Alex Rhoads
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Alex Rhoads

Burke, Virginia, United States

Burke, Virginia, United States
Band Rock Alternative

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"The Solo Artist's Long Road"

GOING IT SOLO: Alex Rhoads is a sophomore at George Mason and an up-and-coming solo musician who plays Alexandria's coffee houses and music joints, hoping for solo stardom someday.

Alex Rhoads knew she wanted to become a rock musician by the age of seven. A strange ambition, she knows, but as an only child she knew her parents would probably not take no for an answer.

The George Mason sophomore, who majors in Music by day and plays Alexandria coffeehouses and King Street music joints by night, saw on January 28 the culmination of a long-held dream, the release of her first solo CD, "Room to Breathe."

Alex, who recently turned 20, still lives in the same house in Burke where she grew up, the same house where she mastered her piano lessons by the age of seven and took up orchestra and dance in the second grade. By the fourth grade, she was playing the violin at Fairview Elementary School well enough that neighbors dropped by just to hear her play. She picked up the guitar when she was 14, and two years later was headlining the Burke Center Festival.

"My parents have always been my biggest supporters," said Alex softly. "A solo artistic career is what they know I want."

By her senior year at Robinson High School, she was headlining Fairfax County's renowned Battle of the Bands competition, the one concessionary time she sang vocals and played her instruments for a back-up band. At the competition, she played the piano, guitar, bass and harmonica -- something perhaps the Boys of the Band might have found, well, intimidating from a 17-year-old female.

In a world of manufactured music, one critic writes about the rising solo musician that it's "truly refreshing to come across a young artist with genuine talent." In addition to writing songs that are both "melodious and meaningful, Alex shows promise with her outstanding guitar work and vocal ability."

Last year, Alex's song, Recognized, won Honorable Mention in the Rock Category of the Mid-Atlantic Song Contest, sponsored by the Songwriter's Association of Washington.

While striving for success in the music business, Alex said she has never been one to follow the latest trend. Thus, her songs have variety, and no two sound alike. Some of her tunes boast a classic rock or blues influence, while others capture the best of today's modern rock.


To hear Alex's music and see her upcoming schedule of appearances,
log on to www.alexrhoads.com.
"A lot of them are from personal experience," Alex said. "The song 'I Found My Way' is about a time in my life when I was having a really hard time. 'Throw it Away' is about liking somebody who doesn't reciprocate their feelings. As in, they had the opportunity and they just threw it away. 'All I Can Do' is definitely a break-up song. It's about being on the other side of breaking up."

At a recent performance at Cameron Station, some of the attendees remarked that her live performances are truly enjoyable as Alex pairs her original music with a large array of cover songs that please her audience.

Alex works diligently at her craft, recording songs at home with her digital piano several hours a day, when not studying, working at a music store and giving music lessons to other aspiring muscians.

"I don't want to be a pop princess," she said. "I want to be taken seriously as a musician. You just can't give up. If you take a break, someone else will take your place."

After hearing some of Alex's songs in the studio, Rob Hyman, the Grammy-nominated lead vocalist of The Hooters and co-author of Cyndi Lauper's hit, "Time After Time," offered up some advice. "Alex should now it's all about dedication and perserverence. There's always going to be competition. But if you're cut out for it, success is often about the one who pushes the hardest. It sounds like she has those traits."

The Alex Rhoads File
Vitals: Age 20, college sophomore at GMU
Favorite Band: The Beatles
Favorite TV show: The Gilmore Girls
Role Model: Paul McCartney
Place she'd like to play: The Verizon Center
- John Arundel (The Alexandria Times)


Discography

Room to Breathe (EP), released 2007

Photos

Bio

In a world of manufactured music, it is truly refreshing to come across a young artist with genuine talent. In addition to writing songs that are both melodious and meaningful, Alex Rhoads shows promise with her outstanding guitar work and vocal ability.

Beginning piano at age 7, Alex quickly acquired an intense interest in music. However, it wasn't until the age of 14 that she picked up a guitar. She began both performing locally and writing original songs two years later.

While always striving for success in the music business, Alex has never been one to follow the latest trend or fashion. Her songs have great variety, as no two sound alike. Some boast a classic rock or blues influence, while others capture the best of today's modern sound. Her live performances are truly enjoyable as she pairs her original music with a large array of cover songs that please listeners of all ages.

Alex has played both solo and with a full band at many local venues such as Bangkok Blues (Falls Church, VA), Jammin' Java (Vienna, VA), Jaxx (West Springfield, VA), the Burke Centre Festival (Burke, VA), Stacy's Coffee Parlor (Falls Church, VA), and many more.

In 2007, Alex's song Recognized won Honorable Mention in the Rock Category of the Mid-Atlantic Song Contest, sponsored by the Songwriter's Association of Washington. In 2008, her song I Found My Way won Honorable Mention in the same contest. She has just released her debut album, Room to Breathe, an EP with six of her original songs. In addition to being the sole songwriter for this album, Alex also performed all guitar, bass, vocal, piano and even harmonica tracks. Too good to be true? Listen for yourself!

"Alex works diligently at her craft...[her songs] capture the best of today's modern rock."
-The Alexandria Times