He moved from Denmark to London as a 17-year-old but started writing his own songs already at 14. Ever since then, Alex Vargas has worked his ass off to get to where he is today. This is a small piece on what he has accomplished until now, and how he did it.
I first saw Alex Vargas at Spot Festival in Aarhus 2015, and even though it has only been two years, he has already managed to pull off huge festival concerts, sold out solo gigs and loads of radio time. It all started way before that, but I didn’t get to see him live until that day at Spot.
Looking back at his career, Alex Vargas’s first time in front of a small crowd of strangers was during his weekly live nights at a bar in London. This was his way of practicing and getting better at performing. The audience was almost non-existing, but he learned how to work the stage and a live microphone.
Then, more experienced, he started a band called Vagabond, who quickly got signed by Geffen Records. They sold out two headline tours and played at a couple of festivals before Alex Vargas chose to go solo in 2010. And then things caught fire!
After writing songs with London-based Above & Beyond, Alex got a sold out gig in Copenhagen in 2013, and I believe that was the day he opened people’s eyes to a new electronic soul style that would soon take Denmark by storm.
Alex Vargas brought a new and individual sound to the Danish scene, showing impressing vocals on his recorded material, and giving it a raw and authentic feel by really living it out physically on stage: He usually throws himself to the floor while playing and ’screaming his heart out’, as he has described it previously.
Alex Vargas got signed at Copenhagen Records, where after he started releasing new material. His first single ’Till Forever Runs Out’ from 2014 was loved by many music critiques, and a small fan base started to form. Soon followed his first real hit ’Solid Ground’ that went downright viral during March 2015.
The love for this new soul/pop-rock talent and his well-constructed melodies only crazed even more so, when he pulled off sick live performances in Aarhus including a solo gig at Train and at Spot Festival, where he showed off incredibly powerful vocals and awesome laser lightings. The results were never-ending standing ovations for both performances rewarded with a 5/6 review and 6/6 review, respectively.
It seemed that the Danish music scene and the listeners had been thirsting for an authentic and talented soul vocalist, who wasn’t afraid of standing out with his very grounded way of working. Finally, Alex Vargas filled in the gap!
Then in 2016 came his 6-tracked EP ‘Giving Up the Ghost’ which only released a new hit craze with ‘Shackled up’ and the EP titled single ‘Giving Up the Ghost’. Alex seemed to be able to make songs that touched people; without striving just to please the crowd, the songs stood out as a very individual selection of sounds Alex Vargas wanted to be connected to.
2016 was a crazy year for the artist. His EP quickly became No. 1 on the Danish iTunes album Chart, and soon he was playing live at music award shows and festivals like Musik I Lejet, Northside and Roskilde Festival. He has already sold out one gig at the concert house of DR and will probably do it again when he returns in April 2017.
He was named Danish Artist of the year 2016 at the Danish Music Awards, and with the following single ‘Higher Love’, the love didn’t stop there.
His current situation is that he just released yet another single, ‘7 sins’ from his coming debut Album Cohere (March 31, 2017), which I predict to be his next hit. It starts very aggressively with firm electronic beats and then transfers into very rhythmic and soft melodies in the vocal verses. It really reflects the diversity in his style. As he says, he takes pride in showing different variations of how he sounds, and if all songs are similar, he ensures that both he and his audience would get bored. Now, we wouldn’t want that, would we…?
Alex Vargas is a very important artist for the Danish and the international music scene. He completely accepts that there are different genres, but he breaks down these barriers and genre boxes to form his own individual style. Personally, I am very impressed with his way of blending electronics and acoustic instruments with an immensely emotional soul-like voice.
If you usually try to go against what all the music magazines and mainstream audience like, you will probably lose this war, because it IS difficult to resist such a musical charm and talent… our vocal wonder, Alex Vargas.