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Q&A: Alex Aiono Reflects on Musical Journey & Talks New Music + Touring

Plus, the 21-year-old is “very much in search of a girl” that he doesn’t have to break up with.

Alex Aiono is the one to watch in 2018.

The 21-year-old singer hasn’t even released his debut album with Interscope yet, but still consistently sells out shows across the world AND has over 2.5M followers on Instagram. So the real question here is this — what makes Alex so special?

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His Personality.

Whether you’ve had the pleasure of meeting Aiono in-person or watched his vlogs on his YouTube channel, you know EXACTLY what we’re talking about. With his charming personality (and super cute smile), he makes the ladies swoon for days.

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His Music.

Aiono’s music isn’t the typical pop you’d expect from a young musician. While the 21-year-old’s music would fall into the pop category, the songs have an R&B vibe, giving them a more mature sound and feel. Plus, he’s collaborated with artists such as T-Pain for his song “One At A Time” and Trinidad Cardona for “Does It Feel Like Falling.”

His Stage Presence.

When we saw Alex perform at the LA stop of Sabrina Carpenter’s De-Tour over the summer, we were absolutely blown away by his set. He engages with his audience no matter how big or small they are and even brings on some hot hot hot dance moves. No wonder why the ladies love him!

Celeb Secrets had the chance to meet up with Aiono in between his crazy touring schedule in New York City to talk about his musical journey, touring success, and upcoming music. Oh — and if things couldn’t get any better, he’s currently in “search of a girl” that he “doesn’t have to break up with.” Ladies, take notes!

Take a read at the full Q&A below and make sure you follow Alex on Twitter and Instagram at @alexaiono. He’s got two more dates left on his North American tour — for tickets, click here.

Listen to Alex’s new track “Thinking About You”:

CS: You were so busy in 2017 — traveling, touring, and so much more. Do you have a highlight of 2017?

Alex Aiono: “Everybody asks that and I really don’t know! I’ve done so many things, been to so many new places, and tried new foods. It was such a fun year of firsts — first festival, first time playing sold out shows, and first time touring Europe. All of these things I’m doing for the first time which was so great. I can’t really pinpoint one because they’re all just rushes of exciting times, so I think there are so many highlights; selling out a tour in Europe, going on tour multiple times in the states — it’s all been so much fun!”

CS: What’s your favorite memory from touring?

AI: “It’s fun being on tour because you just become family with the people you tour with. I toured with pretty much the same people all of the time and they’re like my family. We all know each other and we fight, but we get over it. We spend so much time closed in together, whether its sharing hotel rooms or having dinner together every night, you really build a bond with these people. I’ve been really blessed to bring my sister out on one tour and my best friend on another, and its always such great memories. The nights of freestyle rapping in the hotel room, followed by going and getting milkshakes at a sketchy diner; those little things I’ve been learning to cherish because you can’t take them for granted. They come and go. ”

CS: And those are memories you will have for a lifetime! 

AI: “Yeah! It’s crazy we’re talking about tours that have sold out shows, ridiculous crowds, and moments where we’re rushing to get out because the police are telling us we need to leave. The nights I’ll talk about are the time I freestyle rapped or I saw a cute girl in the crowd and I got all giddy and was like ‘I need to know what her name is.’ Those are the memories — not that the shows aren’t amazing — but for me, a regular dude making memories with my friends is so cool.”

CS: And you don’t even have a regular life. How old are you?

AI: “21. I don’t think its normal for anyone. Being 21 now is great. All of my friends have been older than me and they’ve always gone to the clubs –”

CS: You get to go now! 

AI: “I finally get to go now! It’s a fun time to be alive. There are also so many amazing opportunities to use my voice. Unfortunately there are so many stupid things going on in the world as well, so I’m very lucky to have a voice to help influence people in a positive way.”

CS: What has the fan reaction been like when you’re performing at these shows?

AI: “It’s been crazy! I guess being from Arizona and not really having a massive ego about things makes anything crazy. The concept that everywhere we go we’re selling shows and having fans come out and say hey is crazy. These are places that I’ve never really been to — I sold out an Amsterdam show in four minutes and I’ve never been to Amsterdam in my life! It’s still just kind of hard as a person in my mind. Like I’m just a dude… just a kid… I’m a 21 year old kid so the concept that I can go to another country and people not only know my name, but also come to a show and sell it out in such a quick time is a thought that I haven’t really wrapped my head around.

CS: Did you ever think that when you first started pursuing music that this is where you’d be — signed with a major label like Interscope and selling out shows?

AI: “When I was younger, my dad would always say that if [music] is what I really want and I work really hard enough, I shouldn’t put any limit on it. I’ve always dreamed about these kind of things. I dreamed about playing at a Jingle Ball show, signing with a beautiful record label and having fans everywhere. It’s always been something that I visualized and shot for, but there’s no really way to prepare yourself for how that feels. While we’re continuing to grow and continuing to work, it feels so surreal. I remember this is what I wanted. This doesn’t feel like anything I expected it to feel like, you know? You think about playing these shows and doing these interviews and you don’t think ‘whoa, I haven’t slept in three days’ or like ‘YO! I haven’t been home in three months.’ It’s a lot of things you don’t really expect, but the overall picture is so beautiful and enjoyable; such a rush to be living that it’s all worth it.”

CS: What would you be doing if you weren’t doing what you are now?

AI: “Let’s see… I feel like math was the only subject that I loved, so something involving that. My dad sells homes and that uses a bit of math, so maybe I’d be following my dad’s footsteps… maybe I’d work at a bank. I don’t really know what I’d be doing, but I can tell you that I wouldn’t be as happy as I am now.”

CS: Oh, for sure. Now, you have a huge headlining tour in North America going on. Tell me about it! 

AI: “Yes! It’s the tour of all tours — Feels Like Tour. I’m so excited because I told you that I’ve done a headlining tour in Europe, but never in North America. It’s about time I tour in the US! I’ve been working hard to make these shows as good as I possibly can so when fans come, they are mind blown. Like ‘whoa — I knew I was a fan of him but this is crazy.‘ I’ve seen some amazing shows in the past and I’ve gotten to play shows with some amazing artists ranging from The Chainsmokers to Sabrina Carpenter, so it’s cool to see these guys perform so well and be like ‘man, that was such a great show.’ I want to make my fans feel like that when they come to my show.”

CS: And we are Celeb Secrets, so tell me a secret about yourself! 

AI: “Alright, here we go. You’re gonna get really bored with this, but when I write songs, I don’t write anything down. It’s all in my head and then once it’s finished, I write it down. I don’t know why I do this, but I feel like I have to memorize it. The song has to be good enough for you to remember.”

CS: That’s really interesting. 

AI: “I’m giving you a juicy secret right now. I had to break up with a girl for the first time in my whole life in 2017. Like a full on break up… It was the worst feeling in the world and I hope I never have to break up with someone ever again. Like it’s not fun. If someone’s broken up with a girl multiple times that’s terrible — like how can you enjoy that!?”

CS: Did you do this over the phone or in person?

AI: “In person. COME ON.” 

CS: People do this over the phone or over text, you know...

AI: “No, it’s got to be in person. And its hard.  It sucks! Like just stay with them unless you’re really unhappy. It was really bad. Breaking up with people is not fun. I wouldn’t put it at the top ten things I’d like to do at all.” 

CS: But hey, you can write a song about it! 

AI: “Oh I did write a song about it. I wrote a lot of songs about it. You have to make sure that you’re doing it for the right reasons. I felt like it was, but regardless, breaking up with somebody was something I did for the first time, which leads me into another secret that’s not really a secret. I’m very much in search of a girl that I don’t have to break up with.”

CS: I need to tell all my girlfriends this now. 

AI: “SINGLE AS A PRINGLE! Which is funny because pringles aren’t single. They come in a can of multiples. So I’m not single as a pringle, I’m more single than a pringle.”

CS: The headlining tour is one thing you’ve already accomplished in 2018. What else do you plan on doing this year? 

AI: “Other than releasing a lot of music, I want to go skydiving. The problem is I’m really scared of it, so I think I’m going to start indoor skydiving first. I’ll get the feeling of it and then do that.”

*This conversation was condensed and edited for clarity. 

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Written by Juliet Schroder

Juliet is the founder and executive producer/host of Celeb Secrets and Celeb Secrets Country. When not reporting on the latest news in pop culture and country music, she enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family, and exploring the latest fashion trends.

Juliet holds a B.S. in marketing from St. John's University.

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