From the New Radicals to a Song that Can Save Your Life: Gregg Alexander

November 24, 2014 3:41 AM

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When John Carney (Once) decided to make a follow-up film about three people trying to maintain passion and artistic integrity in the music business, there was just one ideal choice to write the songs. Gregg Alexander was co-creator and lead singer of The New Radicals, which had a blockbuster hit in 1998 ("You Get What You Give"), before Alexander decided that he did not want to be a big rock star. He dissolved the group to focus on production and song-writing, winning a Grammy for "The Game of Love" in 2003. He has something in common with all three of the lead characters in the film, Keira Knightley's songwriter, Mark Ruffalo's record producer, and, as the rock star who has just hit it big, real-life pop star Adam Levine of The Voice and Maroon 5. The songs Alexander wrote for the film are not just gorgeously melodic; they reveal the characters and move the story forward. Lost in the Stars is almost certain to be an Oscar nominee.

In an interview. Alexander and I agreed that we much preferred the movie's original title, "Can a Song Save Your Life?" to the more generic release title, Begin Again. So of course I had to ask him if a song had ever saved his life.

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