by Sean Smith
In the final months of 1998 it appeared that Gregg Alexander was finally living out his dream of music stardom. As the fron-tman of the alternative rock band New Radicals, he was touring the country and making prominent TV appearances on the likes of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in support of his band’s first album Maybe You’ve Been Brainwashed Too. The lead single to that album “You Get What You Give” was a Top 40 hit in the U.S. and was receiving heavy airplay on not only American radio, but across the globe. But this success was short-lived.
As the New Radicals finished up a U.S. tour as the opening act for The Goo Goo Dolls in May of 1999 and prepared to embark on a scheduled tour of the United Kingdom, it all came to an end. The planned UK tour was cancelled and in July of 1999 Gregg Alexander issued a press release announcing that the New Radicals were no longer a “recording, promoting, or performing entity”. The press release went on to say that Alexander would continue in music but only as a writer and/or producer for other artists. He said that the reason for the seemingly abrupt breakup of the band and his desire to focus on the songwriting and production side of the industry was because he grew tired of being tired. Getting little sleep in different hotel rooms every night, only to wake up and do the “hanging and schmoozing” at radio stations that was required to promote the music. And so he walked away from the bright lights of stardom and went to work in the background, writing and producing for other artists.
Since leaving New Radicals Gregg Alexander has written and produced songs for a number of prominent artists to include Rod Stewart, Enrique Iglesias, Mandy Moore, S Club 7, and INXS. But his most notable songwriting endeavor to date was when he co-wrote the song “The Game of Love” performed by Santana and Michelle Branch and released in 2002. That song peaked at the fifth position on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and earned Alexander a Grammy Award for “Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals” in 2003. Although some ten years after earning a Grammy for “The Game of Love”, Gregg Alexander has a new project that could earn him yet another award in the near future.
Gregg Alexander was picked by movie director John Carney to write the majority of the music in the critically-acclaimed film Begin Again. The film stars Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, and Maroon 5 front-man Adam Levine, and its plot centers on the music industry. The film’s featured song “Lost Stars” plays a prominent role in the plot of the film and is co-written by Gregg Alexander. The song is garnering a lot of attention and is an early favorite to earn an Oscar nomination for “Best Original Song” for the upcoming Academy Awards.
If you would like to read more about Gregg Alexander’s career arch from New Radicals front-man to Hollywood songwriter, the reclusive Alexander recently did an interview with Scott Feinberg of The Hollywood Reporter. It is the first interview that Gregg Alexander has done in 15 years and is well worth your time. You can check out the interview here.
“You Get What You Give”
From Maybe You’ve Been Brainwashed Too
Santana Featuring Michelle Branch
“The Game Of Love”
From Begin Again Soundtrack
“Begin Again” Trailer 2 Featuring Adam Levine’s “Lost Stars”
Exclusive Media/Likely Story/The Weinstein Company
“Lost Stars” (First Public Performance In 15 Years)
From The Film Begin Again (Performed By Adam Levine And Keira Knightley)
“The Game Of Love”
Placed On Santana’s 2002 Album Shaman
Performed By Santana Featuring Michelle Branch