually, I am Welsh, so I grew up in Wales. Then I moved to Liverpool when I was 19 to go to university. I would say the gorgeous countryside in Wales certainly made me want to create more serene and melodic music. Maybe the quietness and sometimes loneliness in the countryside made me write in a more reflective way… but in all honestly, I think the most inspiring thing for me with music is my own emotions. I’ll never run out of them! 

If you could score any film, TV show or video game ever made with your music, which one would you choose?

Ooooooh, I’m a huge Pixar fan actually, one day I’d love to compose for them. I particularly love Inside Out, Up, Wall-E, Coco. I love how they’re kids’ films but also perfect for adults to watch too, a lot of them make me cry actually haha. I also think the legend of Zelda game soundtracks are really good… so scoring those would be amazing, not sure if I could top the music in it already though! Haha

If you could transport your audience to any place in the world during one of your concerts, where would it be and why?

Hmmm this is a tricky one. I guess somewhere really really peaceful. A garden with a beautiful calm stream running through it and the most beautiful flowers. Somewhere that resembles the garden of Eden (but you can eat the fruit!). I would just want to transport people to the most tranquil and safe place possible. Whether that is a real place or not I guess it doesn’t matter, as long as they can visit that place in their mind that is all that matters. 

Given your TikTok success with “Mrs Magic,” what role do you think social media plays in the music industry today, especially for indie artists?

Well, it’s a funny one. I actually didn’t have TikTok at first when my music went viral on it. I didn’t even know until a friend messaged me to tell me it had gone viral…! What can I say I guess? It changed my life, and I think that moment of virality may have changed my life forever really. So I guess it plays a very very important role in music. Small time artists can blow up at any moment with TikTok, nobody can predict it. There are bigger artists desperately trying to have a TikTok hit that are failing. Nobody knows the algorithm and there is no way to control it. I think it’s amazing because the music just speaks for itself. 

What has the process of making music taught you about yourself?

It has taught me that I should always be myself, and not shy away from my feelings. As I said earlier, my biggest inspiration is my feelings! I think also it’s taught me to stay humble… despite my recent success I think I have continued to stay grounded and not get carried away with it. I have had to learn to stay grounded despite having some quite intense fans at shows, and looking at the Spotify streams! It’s taught me to only write for myself and not to write for any more ‘success’. I’ll never try and write a pop hit, I can only write from my heart. 

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