By day Alex Genadinik is one of the internet’s top online instructors teaching marketing, entrepreneurship, professional skills, and personal development to clients around the globe. In his spare time however, Alex has recently begun pursuing his true artistic passion—becoming a guitar-slinging singer/songwriter who uplifts and inspires others through his music. Explains Alex, “There’s an emotional lift that comes whenever you hear a song that resonates with you. It gives you butterflies and takes you to a magical place. Listening to music that touches me emotionally also inspires me to want to create that feeling for other people as well. I wanted to try my hand at crafting something beautiful and magical too.” Over the last several years Genadinik has written, recorded, and produced on-line videos for many of his songs. I recently had the chance to speak with Alex about his aspirations for his songwriting and for bringing his music to a larger audience.
Vinnie DeMasi: When did you first pick up a guitar?
Alex Genadinik: I started playing many years ago but initially I didn’t progress as far as I hoped. I kind of took an extended pause to concentrate on my career, but just before the COVID shutdown, I resumed studying by taking classes at NYC Guitar School.
Did you start composing your own songs right away?
Yes. It was shortly after I started classes that I began songwriting. My vocal instructor Emily Shrader from NYC Guitar School has been very helpful in teaching me about songwriting.
You actually recorded a duet with her, yes?
Yes. I wrote a song called “Girl with a Pearl Earring” which was inspired by the Johannes Vermeer painting of the same name. I thought the lyrical concept was interesting, but after I recorded it, the music seemed somewhat plain. I hit upon the idea to have a female singer be the voice of the girl in the picture to give the song more dimension, and who better to sing that part than Emily? That came late in the production of the song and it really changed it for the better.
Hear “Girl With the Pearl Earring” here:
Where do you record your songs?
I generally record the basic vocal and guitar tracks in my bedroom, then send them off to my producer Steve Glazer who fills them out with other instruments. I give him a general idea of what I want, then he works his magic!
Who are some songwriters you admire?
I was born in the part of Russia that is now the Ukraine and many of my early influences came from there. One important figure was the late Vladimir Vysotsky who was an influential musician, actor, and poet. He’s kind of like the Russian Bob Dylan. Also in Russia, there is a strong tradition of poetry as artistic expression and this greatly impacted me as an artist. A perfect example of this was the poet/musician Bulat Okudzhava. I’ve actually translated and covered many of his songs in English and you can find links to them on my blog. (Hear Alex’s English versions of Bulat Okudzhava’s songs on his blog Touched by a Song here https://touchedbyasong.com/bulat-okudzhava-poems-and-songs-in-english/. Among American musicians, I’m drawn to people like Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, and Johnny Cash—artists who have very deep and meaningful lyrics.
How do you draw inspiration for your songs and lyrics?
When I was in college I learned about the Socratic Dialogue and one of the questions we were asked was “What is Beautiful?” We never really came up with a definitive answer because beauty can be subjective, but it did get me thinking about my own definition of beauty. When I find something I think is beautiful I’m often drawn to write a song about it because what’s beautiful to us as humans is usually inspiring to us as well. An example of this is another song of mine called “Michelangelo” which was also based on a feeling I go from a painting; in this case Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam. Not all of my songs are about paintings of course, but I do try to focus on capturing the emotions you might feel when you are moved and inspired by something.
Listen to “Michelangelo” here:
What are your goals as a writer and performer?
I still want to work on my skills as a melody writer and guitarist. I want to evolve and get better because there’s always room for improvement in whatever we do. As for promoting my music, I don’t really think it’s for a mainstream pop audience but I do hope that through my blog and YouTube channel, I’m able to reach people who are interested in the same artistic aesthetics that I am.
What advice would you give to people who want to begin songwriting and putting their music
I’m not sure I’m the person to give advice [laughs]. I still feel like the guy who needs advice! I guess I would say this though—there are challenges that you probably can’t possibly foresee and it will be frustrating at times. Sometimes your ideas won’t work and other times people will criticize your music. As soon as you take it out of the realm of personal enjoyment and open yourself up to an audience you make yourself more vulnerable. My advice would simply be to keep learning and growing, believe in yourself, and be persistent.
For more music and info, visit Alex’s home page at: