Singer-songwriter Alex Marshall, who previously played in rock band The Cab, released his debut solo single “Hurricane” earlier this summer and is putting the finishing touches on his debut solo album.

Alex Marshall Exclusive

Marshall got the solo career break he was looking for after doing some songwriting and production for an artist named Katelyn Jae for Wright Entertainment. A month and a half after performing a duet with Jae for a demo, he got a phone call he’s unlikely to ever forget.

“I get a phone call from this European number. I’m like, ‘Hello, who is this?’ and they’re like, ‘Hey, this is so and so from [Justin Timberlake’s] camp, Wright Entertainment, could you be in Amsterdam in two days?’” Marshall told uInterview in an exclusive interview. “I’m thinking it’s one of my friends messing with me or something and they were like ‘No, we need you to — can you be in Amsterdam in two days?’ Needless to say, two days later I’m landing in Amsterdam.”

After kicking around with Timberlake’s security team and meeting his wife Jessica Biel — whose mother happened to work at Marshall’s grandfather’s old taco shop — he eventually got the chance to show the “Can’t Stop the Feeling” singer what he could do.

“I finally got the opportunity to play music for Justin and he walks in — I didn’t really know how or what to expect,” Marshall revealed. “He walked in, and he was so cool, but so very intimidating at the same time. He crossed his arms and was like, ‘Go ahead.’”

After Marshall played two songs, he recalled Timberlake saying, “Ok. Take him to Timbaland.” Marshall added, “As an artist and producer, I really look up to Timbaland’s productions, so when I heard him say that, that was kinda the validation I needed to kinda push me over the edge to complete the record and get it done as fast as possible.”

Marshall’s album is now a year and a half in the making, with the material largely being inspired by Marshall’s past relationships.

“I would say the first record is the record from your life. It’s like a collection of work from everything you’ve experienced, and I’d say it’s half of love songs and then you have half of the darker heartbreak songs. My experiences are of both,” Marshall explained. “I just felt like [“Hurricane”] was the right song to release first for the project, kind of get the dark out of the way and follow up with a brighter pop single.”


Q: How did you start working with Justin Timberlake and Timbaland? -

I was doing some songwriting and production for an artist. While developing my record, I was doing outside production and songwriting to help supplement and fund the record. I was with Wright Entertainment, I was with their artist name Katelyn Jae, and I had done some work with her and I did a demo where I sang as a duet, just to kind of give her management the idea of what it could be. And a month and a half later, I get a phone call from this European number. I’m like, ‘Hello, who is this?’ and they’re like, ‘Hey, this is so and so from Timberlake’s camp, Wright Entertainment, could you be in Amsterdam in two days?’ I’m thinking it’s one of my friends messing with me or something and they were like ‘No, we need you to — can you be in Amsterdam in two day?’ Needless to say, two days later I’m landing in Amsterdam. I ended up being out there for three weeks and the camp is very very close to each other. They’ve been together for I don’t even know how many years, so, I had security guards kind of like, ‘Hey man how’s it goin?’ and checking me out. I was like getting vetted basically. I finally got the opportunity to play music for Justin and he walks in — I didn’t really know how or what to expect. Is he going to be, ‘Hey man! Play the music!’ or is he just gonna sit back against the wall and be like, ‘Play it’? He walked in, and he was so cool, but so very intimidating at the same time. He crossed his arms and was like, ‘Go ahead.’ I hit play on the computer, I was nervous, looking around, it’s me, him and one other guy. He’s so composed and not showing that he likes it at all. It’s playing through, he’s not moving, and I’m like trying to make a beat or something, looking around, bouncing, and he just goes, “It’s good. Play another one.’ I was like, ‘I gotta do this again?’ I pushed play on the next one and he listens, then goes… ‘Ok. Take him to Timbaland.’ As an artist and producer, I really look up to Timbaland’s productions, so when I heard him say that, that was kinda the validation I needed to kinda push me over the edge to complete the record and get it done as fast as possible.

Q: Did you end up getting close to the people in Justin’s camp? -

My grandmother calls me when I’m in Europe, so I’m like something happened or I’m thinking worst case scenario. She calls and I’m like, ‘Hey Grandma, I’m overseas right now, what’s up?’ And she’s like, ‘I need you to talk to Justin’s wife.’ And I’m like, ‘What?’ and she goes, ‘You need to tell her that her mother and aunt...well she grew up in the same town that your Dad was raised in.’ And I was like, ‘There’s no way that’s possible,’ and she goes, ‘No, it’s possible. Her aunt and her mother worked at your grandpa’s taco shop.’ I was like, ‘There’s no way.’ So, I asked Jessica Biel, thinking I’m gonna be a fool, and she goes, ‘Are you serious?’ And I was like ‘Yeah,’ and she goes, ‘I totally remember that taco shop. I’m so bummed your Grandpa sold it.’ I was just like, ‘Oh my god, this is so weird!’ It’s so weird how that happens. True story.

Q: How did you put together your first album? -

Over the past year and a half I’ve been writing and producing for this record. I would say the first record is the record from your life. It’s like a collection of work from everything you’ve experienced, and I’d say it’s half of love songs and then you have half of the darker heartbreak songs. My experiences are of both. We just released on July 1st — we released the first single “Hurricane” and the music video. I had the video treatment for “Hurricane” finished before the song was even finished. I was kinda pulling from a past relationship of mine, an ex-girlfriend, and I had finished the treatment, then I finished the song. I just felt like that was the right song to release first for the project, kind of get the dark out of the way and follow up with a brighter pop single.

Q: What was it like making your music video for “Hurricane”? -