RESiN: Where are you from?
ITALIX: Planet earth. haha. I was born in Upland California, grew up in Riverside from 5 yrs old to 17.
RESiN: Where do you reside?
ITALIX: I’ve been living in Dana Point California off and on since 98, and permanently for the past 8 or 9 years.
RESiN: How did you become iTALiX the hip-hop artist?
ITALIX: I’ve always loved music. It first started with an infatuation of all music I was exposed to. I was bumping Bob Marley heavily since grade school, and growing up in Riverside your exposed to so many different cultures. With those many different cultures came exposure to all types of music. As a youngster I listened to it all, grunge rock, punk, hip hop, reggae, classic rock, everything. Hip Hop music thrives in the Inland Empire, and the youth there live and breath that culture. So I can say with the utmost confidence that anybody growing up in Riverside or the Inland Empire will carry a little hip hop in them. Once I got out of high school I just naturally moved from a fan of the music to a person attempting to make it. That leap was my beginnings as Italix
RESiN: Where did the name ITALIX come from?
ITALIX: A boy of mine who was a big musical influence to me gave me the name. At the time i was 18 and partying really heavy. I first named myself Elevated, and my homie was like “bro since your name is Alex you should call yourself Italics, but italics with a X”. It stuck ever since. To me it means something that stands out like words in italics. Eventually it evolved into the acronym Infinite Techniques Applied Lyrically In eXhibition. Howz that?
RESiN: How many albums do you have?
ITALIX: I only have one album out on the market, its called Lack of Loves to Blame produced entirely by my homie LD of Technicali Sound. But I’m sitting on projects I’m working on currently, and a bunch of projects from the past that never saw the light of day. Sometimes music happens but everything behind it doesn’t go so well.
RESiN: How would you describe your own music?
ITALIX: Nowadays I touch such a broad spectrum of genres musically it’s kinda become hard for me to describe the music itself. The last 50 songs I’ve written have been a mixture of rock, punk, reggae, hip hop, soul, funk and everything else under the sun. So in general I’d say the music is diverse. The purpose of my music is all the same, its to spread a good vibe, a positive message, and a whole lot of love through the sonic realm.
RESiN: How has your music evolved since you first put a mic in your hand?
ITALIX: Man sadly when I first started trying to rhyme, I was writing about the same crap that has made me frown upon hip hop culture at times. I got out of that lifestyle eventually and completely changed my outlook about the music and life. At one point I was writing raps, and overnight I started writing poetry. I started to understand the role that musicians play, I started to understand that even though it’s hard to look at myself as role model, I am one. Beyond the soul behind the music, the music itself has really evolved. I can look at who I’ve worked with and the music I’ve made from 2000-2010 and categorize myself as an “underground rapper”. Nowadays I sing more than I rap, I play some guitar, I have a band that I create beautiful music with. And people are really calling what I’m doing right now “radio”. Things have definitely changed.
RESiN: What are your long-term goals as Italix?
ITALIX: Shoots, I’m working really hard with my boys Madison and Preston Tripp on a project called The Funnel Heads. Really stoked on that, were really doing something so unique musically it trips me out everyday. Its almost like I’m finally making the music that I’ve dreamed about making for so long. My imagination was always there, but to be brutally honest my skills weren’t. I can finally put together the music that I always hoped I could graduate to one day. As far as me being the solo artist Italix, that will always be there. The long-term goal will always be to get as many people as I can to hear the music.
RESiN: Tell me about your musical schooling and or back-round?
ITALIX: Honestly it all came from just stepping up to the plate and trying it. Life has schooled me major. You know your never gonna surf until you paddle out, turn around and start giving it shot. You got to drop in that’s the only way your going to ride. It’s the same with the music. I just jumped up and gave it a try. You step your game up through dedication and the people you surround yourself with teach you and motivate you. I’m 29 years old now and I just started working with a vocal coach who is schooling me on singing and music theory and technique. His name is Frank Wright, toured with Sonny and Cher and stuff like that, a gnarly head. As much as I’d like to look at myself as a Vet sometimes because I I’ve been creating music for over 10 year’s, I’m still the student. I’m getting schooled everyday.
RESiN: Do you have a record label? If not, how did you put out the album, did you have any help with funding?
ITALIX: I have a record label established of my own that I haven’t dropped anything out of called Free Foundations. But my last record was put out by my homie Daniel Park at Acropolis Records. Acropolis really gave me the wings to take off and start my career locally. Financially it’s mainly my pockets that have suffered, you have to spend money to make money. To a lot of people in this new music industry, artists who invest in themselves are ones who truly believe they can make it.
RESiN: Please tell me about you and The Funnel Heads and the long-term goals with that project?
ITALIX: The Funnel Heads are the shit. I love working with a band. It’s absolutely the gnarliest relationship beyond your family any human being could ever be in. But if the vibe is right there is nothing but love. For us there’s nothing but love. We all put in our parts musically and its always laughs and high fives when its done. I’m really proud and really blessed to be a part of this. Were working with a man named Lewis Richards on most of our tracks who works with acts like Sublime, The Dirty Heads, Tomorrow’s Bad Seeds etc. The man is a beast. Were also blessed to have opportunities in many places lined up for the band. Unfortunately I broke my ankle 3 and 1/2 months ago which set us back, but as soon as were ready we have as many shows as we want. Independently were going to drop some singles and video work, but we also have some deals lined up for a single we did and possibly an album as well. Details to be disclosed in the future. The main goal is to take the band to the world, and show em how good it feels to make music in a place like Dana Point!
RESiN: Can you explain how the writing process works as Italix and with the Funnel Heads?
ITALIX: Madison plays drums and guitar and is 16 years old. Preston plays guitar and bass and is a 19 year old wizard. And we are currently working on getting a permanent bassist. Most of the time they bring a guitar progression to me and I write the lyrics. We can probably play 90 percent of our songs on acoustic guitars. Some songs are all singing some songs are all rapping. Most of the songs I’ll sing the verses choruses and bridges, then throw in a rap somewhere in the mix. The diversity is radical I love it. I even write some of the progressions on the guitar as well. After all that Madison steps on the drum kit, the bass and guitar cabinets get turned on, and the songs gain their life.
RESiN: Can you share with me your BEST show experience?
ITALIX: Man I love to rock shows, I’ve opened for Method Man and The Game, a grip of underground talent, Rocked some pretty large venues. But honestly some of the best shows I’ve done recently were playing for friends and family at home with the band. I know its not a “gig” but its felt so right in the heart. Like some intimate campfire shit
RESiN: What was your WORST show experience?
ITALIX: Man early on in my performing career, I learned that drinking too much doesn’t work well with your ability to articulate as a vocalist. Nuff said hahaha
RESiN: Any lessons that have been learned that you would like to share with young musicians?
ITALIX: Just go hard. Never take it for granted because I have, and that sort of resentment towards yourself is something you never want to feel. If you think you have it go for it, but always be realistic as well. And never get stagnant, never get bored with your craft, always progress and invest in yourself. If you really want it, you have to live it. Some people look at me like I’ve made it already, and it puzzles me because I haven’t. I’m still paying my dues, I’m still trying to make ALL of my dreams a reality. Not to say I’m not grateful for what I built so far, but I always strive for more. You are the youth and the future is your responsibility, make it beautiful!
RESiN: Can you share one good story you have from being on tour!
ITALIX: I haven’t toured as much as I’d like to have, but the best stories from hitting the road are the people you meet along the way. Once you step out of California and even your own county where everyone knows you, people’s ears are so much more open to your music. The friends you make along the way are your good stories.
RESiN: Can you share one bad story you have from being on the road!
ITALIX: My wallet after returning home. hahaha true story. Man I’ve broke down in the desert before, gotten super sick right before gigs, left promo materials at home, brought my camera but no battery, made crazy fans if you know what I mean, forgot show cd’s etc. etc. etc.
RESiN: Anyone that you would like to thank for financial or emotional support?
ITALIX: My parents for sure, they are my everything, a true guiding light for me. The higher forces remain supreme. The ocean. Man, all my fam bam, brothers, sisters, homies you know what it do! The Band, my boy Ryan “the camera dude” Spencer for the visuals, all the sexy ladies that have kept me motivated, all my beautiful exes who the songs are about hahaha. I’d like to thank life in general for being the struggle that it is, and the true inspiration that it is as well. Mother nature, Mary Jane, Jack Daniels, my fave surf spot, circle K, oh yeah and William over at the legendary RESiN Magazine