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Alumnus rock frontman launches punchy debut single

Introducing Newcastle’s new indie rock sensation, Alex James and his debut single ‘Direction’, out 8 May 2020.

In 2018, Alex James Kennedy graduated from Newcastle University with a BA in Music. One year later, he formed an indie rock band named after him - ‘Alex James’ with Alex as lead performer, Liam Mulpetre on guitar, Chris McMahon on bass and Joe Reid on drums (all of whom also studied Music at Newcastle University). Now in 2020, the band is launching their debut single ‘Direction’.

“I am currently studying an MA in Music at Newcastle which will conclude in September 2020,” Alex explained. “My time at Newcastle University will be a memory I will cherish for the rest of my life. Not only have my music skills and knowledge been enhanced, I have made life-long friends and have grown into a person I never thought I'd become. I love Newcastle with all my heart and it would definitely feel like home if I moved to live there one day!

“I have achieved a lot as someone with a physical disability of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. My degree has really helped lead me on the correct path... I am now in the next stage of my professional life, releasing music to the world, in a band. I will also be training as a Primary School Teacher, starting in September. I am able to do this because I have a degree, so it has most definitely led me towards a professional role, as a Musician and as a Teacher.”


‘Direction’ is a song about conquering life’s difficulties, set for release on 8 May 2020 on all streaming platforms including Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer and Tik Tok. You can find out more by following the band on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Alex continued to say:

“We formed as part of my MA, for my performance module, where we played a selection of punk rock/ alternative rock music, then it kind of grew on from that point and I wrote the song alone one day in my bedroom and now here we are.

“My message to the alumni community is to always believe in yourself, even in the darkest of times, always try to be the best that you can be in what you do. Never give up, never back down and you will eventually reach your true potential.”

Do you have an alumni story you want to share? Email us at advancement@ncl.ac.uk.

You can join the Alex James mailing list here. Photograph taken by Kristoff Music Photography.

published on: 30 April 2020