Alex Jasz Suarez, a senior at Keene State College, is fulfilling his dream of becoming a successful music artist. Suarez attended the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California with David Altenor, a singer, songwriter, rapper and piano player. He was not only present at the awards, but performed at the Grammy soiree located at Whiskey A Go Go LA.
“The after-Grammy event was my first sold out show, and my first interview was right after that. The whole experience was unreal. I still can’t believe it,” Suarez said.
Laura Maye, KSC student and friend of Suarez, said, “Suarez has gotta be the coolest kid on campus. He was sending me photos of crazy famous celebrities from the Grammy’s. I got a bunch of Ed Sheeran.”
Suarez said he began his journey to success in Massachusetts, starting a rap group with a few of his close friends.
“I was first introduced to music in eighth grade by my cousin, Royal. I didn’t start taking it seriously until my sophomore year of high school, though, when my friends and I started the [group] Upperclassmen,” Suarez said.
Suarez was in the group with Scribble, Sunie and Soto Skitz. He said that many of his friends at the time advised him against joining Upperclassmen, urging him to stick to basketball. Many people, he said, told the group they would only listen to their music if they kicked Suarez out.
However, Suarez persisted with the encouragement of his brother, Gio, now his manager, and Scribble, his former musical partner.
Senior Jake Brown said he supported Suarez as well once he began his academic career at KSC.
“It’s been a long ride for Suarez, and he definitely deserves all the success he’s gotten. I’m sure it won’t stop here. He works harder than anyone I know,” Brown said.
Going into his sophomore year at KSC, Suarez created and finished his first mixtape, entitled “The AutoRhymeOgraphy.”
“I sold the mixtape on campus out of Butler, my dorm at the time. I only charged $5, but I managed to sell all the original 50 copies I had made,” Suarez said.
He said that, after selling each mixtape, he told his supporters he’d always remember their faces and then, with a laugh, said “When I’m as big as Jay Z or Biggie, I promise you’ll be able to sell these back on ebay and make like $10,000.”
After releasing his mixtape in December that year, Suarez was sought out by his first manager. Through him, Suarez spoke to and rapped with popular artist Mase, signed previously to Sean “Diddy” Combs’ label Bad Boy Records.
“Mase was one of the best to ever do it in his prime, so that was a really awesome opportunity,” Suarez said.
From there, Suarez met David Altenor, the artist who continues to support and inspire him today. With his help, Suarez created one of his most popular songs “LMLYSYD,” which stands for “Love Me Like You Say You Do.”
“I love the song ‘LMLYSYD.’ If I had to describe his style, I’d say it’s a mixture of J. Cole and The Weeknd. I think he’s really going to blow up,” Maye said.
Suarez has since changed his management team, and is signed now to Off the Grid Records, which allowed him to make his brother, Gio, his manager. Off the Grid has provided Suarez with a studio to work from, so instead of getting a “real job” after college he said he plans to dedicate all his time to music.
“Now I’m just making music and doing shows, trying to get my name out there. I have about 50 songs that I have not released yet because I haven’t been home to promote it, but over the summer my brother and I will be pushing to the masses and making a living off it,” Suarez said.
Aryanah Haydu can be contacted at email@example.com