Doing What They Love with the One They Love
by Ari Lafayette
Alexander Jean is the immensely gifted dynamic duo rising to the peak of the music scene. The group is made up of Mark Ballas, known for his exquisite skill as a dancer on Dancing with the Stars and his role in Jersey Boys, and his wife BC Jean, known for her ingenious songwriting and incomparable vocals. The duo has already experienced great success with their music, releasing two EPs and reaching number one on the charts. Pop Entertainment had the opportunity to interview the duo after their show with Lindsey Stirling on her Warmer in the Winter Christmas Tour, where they blew the audience away with their performances of “Roses and Violets,” and “If I Were a Boy,” among many others.
Tell us a little more about what your music. How did Alexander Jean get started?
BC Jean: After a year and half of dating, we still hadn’t written a song together – probably because we were preoccupied working on our solo careers. We decided to make a date night out of it and write a song on the couch with just a pen, paper, acoustic guitar, and a bottle of wine.
Mark Ballas: After writing that song, we felt we’d created something new and special, so we began writing more and more. Eventually the idea of joining forces to create Alexander Jean happened and we never looked back.
What’s your favorite thing about performing on stage?
BC Jean: It’s unlike anything else! Mainly because of our natural chemistry, constant energy, and spontaneity mixed in with our music and message. We love that we get to flirt on stage, doing what we love with the one we love.
How is the experience made different/better with your significant other?
Mark Ballas: It just makes it that much more special. Being able to create together in the studio and perform in front of so many people is already a huge honor. To do it with your best friend, the person you trust the most in life, who will always have your back and also give you honest feedback, that is the coolest thing in the entire world.
Who do you look up to musically?
Both: Queen, Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Fleetwood Mac, John Mayer, Paco de Lucia, … to name a few!
If you could choose one word to describe your style what would it be?
How difficult is it to find that balance of working together, but also being married? How do you separate that? DO you separate that?
BC Jean: Our music is and always has been a huge part of our lives, separately and now together. So, it’s not something that ever completely gets turned off because when inspiration strikes you must let it lead. We tend to do our best work when it’s natural and not forced. For example, Mark could be in the living room playing with some guitar riffs and I’ll be in the kitchen cooking and without really thinking about it, I’ll be singing a melody over it, which sometimes leads to our best material. But we do force ourselves once in a while to put away our phones and try to turn off our work brains and just be together and do something “normal.”
Mark, you were partnered with Lindsey Stirling on Dancing with the Stars, and now the band is touring with her. How did that tour come about and what has the tour been like?
Mark Ballas: Lindsey came to see us perform at Hotel Café, and also jumped up to jam with us on a song that night. The very next day she asked if we would be down to open for her this winter. We were flattered that our show made her decide to bring us along and we immediately said yes. This has been our third Alexander Jean tour, and we’ve loved every second. Lindsey is like family now.
Lindsey’s current tour is a holiday tour, and now Alexander Jean has recorded your first holiday song, “We Three Kings.” What inspired you to do that song?
Mark Ballas: It’s always been a favorite of mine, I used to sing it in choir at church as a child. I once had the “Gold I Bring” verse in the carol concert at school. It’s a classic but sometimes falls in the shadows compared to some of the others like “Silent Night,” “O Holy Night,” etc.
BC Jean: After jamming on it one afternoon we knew it was the one. It was also the first song we recorded in our new home studio, which made it even more special. We loved bringing this beautiful carol/message to life in a new modern way. It’s raw, earthy and has some weight to it. We wanted to create something that could be enjoyed all year round.
How do you feel your backgrounds and experience has helped with your stage presence as a band?
Mark Ballas: We both have extensive backgrounds in performing and pride ourselves on having many tools in our belts. We want to encourage young people that it’s awesome to want to do more than one thing, and that with focus, hard work, determination, and not being afraid of the word “NO,” you can accomplish anything.
BC Jean: Having backgrounds in music/writing/theater/movement has given us the experience we need to be ready for any live situation. Plus, our love and respect for one another as husband and wife has taken our stage presence to new heights.
What do you see yourself doing in ten years?
BC Jean: Same thing as we are doing now, but on a bigger scale.
Mark Ballas: Also growing our family, traveling and touring the world, while continuing to write honest, raw music, and mainly enjoying life.
If you could collab with anyone in the world who would it be?
Both: Dave Grohl, Eminem, John Mayer, Sia, Steven Tyler, Ed Sheeran, Chris Stapleton.
When did you know music was your calling?
Mark Ballas: From the first time I could remember anything.
BC Jean: From the beginning.
Any upcoming projects you can share with us?
Mark Ballas: We are in the beginning stages of putting EP number three together. We’d love to be back out on the road by spring or summer.
Last question: do you have a message for your fans?
Mark Ballas: Thank you so much for the endless support. It’s been an awesome year. Both EPs hit #1 on the singer/songwriter chart and we had three #1’s on the singles chart in the last month. It’s honestly all due to the love & support from our fans.
BC Jean: We can’t wait to see you all again soon on our next show or tour. We love keeping in touch and hearing from you, so make sure you’re reaching out! xx @_AlexanderJean_ or AlexanderJean.net.
Copyright ©2018 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: January 1, 2018.
Photos by Ruth Bekele ©2017.