Like a rush of energy or a jolt of adrenaline, certain voices sweep us off our feet. Alex Newell wields such a voice. With traffic-stopping delivery, sweeping range, and wild charisma, the GRAMMY® Award-nominated singer, songwriter, actor, activist, and performer evokes a physical reaction every time he steps up to a microphone. Whether recording in the studio, performing on Broadway, or appearing on television, he instantly connects. The connection grows stronger on a series of new singles for Big Beat Records and 2020 project—his first in four years.
“I always think my vocals have to be bigger,” he smiles. “I pride myself on being the loudest singer I know. It’s important to bring the fullness of the actual voice to the forefront. It’s like the vocals punch you in the face or wake you up. When you hear my music, you should want to shutdown somebody’s runway, strut down your hall, dance around, feel good, or scream for no reason.”
Alex consistently inspired this level of elation. After taking the stage for the first time at a state fair at two-years-old, the Lynn, MA native devoted a lifetime to singing and performing. Millions fell in love with Newell’s voice as he brought Wade “Unique” Adams to life on Glee over the course of four seasons, offering a groundbreaking and influential depiction of one of network television’s very first transgender characters (Newell himself identifies as a gender non-conforming male). Generating over 200 million career streams thus far, he introduced a simmering and slick style on his POWER EP in 2016—which hit #4 on the Billboard Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart and yielded the fan favorites “This Ain’t Over,” “Basically Over You (B.O.Y.) & “Nobody To Love.”
In addition to collaborations with Clean Bandit and The Knocks, he lent his vocal prowess to Blonde’s “All Cried Out” and DJ Cassidy’s “Kill The Lights” with Jess Glynne and Nile Rodgers, the latter of which clinched #1 on the Billboard Dance/Club chart. Between headlining and supporting Adam Lambert on tour, he ignited stages at Coachella, The Governor’s Ball Music Festival, and beyond. Simultaneously, he used his platform to uplift LGBTQ youth through advocacy and aligning with The Trevor Project and GLAAD, among other organizations.
2018 saw him switch gears and succeed yet again. Fulfilling a formative dream to be on Broadway, he joined the Tony Award-winning revival of Once on This Island in the role of Asaka. After a stellar run, he received a GRAMMY® Award nomination in the category of Best Musical Theater Album to cap it off, in addition to giving stunning performances of “Mama Will Provide” on Late Night with Seth Meyers, the TODAY Show and the 2018 Tony Awards.
“I took a break from my solo music to focus on other passions,” he admits. “Going away from something you love really makes you love it even more. For my entire life, my goal was to be on Broadway. I did that, and I got so much from it. You’re literally doing the same exact routine everyday though. I needed to get out for a little bit. When the show closed, it was time to go back to the expression I get from music, which is truly my own.”
In 2019, he retreated to Los Angeles in order to dive headfirst into another chapter. Working in the studio, he embraced a newfound confidence.