In early 2016, L.A.-based artist Alex Aiono had already amassed a following of millions creating his own “flipped” versions of popular songs. From a one room apartment, where he and his family of six lived, he created his own stage. But then he posted a video where he performed a cleverly arranged mashup of Drake’s “One Dance” and Nicky Jam’s “Hasta el Amanecer.” Revealing his soulful vocals, effortless charisma, and flawless skills at making beats and playing guitar, the video fast went viral and amassed more than 50 million views. For all its catchy perfection, Alex’s “One Dance” mash-up only hints at the scope of his talents.
A 20-year-old singer/songwriter who plays a half-dozen instruments, Aiono’s first music industry connection was made while busking on the Santa Monica Promenade at age 15, and it didn’t take long before he was writing songs with the likes of John Legend. Newly signed to Interscope Records, and in the midst of recording his first full-length album, Alex Aiono is delivering his first official single that’s sure to expand his devoted following—a fanbase that already includes 4 million YouTube subscribers and fast approaching half a billion views, 1.7 million Instagram followers, and 400k+ Twitter followers. Beyond all of the millions of fans, more impressive is how engaged they are with every song, image and post, finding refuge in his alluring energy.
Produced by Axident (Jason Derulo, Justin Bieber) and Dernst “D’Mile” Emile II (Ty Dolla $ign, Trey Songz), “Work the Middle” sets Alex’s infectious melodies to a bouncing dancehall groove. “For ‘Work the Middle,’ I wanted to find a way to bring in that dancehall vibe, where you can’t help but start movin’, but also keep the sound my own,” says Alex. With its hypnotic beats and graceful flashes of acoustic guitar, the track proves to be a prime showcase for Alex’s commanding vocals and irresistible energy.
With his past touring experience including support slots with acts like The Wanted, Austin Mahone and R5, Alex is now gearing up for a nearly sold-out co-headline tour with Australia-based singer/songwriter/producer William Singe putting him in front of a thousand fans nightly. “For me the most important thing with the live show is to put positive energy out there onstage and really connect that way with my fans,” he says. And while Alex acknowledges the rare thrill in “getting to do what I love for a living,” there’s also a deeper purpose to his palpable passion for music. “There’s so much negative energy in the world right now, I just want people to feel good,” he says. “I want them to get up and dance and sing along with me and see how much I love performing for them. My hope is that the positive energy is so contagious that they end up feeling inspired to do what they love too.”