'Sad Lover Girl' season is among us, so it is no surprise if you catch yourself finding refuge in looping that one song that captures all those deep-weighted emotions in a melody. 'The Hurtbook' by Alex Vaughn is the perfect tribute to those who wish to curl up on their sofa and reflect on a love that's no more.
Followed by her debut eight-track EP 'The Shift' (2018), the singer-songwriter delves into the realm of heartbreak, purging memories that once brought great comfort and finding inner peace while being reintroduced to the single version of herself. Throughout the EP, Vaugn's vocals harness powerful, euphonious tones rich with intensity from start to finish. Opening with the cinematic intro 'So Be It', listeners find Vaughn coming to terms with a failing relationship. The lyrics reveal a story centred around acceptance and betrayal.
"Came to terms that we could never
Get back to what we used to be
Everything's still new to me
Won't be no love lost."
'Mirage', 'Do You Ever' and 'Demon Time' captivates the shades of Vaughn's grief and regrets while reaching out to grasp onto self-worth and coming into acceptance of wanting better for herself. Closing with 'No Love', Alex Vaughn concludes that love might not be for her. With encouraging words from a girl friend, Jaimesha Thomas, she reassures Vaughn (and listeners) to pick herself up and not get lost during these low moments; better days are coming.
So, who is Alex Vaughn?
Hailing from Maryland, USA, Alex Vaughn is one of the exciting and fresh voices of today's R&B. Through her artistry and lyricism, her work boldly highlights her vulnerability as her music reflects the situations many 20-somethings face. Despite possessing knowledge within the classical and jazz domain during her formative years, in 2017, R&B is where she found refuge and how she came to be. Posting covers on Twitter and Instagram, Vaughn was soon opening for K. Michelle and Eric Bellinger. Recently, Vaughn showed off her rich honey tones during the Soul Train cypher and, without a doubt, delivered, sealing her fate of having a progressive 2023.
We were able to spend some time with Alex Vaughn and discover a bit more about her story:
Tell us a bit about your story: who are you, and what has your journey looked like so far?
I am Alex Vaughn, and I am just a human trying to figure out my superpowers through music. My journey has been quite a roller coaster. I signed with LVRN in October 2021, and things have taken off. I released my first single with the label ("Mirage") at the end of the year, with over 4 Million streams, two Eps, two music videos and several visualizers. I most recently had a sold-out show in my home town the day after my birthday. How crazy is that?! Next is the SoulTrain Awards, which I am super excited to be a part of. So the journey has been pretty intense, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. So I am very happy to be here.
Who inspires you musically and creatively?
My friends, family and surroundings inspire me daily. All the twists and turns in life provide a new perspective which allows me to create something new.
What is the creative process behind your music?
Life experience, whatever I'm going through at the moment or any advice I may have given to a friend in a situation they may be going through. I usually flush out my thoughts via voice notes to get the conversation going. After that, I add the melody with the keys, followed by drums, and before you know it, I have a song.
What's the best advice you've received during your journey?
That it's okay to not know everything. Lean on your team and village. You don't have to do this alone. But, most importantly, keep sight of who you are trying to be, something you are not or think you should be.
How do you nurture your creativity?
I rest and listen to different genres of music. I enjoy pop, rock and alternative, just to name a few. Anything out of my norm pushed me to think outside the box. I am a true lover of music. I surround myself with other creatives, so I have people to bounce ideas with. It's easy to get stuck in your head, so my surroundings are vital.
What do you hope your music will reveal to your listeners?
I am also imperfect and trying to figure out life like everyone else. We are all on this journey together. I am willing to go through the fire and learn to pass the information on so that others don't have to go through what I've been through. From "The Hurtbook", I want my listeners to know that it's okay to feel the feels. Remember that although you may be hurt, you are not broken.
Are there any upcoming shows or projects we can look forward to?
There is always new music on the way. I hope to be on tour at the top of the year and, honestly, any and everything I can put my hands on, both music and none related. So, stay tuned.
Is there any advice you want to give to new artists?
Be patient with yourself, and trust your gut and your journey. Everything you experience is to help shape you into the person you want to be. Keep going. Don't stop. It will get tough, but it will all be worth it. You got this!