Alex Aiono gets so many views per day on his YouTube channel (one million) that there’s a pretty good chance you have watched one of his videos today. And you may have seen the young pop star in concert recently too; Aiono just wrapped-up his first headlining tour. Aiono came to prominence with a series of well-received mash-ups, working with hit material from artists like Drake, Usher, R. Kelly and Justin Bieber. Now recording his own original songs, Aiono is making waves with One at a Time with special guest T-Pain.
We spoke with Aiono by email, asking him about his Feels Like Tour, working with T-Pain, and his fondness for a certain baseball team. Aiono’s commentary below is given exclusively to AXS.com.
AXS: You’re a native of Phoenix and your just concluded Feels Like Tour had a stop there. When you know that the audience is full of family and friends, whether it is in Phoenix or in your current hometown of Los Angeles, is it comforting or does it kind of make you nervous?
Alex Aiono: It’s always pretty nerve-racking to play to people who watched me grow up and who know me personally, but once I’m on stage, playing my hometown is the best! It’s a great opportunity to get to do what I love and show everyone how much fun I have playing music.
AXS: You made a couple of in-store appearances during the tour too. Tell us about the fanzine and what generally goes on in-store.
AA: The fanzines are a fun, tangible way for my fans to connect with me and my music. It’s a cool little booklet that has unreleased pictures, lyrics, fun facts, and a download card of songs. And of course, I love any chance I have to go out and meet my fans!
AXS: You’re a big fan of T-Pain and you got to work with him on your song “One at a Time.” What was that experience like?
AA: Ah man, that whole process of working through “One at a Time” was surreal. I mean, “Buy U a Drank” was the first ringtone I ever bought, and T-Pain was always one of my favorite artists growing up. Getting to work with him and shoot such a wild video for the song was so much fun.
AXS: You play a lot of different instruments. What might be the next couple of instruments that you’ll learn?
AA: Hmm, I never really thought about that! I feel like I would wanna get into horns, like maybe the saxophone or trumpet.
AXS: Some of your fans probably know that you are also a talented boxer. With your music career skyrocketing, do you still make time to get in the ring for a little sparring now and then?
AA: As much as I like to box, I can’t show up to a show with a fat lip or a black eye! It’s been a while since I’ve gotten to spar with anyone. I think I’m due.
AXS: You’re often photographed wearing a Los Angeles Dodgers cap. Are you excited that baseball season is about to begin, or do you just like the cap?
AA: Okay, so my grandpa is like the biggest Dodgers fan, and growing up I didn’t super love baseball, but I went to a game with him a few seasons back and fell in love with it! So now I’m a Dodgers fan for life!
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