Alex Boye's wife shares trials, triumphs of Boye's viral 'Let it Go' cover

By Julie Boye

For the Deseret News

Published: Monday, March 24 2014 9:25 p.m. MDT

Julie Boye and her husband, Alex.

Courtesy of Jon Diaz

SANDY — I’d never seen anything like it: Ten 5-year-old kids belting at the top of their lungs, “The cold never bothered me anyway!” and “Let the storm rage on!” — in a dance class, of all things. It may as well have been a kindergarten chorus performance.

I gave up on forcing the pirouettes and passes and let them have at it. I watched my 4-year-old, Adanna, delve into another world and express herself more intensely and vivaciously than in any argument she'd had with her 2-year-old brother. I watched the children mimic Elsa’s magical hand movements when she creates her ice castle and wondered what kind of magical worlds their own little minds were creating. They were inspired.

I couldn’t wait to see my husband, singer Alex Boye, watch his little mini-me sing at the top of her lungs and frolic around the house with what he called “wreckless abandonment.” When he came home from a few concerts out of town, after hugs and kisses and welcome homes, I turned on “Let it Go” from Disney's "Frozen" and said, “Watch this.” And there she went.

“She’s got Frozenitis, along with every other kid in the country!” he laughed.

His jaw dropped as he watched Adanna sing every word with gusto (I can’t leave little brother Zander out; he was just as involved). When I told Alex I was overrun by a stampede of mini Elsa’s in that dance class, he said to me, “Maybe I should Africanize this.”

Building the kingdom through music

Alex's mother, a Nigerian, always told him that he needed to bring his African roots into his music more. Alex was born in England and grew up listening to the sounds of his mother's native tongue, Yoruba, and remembers singing and dancing all night long at Nigerian celebrations. Although his mother left him at the age of 11, when she went back to Nigeria, Alex clung to his Nigerian culture as he was moved from foster home to foster home and then boarding school, not seeing his mother again for eight years.

After joining the LDS Church (thanks to sister missionaries knocking on his door) and subsequently being kicked out of an uncle's home and becoming homeless at age 16, Alex served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Bristol, England, and tried to follow the advice of his mission president, who told him to use his music to help "build the kingdom," or spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. Alex later became the head singer of the popular boy band "Awesome," where he went on to sell more than half a million CDs, touring all over Europe.

The band toured with the likes of Mary J. Blige, 'NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, Smashing Pumpkins, Bryan Adams and others, and while they became very successful, Alex didn't feel right about all the lyrics, or the atmosphere he was in. "Somehow," he says, "I don't feel that that's what my mission president meant by using my music to help build the kingdom."

Alex left the band, moved to Utah and became a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, where he has been featured as a soloist. He has released several LDS-themed CDs and says that no music is more inspiring, uplifting or important than music about Jesus.

Alex, now a YouTube sensation, has inundated his YouTube page with mostly covers that he has "Africanized," or added an African influence to. Alex aspires to make "pop music with an African twist" that is not only relatable for Africans, but for everyone. He also hopes to bring awareness to his LDS faith through music that inspires, cultivates, lifts and elevates. "Let it Go" conveys being free, creating, building upon your imagination and letting go of your doubts. It completely encompasses Alex Boye.

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