Songs That Sell

 

Written by Radina Gigova in the September 2011 Issue

Not many Edmond residents have met Erick Alexander in person, but they sure have heard his jingles. Alexander is the composer, producer and voice of some of the most popular commercials broadcast across the Oklahoma airwaves. “I’ve had people calling me and asking, ‘Did you sing on this one spot because it sounds just like you?’ I think it’s really neat,” he said.

Alexander lives in Edmond with his wife and two children. He grew up in southern Oklahoma and studied music at Oklahoma State University and Oklahoma Christian University. Alexander plays guitar, piano, drums, and bass as well as other “instruments” that he uses in the recordings. “keychains, styrofoam, tin cans — all sorts of things that make noise,” he joked.

Alexander was fascinated with music since an early age and learned how to play guitar by ear. His neighbor was a member of a rock band and Alexander often could hear loud music coming from the house. “I was so interested in what was going on over there and that’s what got me into learning how to play the guitar and to sing,” he said.

While in high school, Alexander dreamed of being able to play with the band that performed at the camp he attended each spring. Several years later, his OSU professor finished an evening class early because he didn’t feel well. It was the night when that same band, affiliated with OC, was auditioning for new members. “I flew in my car and got at the back of the line,” said Alexander. “There were probably a hundred or so people. I was the very last one to try out and I got the spot.” He received a full scholarship and transferred to OC. There he met his wife, who was the violinist of the band.

After graduating, Alexander worked different jobs. He did voiceovers for the demo of a friend who was a radio DJ. Later, he and the friend started a jingle recording company. When the friend moved on to different ventures a few years later, Alexander started his own company, EAMSounds. He does everything from recording and production to jingle and music writing. His work speaks for itself and he gets most of his clients through word-of-mouth. “I used to make a joke saying I would be happy to do your jingle for you if you can find me,” he said.

Alexander's list of clients is long: Edmond Hyundai, Bob Moore, Richardson Homes, St. Anthony's Hospital, Norman Chrysler Jeep Dodge, Swadley's Bar-B-Q, Visual Image, the Made in Oklahoma Coalition and Amtrak, just to name a few. Alexander has worked on projects featuring Toby Keith, Wayne Coyne from The Flaming Lips, Mayor Mick Cornett and former Governor Brad Henry. He has also produced jingles with the voices of Glenn Beck and Dave Ramsey for a broadcasting company in San Antonio. “I thought it was just going to be a guy at the radio station talking or singing on top of the music,” he said, “but when they sent it back to me, it was Glenn Beck. And then they sent me another one, and it had Dave Ramsey speaking on top of it.”

Every project is completely different from the next, and even though the job is fun, it often involves a lot of work. Alexander first talks with the clients to find out what their goal is and then starts recording the music and the voiceover. “There have been times when I’ve left a meeting with a client, and I already have the jingle written in my head on the way back to the studio,” he said. Sometimes he makes different versions of the same jingle or tagline. The process can take anywhere from a few hours to more than a week.

Alexander would be glad to compose jingles at a national level but said he already got his recognition several years ago. Alexander and his former business partner drove to Austin to try out for a show called “Jingles” produced by Mark Burnett, the producer of shows like “Survivor” and “The Voice.” They ended up among the top five jingle writers in the entire audition. “We beat out guys that had won Grammys,” said Alexander. “Even though the show never aired, that told me everything I needed to know about my ability to make something good.”

Besides jingles, Alexander also writes and produces songs. His latest record is called “Cavity” and features ten tracks that are available on itunes. “Music captures all those feelings in between the ups and the downs, and people can relate to music in that sense,” he said. “If you are doing it for money or for some kind of recognition, then you are in it for the wrong reasons.” He added, “music is very powerful and should come from the heart.” To contact Alexander, or for more information about EAMSounds, visit www.eamsounds.com.

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