American YouTube sensation Alex Aiono definitely felt the love of his Filipino fans.
The 21-year-old Arizona-based singer/songwriter recently went to the country to perform his latest hits and popular covers live at the Lubao International Balloon and Music Festival last Sunday, April 9, in Pampanga.
"It was so much fun! It was right when we landed here in the Philippines and went straight there to Pampanga," Alex told select members of the press last April 10.
He continued, "And the energy was incredible! It was like a great first welcome to the Philippines. It's awesome!"
He felt overwhelmed by the warm welcome given by his fans during his first visit to the Philippines.
Alex narrated, "The short time that I've been here… the audience in the show is incredible and everywhere we go, all the radio stations and everything, there have been fans waiting there. And every interview that we do is incredible. It's been an incredible experience overall."
Alex admitted that he didn't really expect this kind of support from his Filipino fans.
"I've never been here so I didn't really know what to expect, you know. I have a lot of fans that are very active with me online here in the Philippines. So I was excited to try and meet a couple of them. I had no idea that they will be in the radio stations and hanging out me and so, it's been a very, very awesome experience."
ALEX AIONO. Alex is the man behind the viral mush-up of Drake's "One Dance" and Nicky Jam's "Hasta el Amanecer."
The video, which was posted almost a year ago, has now garnered more than 54 million views on YouTube as of writing. This is also Alex's most popular cover on YouTube.
If there is something he would like to tell himself a year ago, what would it be?
Alex said, "I will just say, 'Get ready!' Because it's been such a crazy year! I didn't even think about it being almost a year since I put the video out. But it's really been a life changing year that I've had so far.
"I've traveled around the world, I've been to countries I've never been before. I've been on tour. I signed with a record label. I signed with an agency. I had a girlfriend. I broke up with that girlfriend. I got tattoos. Like all these crazy things happened last year. So if I go back and tell my previous self like, 'Hey man! It's about to get crazy so enjoy it!'"
Alex expressed how grateful he is for everything that he has achieved so far and thanks God for leading him to the right path.
He said, "I think a lot of is just God. I'm a very spiritual person so I believe that God has plans for different people… I work as hard as I can and I push as hard as I can and leave the rest to God."
As a relative newcomer to the music industry, how would he introduce his music to those not familiar with it yet?
He answered, "When it comes to the covers, it's just you know, my views on a specific person's song.
"When it comes to my original music, you know, I really incorporate everything that is what I am and who I grew up to be and a lot of people obviously will never know every detail about me as a person.
"It's just right now, it's young and it's energetic and there's a lot of rhythm to it. There's a lot of R&B, soulful melodies, and pop lyrics, and just keeping it young and and having fun…
"And making sure there's enough to dance and there's enough room to play instruments. So it's kind of just a big melting pot of all that."
Currently, Alex is preparing new music for his fans.
"We're just making sure that there's new music out there for the fans. That's our biggest focus right now."
SOCIAL MEDIA SENSATION. Alex also shared his thoughts about YouTube cover artists making the transition to mainstream music.
The singer admits that he's lucky to be one of the many YouTubers who are able to breakthrough in the music industry such as Justin Bieber and Troye Sivan, to name a few.
Alex pointed out, "There's so many artists that are coming out of the gates from social media whether it be from YouTube, from Twitter, or Instagram , just coming from this new media platform.
"It's great and I feel like wow there are so many artists like you said: Troye Sivan, and Alessia Cara, and you know other big artists that came from social media. Even Justin Bieber started out making YouTube videos.
"I still feel like it’s a growing thing. I feel like it's still a young idea for an artist to come from social media. That being said and since social media is always changing, we're all the trailblazers of how it gets done.
"A lot of artists kind of got big and switched over to traditional media and left. A lot of us… one of my biggest goals is to try and build my social media, keep it strong, keep building and stay active on it as I do you know, the traditional music and traditional media around, as well."
How does he handle negative comments about him on social media?
"My view is that if it bothers you and you can't handle, then just not even look at it. There's no comments that I personally felt that, 'Man that's hurtful' because I just chose not to look at them."