Get used to the name Alex Gardner, 2010's brightest new talent. The 18-year-old Scot is the complete package: the pop-writing craft of George Michael the looks of a young Elvis and a soul-pop voice to die for, combine this with the power pop team of Xenomania and we have something utterly unique.
Alex Gardner grew up in Edinburgh, surrounded by music. Mum was a violinist with an orchestra, his older brother played in a heavy metal band. “I started having piano lessons when I was 5,” he says. “Though I quit when I was 6. I couldn’t stand someone telling me how to do it. If music sounds right, then it has to be right. It shouldn’t matter about the method.”
Having supported Paolo Nutini across Scotland, played on the same bill as Mika and Paloma Faith and performed dozens of his own shows, Gardner has cut his chops live. “Performing is such an essential part of what I do,” he enthuses. “I was always the guy at parties who’d get the guitar out.”
“Edinburgh is absolutely beautiful, but it can be a bit of a slow-paced city,” he says. “I wanted to see if there was a bit more excitement in London.” So Gardner struck out for the capital – which is where he met Brian Higgins, Xenomania’s director.
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