SALT LAKE CITY — Mormon singer Alex Boye will be bringing his signature African pop vibes to a new type of venue on Dec. 11: an NFL halftime show.
Boye was named Hard Rock Rising Artist of the Year and Battle of the Bands grand prizewinner this summer. As part of his winnings, he will perform during halftime at Hard Rock Stadium in Florida next week when the Miami Dolphins play the New England Patriots.
“It turned out to be a really, really cool thing on just a whim and something that I thought I should just try and see what happens,” Boye said.
As a member of ReverbNation, an online music group, Boye was invited to enter the contest and put together a band to compete against more than 6,000 other artists worldwide.
“I said to the guys, ‘I don’t know how this is going to turn out. I’ve never been in a band contest before, but at least we can go have some fun,’” Boye said.
In addition to the halftime show, the band’s prize for winning also included $1,000, a 1,000-count CD/DVD pack of his latest recording from Bison Disc and a Fender Instrument prize pack. Boye will also have the opportunity to shoot a professional music video worth $25,000-$30,000, directed by one of Taylor Swift’s creative directors.
Winning the contest has opened several doors for the LDS artist, including an invitation to perform at the Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood Florida, an audition with Disney World and possibly working with Hard Rock’s record label in the future.
The Deseret News recently spoke with Boye about this win, performing as a featured guest with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir this summer and how being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has affected his career. This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
Deseret News: How will this win affect your career?
Alex Boye: It’s one of those things where the goal is to just expand and get more people to know about my music, and so this was definitely something that I felt would be a help to do that, and so that’s really what’s been happening. … The actual music video is going to be aired on the screen of … Hard Rock Cafes all over the world, so when you walk in, they will have my video on the screen on rotator with all the other big acts, all the superstars, so that’s definitely great exposure for sure.
DN: How do you feel about performing in this setting at an NFL halftime show with thousands of people watching?
AB: I feel like I’m Bruno Mars or something. There’s like 65,000 people we’ll be performing to, so I’ve definitely not performed in that type of setting before — at least not a halftime game like that. So it’s one of those things where you just enjoy it, take the experience and enjoy it and appreciate it.
DN: Are you drawing any inspiration from other halftime shows?
AB: Oh, yeah. I’m totally watching them. I watched the Michael Jackson halftime show, I watched the Bruce Springsteen halftime show, I watched the Bruno Mars halftime show, the Beyonce halftime show. I’ve been watching all of them, … looking for things that were big and just trying to get inspiration from that, how to make the performance big and larger than life.
DN: This past summer, you performed with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, filling in at their Pioneer Day Concert. What was it like performing with the choir again in that setting?
AB: It was very familiar, but it was very different because usually I’ll only be singing one song as a soloist, but this was a whole show. … I’d never done that with the choir before, and so it was definitely nerve-wracking and a lot of praying. Chris Jackson, he had months to prepare, and I had less than 10 days to do all the songs, and so it was a lot of pressure. And I know there were some people that were upset too because they got the tickets just to see Chris Jackson. I just went up there and just thought, “You know, I can’t be anyone else but me, and I’m just going to give it my best and have fun,” and I totally did.
DN: How does your membership in LDS Church affect your musical career?
AB: Oh, it’s huge. I’ve turned up at studios, and they would assign me big songwriters who were very famous, … and they wanted me to do some booty-shaking songs and stuff like that, and I’d just laugh and say, “That’s just not me. It’s just not my language.” … My mission statement is kind of like the Article of Faith that particularly talks about anything that’s good, wholesome, lovely, praiseworthy, we seek after these things. Well, I’m trying to seek after it in my music. So that’s been a great mission statement for me and very easy to make certain decisions because of that particular Article of Faith. … As long as the Lord knows that that’s your goal and that’s what you’re trying to do, he’ll bless you.
Boye will be performing in Utah on Dec. 18 at his “Africanized Christmas” concert at Olympus High School in Salt Lake City.
If you go …
What: Alex Boye’s Africanized Christmas
When: Monday, Dec. 18, 7 p.m.
Where: Olympus High School, 4055 S. 2300 East, Salt Lake City
How much: $25-$25