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A dream come true

Recording artist credits UMKC with launching his career

Griffen Alexander – an up and coming recording artist – is witnessing his dedication to music pay off. A native of Omaha, Neb., and a 2010 alumnus of the University of Missouri-Kansas City College of Arts and Sciences, Alexander attributes much of his success to UMKC.

Toward the end of 2010, Alexander and his family watched to see if his project – "Kickstart The New Griffen Alexander Album" – would successfully raise $10,000 to help fund his second album. The entire goal amount had to be pledged by fans in order for any money to change hands. Just before midnight on Dec. 24, the project reached the $10,000 mark.

"I had just over 30 days to raise $10,000," Alexander said. "UMKC and the surrounding community are without a doubt a large part of why I was able to accomplish that."

 

A step ahead

Earlier in 2010, as Alexander prepared to graduate with a degree in Communication Studies, his classmates talked about beginning their careers. However, Alexander had begun his career as a musician.

Although he seemed like an average college student, he had the extra task of balancing college life and a music career. Traveling out of town to record songs for his first album, going on national tours, fitting in time to study and setting aside dates to takes tests was typical for Alexander. Thanks to understanding and flexible professors, as well as dedication and hard work on his end, managing both worked out well.

“They tipped their hats at me for pursing my dreams,” Alexander said.

 

UMKC one of the best decisions

Originally enrolling at UMKC on a whim, Alexander said he “went through the motions of being an average college student” during his first two years at UMKC. Declaring a Communication Studies major his junior year proved to be a pivotal point in his college career. From then on, Alexander decided to get the most out of his time at UMKC.

“I met some of my best friends here, and I think I met my future wife here,” Alexander said. “UMKC is probably one of the best personal decisions I made in my life.”

His UMKC education has proven to be useful in his music career. A background in communication has helped him sharpen his communications skills when dealing with a variety of people in the record industry. 

 

Looking forward

Having achieved success early on in his career, Alexander is ready to share his talent with the world. His second album, which has not been titled yet, is set to be released June 11. A release party will take place at 7 p.m. that day at the Record Bar, 1020 Westport Rd., Kansas City, Mo.

"I'm going to be working with one of my all-time favorite bands on the new record," Alexander said. "I never imagined knowing them, much less having them play on my record with me."

Alexander said the new album will have a folk/indie rock sound with a heart of pure pop. To learn more about Alexander and to find out about upcoming events, visit his Web site at http://www.griffenalexander.com/.

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Catch a free Griffen Alexander concert...

WHEN: 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, April 22

WHERE: University Playhouse - 51st and Holmes Streets
 

Griffen Alexander, a performing artist and UMKC College of Arts and Sciences alumnus, said UMKC helped him launch his career.