ALV3STER Covers MIQ Fall 2017

From Beyoncé and Mariah Carey’s Star Dancer to Vivica’s Black Magic, the Multi-Talented Singer-Songwriter and Model Finally Grabs the Mic

From Beyoncé and Mariah Carey’s Star Dancer to Vivica’s Black Magic, the Multi-Talented Singer-Songwriter and Model Finally Grabs the Mic

Love Me or Leave Me is an apropos title for Alv3ster’s debut album. After all, a lot of people probably see him as the problem dancer from the Lifetime reality show Vivica’s Black Magic which documented Vivica A. Fox’s quest to bring a male exotic dance revue to Las Vegas. Although that portrayal is inaccurate of him, Alv3ster, who hails from the Carol City neighborhood of Miami, knows that it is a popular one.

“I didn’t know what was going to be on the editing room floor and what they were going to show on TV,” he says. But he does know that music has always been number one for him. And, after so many years of being a top dancer for Beyoncé mainly and Mariah Carey, he is finally going full throttle after his dream deferred.

At the tender of age of two, Alv3ster’s was so taken by seeing a Michael Jackson video on MTV that he tried to do a spin and broke his leg. “I was in a cast and everything but that’s what I wanted to do since I was a kid and I’ve never done anything else but be an entertainer,” he says.

As a young boy, that meant singing in the church choir, excelling at the alto sax and even taking ballet. When he and his now ex-girlfriend came to L.A., she was the one who wanted to be a dancer. He just wanted to get a job to buy studio time to jumpstart his music career. But life had other plans. A friend from back home who was dancing for Britney Spears introduced Alv3ster to his agent and Alv3ster booked a Destiny’s Child gig right out the gate.

Over time, those gigs turned very high-profile. Before he was even 21, he had a prime spot with Mariah Carey during her Emancipation of Mimi tour. On top of that, he worked with Beyoncé, off and on for ten years. He also put in some time with Rihanna and Tamar Braxton during their rise. Co-starring in Michael Jackson’s video, “A Place with No Name,” was definitely a moment as well. Alv3ster was making his mark, just not as the singer he still longed to be. Transitioning, however, came only after he turned away from all he had known and been known for.

 

“About 2012, I literally just said I have to stop no matter what. Either I’m going to make my own dreams happen or people are going to continue to hire me to make theirs,” he reasoned. “So I literally stopped. I wouldn’t take any more dance jobs. I wouldn’t take any more acting jobs. I wouldn’t take any more modeling jobs.” And then the strangest thing happened for him; he got a vocalist gig for a Michael Jackson tribute tour.

Hungrier than ever to sing and dance, he went to Philadelphia to work with a manager hitting various studios and going broke but never losing faith. During that journey, he also found himself in Atlanta from time to time. That gamble, however, finally yielded his first album—four years later! Two collaborators from his journey and now critical to this album are producer Phoe Notes and songwriter Deontrez.

“They love music and they are not afraid to experiment and the egos are gone,” explains Alv3ster. “No one says, ‘you got to sound like this.’ It’s never like ‘let’s try to make this song.’ It’s like, ‘what are you feeling, what’s going on right now?’ It’s such an organic process.”

That openness helped create “Happily Never After,” which Alv3ster describes as “Nirvana meets Boyz II Men almost.” And trust it was just as surprising to him as anyone else. “I never set out to make a rock song,” he marvels. “I grew up on R&B.”

As for his own process, he just lets it flow. “The melody always comes to me. It’s crazy. It always comes to me at like six o clock in the morning or three o clock in the morning, that time when you’re really sleep and you’re like ‘damn, I don’t want to get up.’”

Once the melody takes hold, he begins drawing from his own life. “I refuse to record anything that I’m not living or I haven’t lived. So, whenever you hear something from me, I’ve definitely gone through it, I definitely experienced it or I am experiencing it at that time,” he says.

He is also a stickler for never writing anything down on paper because “it kind of stifles me,” he says.

Because he lost his grandfather and his namesake unexpectedly while making this album, he now replaces the first “e” in his name with a 3 as “an homage to him.”

Today, all his sacrifices seem to be paying off. At the recent (Los Angeles) Business of Music Conference, presented by Urban Network Digital & Music Industry Quarterly, Alv3ster performed several songs from Love Me or Leave Me. Billed as a “Music Exhibit,” Alv3ster was flanked by several hot dancers, and a DJ, enshrouded by white drapery, with an industry audience of tastemakers and influencers peering down from the loft above. The up-scale event was one of the true highlights from the 3-day Conference, and kicked-off what is projected to be a busy marketing and promotional push.

“In respecting the diversity of Alv3ster’s talent, our campaign and subsequent projects will sustain an authenticity that’s vital to this artist,” says Carrington Bester, CEO of Sky Limit Group,” the management firm representing Alv3ster.

“What is most important to me as head of “Team Alv3ster” is to surround him with the best of the best talent, and collaborators assembled from the worlds of production, co-writing, press, publicity, and marketing. My objective is about not only executing those conventional strategies but disrupting the marketplace, in the face of a music landscape that is forever changing.”

This December, Alv3ster opens up for Marsha Ambrosius and he is even scoring acting gigs like a recent one for Irv Gotti’s BET show, Tales, which also lives on Tidal.

“It took ten years to get here,” he says. “It ain’t easy. There are many times you want to stop. This industry is not for the faint of heart.”

Indeed. It’s only for those who stay the course and never give up on what brought them here in the first place.

by Ronda Racha Penrice

Check out Alv3ster’s video “Overdose”

https://www.vevo.com/watch/alv3ster/overdose/USMLG1600808

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