Alex Ponce assures that the women in his life – his mother and sisters – taught him to work hard and believe in himself. His favorite soccer player, the Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo, completed the lesson with his performance on the field and his motivational messages that reached him all the way to Cuenca, the Ecuadorian city where he was born and raised.“Cristiano Ronaldo once said that if you yourself are not sure you can become the best, how can you ask someone else to believe in you,” says Ponce, who at 24 has managed to become an artist with the independent record company NEON16, one of the giants of music and urban culture in the Latin world and one of the few Ecuadorians in music with an international contract.The fact that he is about to release his first album under a label like NEON16 has confirmed to him that the musical path he embarked on at the age of 12 was always his destiny, even though he was dedicated to soccer in his childhood and adolescence and in 2021 graduated at the top of his class with a degree in marketing at the University of Azuay.“In parallel I was making music. It has been what I loved the most since I saw a video of Billy Joel singing (the song) ‘Piano Man’ at the Wembley Stadium (London). At that time I wanted to learn to play the piano and harmonica; my grandmother and my mom realized that and a few months later they gave me those instruments, some time later I learned to play the piano and harmonica at the same time, just like Billy Joel did.”Completely self-taught, today Alex Ponce plays seven instruments and composes his own songs. These are accomplishments he has achieved without having teachers, or any kind of guidance other than a few YouTube videos. “I started learning as a hobby, I just loved it, and that passion led me to learn seven instruments before I finished high school and have a few songs composed,” he recounted.Unlike other artists, who since they were very young children had a passion for entertaining with their art, Ponce remembers himself as an “introverted and quiet” child. He didn’t like to draw attention to himself at all. Everything changed in high school, when he was encouraged to show his music to a group of friends who encouraged him to showcase his talent, although the one who changed his life was the one he least imagined.“A boyfriend of my sister, who at that time was an acquaintance, came to the house and as she was not ready he asked me to receive him, so he came into my room, saw my instruments and asked me to sing some of my songs for him. He liked what he heard so much that he wanted to take me to the auditions of ‘The Voice’ here. Obviously I didn’t pass because I wasn’t prepared, but it made me realize that I loved music,” he recalled.When making his music, Alex Ponce fuses the main ingredients of the musical diet of his childhood and adolescence with artists such as Luis Miguel, Chayanne and Juanes in Spanish; Journey, Bon Jovi, The Police in English, with his current references: Bruno Mars, Dua Lipa, Ed Sheeran and Coldplay. As a finishing touch, he added a Latin flair. The result is a different sound, fresh, modern and, as this artist proposed: “valid over time”.“I want my kind of music to be different,” he said, dismissing the claim that everything has already been invented. “I seek to tell stories that we have probably all lived, from a different point of view, original and that does not cross over to vulgarity, but maintains elegance. I would like the audience to feel identified when they hear one of my songs, but at the same time to think that they have never heard the experience described in this way”.His first project with NEON16 is a 13-track album, of which “Locos de amor”, “Si tú te vas”, “Descomplicados” and “Quédate”, a collaboration with Thyago, have already been released.
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