How does someone who despised himself for most of his life go from loving himself and his life, and creating music that makes millions smile? That’s the journey my guest, Axel Mansoor has been on. A singer/songwriter and self-described Third Culture Kid, he’s become known for leveraging technology to build community and intimacy with his music. His songs have taken him from a Daytime Emmy nomination to collaborations with the biggest brands in the world, Spotify’s Viral 50 Chart, to your television screen as he pitched a song to H.E.R. on NBC’s Songland. Axel’s debut EP, I hadn’t ever Loved Myself, just dropped and is quickly climbing the charts.
And, until a few days ago, his image was the icon for the massively viral Clubhouse social audio app, appearing on the screens of tens of millions of phones. He is also the creator of the app’s popular Lullaby Club: a nightly musical experience where your favorite artists sing you, and the rest of the world, to sleep. But, there’s also a deceptively beautiful and creative ulterior motive, helping artists get discovered, build careers and expand their communities.
In this conversation, we explore the idea of being a third culture kid, a phrase I’ve heard more and more, and how literally living with a foot in three worlds led to this seemingly contradictory ability to fit it and make people like him, while also being brutally bullied and deepening into a place of self-hatred that tore apart his sense of self, belonging, and expression. And we talk about how music, along with a powerful inciting incident, turned his world upside-down and became a source of joy, expression and, to his surprise, even self-love.
If you LOVED this episode:
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