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Rising singer/songwriter Alexander Howard‘s career is rooted in fashion. Growing up in New York City, he worked at several corporate menswear companies and even did some freelance writing in the field. But his true passion is writing and recording his songs, which have been influenced by everyone from Bryan Ferry to Cole Porter. Howard has also performed at hallowed New York music clubs such as Bowery Ballroom and Mercury Lounge.

His latest single is the catchy, pop/rock hybrid “Pemberley,” which will be included on an EP out this summer. The song was produced by Robopop (Lana Del Rey, Maroon 5, Weezer) and is a modern retelling of the love story from Pride and Prejudice. So, who is Alexander Howard? Step right up and find out.

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Should we know you?

That’s a fairly loaded question for any artist to answer. I don’t know if you should, but I’d certainly love it if you did! If my name doesn’t sound glaringly familiar, I won’t pretend to be too surprised. My career as a songwriter and artist has taken all sorts of twists and turns: surviving a global pandemic, a cancer diagnosis and treatment journey and even an MBA degree!

But, I will say this. To anyone reading who loves New York City to its core, goes to shows at Bowery Ballroom and sips martinis at Bemelmans Bar, appreciates musical references that range from Phoenix to the Strokes, Bryan Ferry to Cole Porter, Harry Styles to Lana Del Rey, and is willing to indulge in a single that’s a musical retelling of the central romance in Pride and Prejudice —then YES, you should definitely know me. 

Tell us three things about yourself that are important.

Take your work seriously, but never yourself too seriously. The unofficial family motto growing up was ‘Don’t Be Yourself,’ delivered with a healthy dose of paternal sarcasm as you left the apartment en route to a party or to hang out with friends. It’s amazing how far being willing to poke a little fun at yourself will take you. Self-deprecation is the language of kings! 

When it comes to music, while performing live and playing my songs out in the wild is probably the most fun I’ll ever get to have, most of my self-worth as a musician comes from the writing process.  I just think it’s incredibly powerful to create a song that simply didn’t exist before you wrote it, and to craft it in a way that reflects who you are while collaborating with people you trust with that vision is a hard, but truly rewarding experience that stays with you for a long time. 

I once hit a 300-yard drive. This is a very important fact about myself. 

    Tell us something that’s embarrassing. 

    Putting my self-deprecation declaration to the test! The list is long, but two of the frontrunners include possessing an irrational phobia of the banana (never had one, never will) and being an abysmal sight reader. Though a reasonably competent piano player by ear, I’m not sure I could play the right hand of twinkle-twinkle-little-star if you gave me the music.

    Alexander Howard
    Alexander Howard (Credit: Fresco Alessandro)

    Who’s your biggest influence?

    As I mentioned earlier, when I think about artists whose careers I admire and who’ve been able to naturally bridge the gap between their own breed of stylish, artistic pop and the classic American Songbook catalog, it’s hard to find a better example than Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music. I wouldn’t say that our music sounds all that much alike, but I have immense respect for the artistic project he’s been able to craft over the decades that has such a strong aesthetic point of view across his music and even his fashion sense. I also ran into him in a West Hollywood restaurant a few years ago and he couldn’t have been more gracious to a fan popping by his table uninvited, organizing seats for us at his Staples Center show the next night.

    Who’s your smallest influence?

    Even the smallest moments can have a big impact. The journey to making my latest single ‘Pemberley’ is a perfect example. I was at the movies last summer watching Barbie like the rest of the world, and was totally surprised to see that Greta Gerwig had put a short clip of the BBC’s beloved TV adaptation of Pride and Prejudice in the final cut of the film. Growing up with three older sisters, it’s safe to say that I’d probably seen that mini-series no less than five hundred times, and seeing that clip in the movie started the wheels turning on how else that classic piece of 90s culture could find new life. Walking around the city the next day, I started humming what would become ‘Pemberley.’ You just never know what small little kernel of a moment you come across will become an inspiration. Fast forward, and here’s the final product!

    Who’s the most exciting musician in 2024 (besides you)?

    There’s been quite a bit of excitement in the music world in 2024. It’s a head-scratcher to think of anyone topping the seismic effects of the Taylor Swift Eras Tour (with fans literally setting off earthquake monitors at the shows). But speaking of that tour, one of my favorite live acts – Paramore, who are absolutely electric live – opened some of the Europe dates. I’ve watched the entire set on Instagram and YouTube and continue to believe that they put on one of the great live rock shows of our time. Prove me wrong.  

    Name three Americans so odious that they should be set adrift in a dinghy in the Arctic Circle with enough food and water to only last 24 hours.

    I generally fall into the camp of people who subscribe to the golden rule, and as someone who would much prefer to take a few rowboat laps in the Central Park lake than be put out to pasture in the Arctic Circle with only icebergs for company, I’m hesitant to condemn anyone to that fate!  That said, people who don’t tip their servers, dress exclusively in athleisure, or conduct lengthy phone conversations about their going out plans that evening next to me on a flight, please send the polar bears my love. 

    Do you believe in magic?

    100%. I once saw a bartender at the Magic Castle in Hollywood pull a full-sized grapefruit out of shot glass and cut it in front of me. Absolute sorcery. 

    To see our running list of the top 100 greatest rock stars of all time, click here.