We're kicking off a new series, "Real Men" where we chat with real life customers about anything and everything: from their first shaving experience to what working hard and growing a career is like in their field.
Abraham Alexander has been a friend and customer with Supply for a while now. You may recognize him from our website since he so graciously modeled for us in our last photoshoot. Ever since we first met, he's been cranking out some epic tunes and gearing up for a big year ahead of him. We're lucky to have caught up with the songwriter prior to his SXSW debut and his new single that is about to drop from his upcoming EP. We're saying it now - you're going to want to remember his name.
Tell us about yourself and how you got your start in the music industry.
I grew up in Athens, Greece and lived there for the majority of my childhood. When I started my teenage years, my family decided to make the move to Texas, because the economy in Athens was collapsing. Plus, there was also a ton of racial tension going on in our community.
After moving to Texas, when I wasn't studying or at school, my life was playing soccer. I was able to earn a spot at the collegiate level at Texas Wesleyan University, which is how I landed in the great city of Fort Worth. The soccer dream was cut short when during my time at Texas Wesleyan I ended up tearing my ACL. Out of an incredibly hard season, music became my saving grace.
Did you see yourself playing soccer professionally after college?
Oh - absolutely. That was definitely a dream of mine. It was always the plan: play soccer in college and then once I graduated, I'd try out professionally. I did have a chance to play with a pro indoor soccer team for a while called the Texas Outlaws in nearby North Richland Hills. It was unique experience and gave me a sense of what soccer opportunities there were on the other side of college. After that, it became the unspoken plan in my head, so when my ACL popped, it was also like that dream was gone.
When did music begin to transition from a hobby to a career?
After my ACL injury, it was clear my soccer career was over. It was a really low point in my life, and honestly, music helped me get out of a depression. I started trying out open mics around town and just seeing what could come out of it. One thing led to another, and now I get to do music for a living - which is amazing.
Who taught you how to shave and what was your first shaving experience like?
My first job ever was working at Abercrombie and Fitch. Yeah, I was that guy that was outside with his shirt off. They wanted us to be clean shaven, so I had to shave the little stubble I had. I went down to my local convenience store and picked up a three-bladed disposable razor there. When I got home, I had zero direction for where to start and ended up cutting myself pretty good. (laughs) So, yeah that was my very first experience shaving. I remember feeling cool in a sense like “Alright. I’m a man now”. It was that whole coming of age experience you associate your first shave with.
If you go into a barbershop just to get a haircut, especially in the black community, it has tremendous significance, you know, especially for people who don’t have a father figure. You're sitting in a chair every few weeks, and you have all of these barbers pouring wisdom into you. It's like your suddenly a part of all the conversations adults are having around you, and you're finally seen as one of them. So, when I finally got to shave, I had that same feeling, and it felt like I hit such a milestone.
Being a man has been a hot topic in culture recently. How do you personally define what it means to be a man?
I would first and foremost define masculinity as servant leadership - where you actually put your words into action, and what you say, you actually do. I believe a man puts others before self and has a meekness about him. It’s not him boasting that he’s a macho man, but it’s a quieter strength than that. It's the fact that you can tell, no matter what’s going on in his world, he’s holding his head high. I feel that that’s how it should be. Men holding their heads high no matter what’s going on personally and actually being strong enough to put others before themselves.
Also, me being masculine doesn’t mean I'm against everything someone else is. I believe being masculine means you’re a protector. You’re a protector of women’s rights and a protector of children. And it’s not an attack on any other thing, but rather the reality that you’re a protector. Boys should be taught how to be masculine while also being taught to be unique, defend others and be vigilant at it.
What's the best advice you've ever been given?
There’s been so many. The best advice is from a buddy of mine who’s been an amazing friend to me and super successful in what he’s doing. He told me that he never had a Plan B - which is honestly an incredible thing to say. If you think about society right now, we’re in a culture of having a Plan B, C, D as a back up. You don't realize it, but that already sets doubt in your mind for the possibility of failure.
Not having a Plan B is in direct contrast to how culture tells you to plan and build your professional career. It's risky, but it's also believing in yourself and your dreams. Instead, I can put everything and all of my soul into this one thing, and hopefully watch fruit come out of it. It’s not necessarily advice my buddy gave me, but it is something that he said which has carried a huge weight in everything I have done professionally and continue to do.
"Instead, I can put everything and all of my soul into this one thing, and hopefully watch fruit come out of it."
Tell us about your morning ritual.
Depending on how tired I am, I try to wake up around 6 o’clock and just go run. And then, I come back, hydrate, shower, and all that jazz. Once I'm ready for the day, I take a moment to pray, meditate, and kind of evaluate where I currently am and where I want to go that day. Then, it's time to go and conquer.
Oh man - and I do drink coffee. Straight black. I’m not the best at figuring out what’s in what bean or what not, but if it’s just straight black, I know I will usually enjoy it.
Spoiler alert: you're a customer of ours. What's your favorite product or is there one you look forward to trying?
I actually have the Single Edge, and it’s freaking amazing. The first thing that got me was the weight of it. The fact that it is heavy and has some heft to it has allowed me to actually grip it. Plus - the weight did everything for me and my shave. I usually either have the 5 o’clock shadow going on or grow out my beard, and this has been the perfect tool to clean up everything. Not only is it really cool looking, but I actually love the product.
Everything else available on the market is made of cheap plastic, and you feel like you have to use pressure with it to get a close shave. The Single Edge literally does everything for you, and you just have to guide it to get a great shave, which is amazing. Also, there's just a masculine aspect to the razor with it's clean aesthetic - it just looks cool sitting there on your bathroom counter.
What's next for you?
Words cannot even begin or come close to describing how I feel right now. This month I'll be playing a couple of shows during the SXSW Conference in Austin. The first show on March 9th I will be opening for the amazing Chvrches and Jade Bird. The second show I'll be joining a lineup of amazing artists for a Mahogany showcase on March 14th. If you're in Austin, mark your calendars and don't be a stranger.
Last, and certainly not least, I will be dropping a new single from my upcoming EP very soon. It's been a long time coming, and I'm thrilled to finally have it available to the public.