Alex Harrington—music fans know him as All Night Shoes—says that in the world of electronic music, it’s hard to stay unique.
Harrington hesitates when I ask him how he would define his music, which blends ambient and dance music together with a hint of Daft Punk.
“I’ve been referring to it as ‘tropical house,’” Harrington says. “I don’t like to put labels on myself, but if I had to put a label on myself, that’s what I would define it as.”
The 26-year-old La Quinta resident who once played acoustic-guitar performances in local coffee houses always had a desire to make electronic music. He saved his money to purchase the equipment he needed and made the transition a year ago. He makes his music on a MacBook with Logic Pro software and uses various keyboards and synthesizers.
Alex’s initial challenge was to create a sound of his own.
“The challenge is actually trimming down the influence I put in my songs,” he says. “Often times, for me, I love the genres. … But to get them to work together is where it’s a challenge.”
Over the past year, as Alex continued to develop his own songs and remixes, he has found himself generally unconcerned about sounding like too much like his influences while trying to stay original.
“I didn’t think I started to sound like Daft Punk, Brian Eno, Moby and all my other influences until about six months ago, because you just start to enjoy your own music, and you start notice the influences coming in naturally in your own music,” he says
Alex is aggressive in terms of how he produces his music as an independent artist; he’s a passionate believer in social media and utilizes it to connect with other local artists with whom he can collaborate. He’s driven and motivated to manage his own music, noting the advantage of being in business for himself and therefore collecting 70 to 90 percent of his own royalties.
Alex’s talent as a producer comes into play when he finds himself working with other artists.
“With social media, it’s very easy to reach out to other artists. I ask my friends who are artists if they want to be on my tracks. It’s really just about working with as many people as possible and being open-minded. The way I look at it, if I’m working with a new artist who isn’t that polished, it’s a challenge for me to get them to that point for my song. I think there’s a beauty in that, because you can help make each other better.”
Alex’s hard work has managed to pay off. In August 2012, he released his first EP, Crystal Son, via iTunes; he released his follow-up EP, Frisco in February, which he says is a nod to his Northern California roots. (Scroll down to hear the song “Frisco.”)
While he continues to evolve as an artist, he aspires to be in commercial production and to play in more clubs. He’s also currently working on new material titled Pacific Dreams that he hopes to release in May.
His first live performance will be on Saturday, April 6, at The Hue Music and Arts Festival at Dateland Park in Coachella.
“The way I see it, every band and DJ playing The Hue is bringing something different,” he says.
He mentions the diversity of the festival with some of the bands playing, specifically mentioning Ivanna Love.
“She’s played at some of the clubs in Palm Springs. She’s pretty (big) in the LGBT culture here, which is really cool, because having an artist like that represented in The Hue Festival shows how eclectic it’s going to be.”
All Night Shoes will play Saturday, April 6 at The Hue Music and Arts Festival at Dateland Park, 84521 Bagdad Ave., in Coachella; admission is free. For more on All Night Shoes, visit soundcloud.com/allnightshoes.