A Happy New Year From Alex and I, but Before…
Jan 03, 2022
I sincerely hope you’re doing great and could enjoy this holiday season as much as your heart wanted to, or at least, as much as it was allowed to. I had the huge privilege, as well as everyone else working with us at Hopeful Tragedy Records, to be invited for a few days down in Virginia, at Alex’s amazing home in the mountains. What an amazing way to end 2021 and start 2022! We’re actually the morning of December 26 as I’m putting those words down, and I’m sitting outside on the back porch, enjoying the unique sounds nature has to offer my delighted ears while my entire self enjoys an 18°C…!
Not bad at all for a Canadian born and raised who’s used to enjoying -15°C average temperatures during those long-awaited holidays! We now play baseball instead of ice hockey on Christmas Day, which is a massive upgrade, even sometimes unrealistic, but how much more enjoyable! After one of the hardest working years in our record label history, those few days all together are already so fabulous, as we celebrate what we have always valued the most; friendship and hard work, around art and music. The coming days will only increase in laughter, unforgettable moments around long conversations on what’s ahead for us all in 2022, and those few days will go by fast.
As I’m sitting here and feeling a little overwhelmed by the view, the amazing smell, and the sounds from all sorts of colorful birds I’ve never seen or noticed before, I can’t help but think about all of what we did together throughout 2021. It’s been such a crazy year for several reasons, starting with COVID, of course. It’s a hard thing for us to be able to plan no further than a few months — sometimes only weeks — in advance.
But 2021 started wonderfully around Alex’s release of the first concert he ever performed, which occurred in Montreal as he was headlining the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal. The triple LP and CD-DVD were released in April! It was around that event, in February, that we first introduced you to a new song, titled The Son of Hannah, which had been written for that specific concert.
Alex spent the entire first four months of the year giving interviews on a daily basis, often more than one per day, and this, with people all over the world. It’s been an absolute delight to see his story shared in multiple languages and in different formats, from magazines to podcasts, live videos, and so on...! I remember him telling me he had never expected this campaign to be so intense on a personal level, as he always had to go deeper and deeper into what has been a renaissance for him since we launched Windows in the Sky in November of 2018 (in Canada only).
And as if his days weren’t filled enough with those serious and deep interviews, we were told by some very close friends who Alex met while living in Morocco, that there was a small guest house, a lovely boutique hotel, that was for sale in Tangier. It was exactly what Alex and I had been looking for and dreaming of ever since we set foot in this city back in 2016. We then had to spend a lot of time and effort around this wonderful but huge project.
Especially as the current worldwide pandemic wasn’t giving any signs of recovery, it was a little hard for us to feel the vibe of the place from WhatsApp video chats and Zoom video conferences. It was not until July 29, as we finally could travel in that part of the world again, that La Maison de Tanger became ours.
As we were leaving the accountant office completely exhausted (Alex was even sick prior to the meeting — don’t tell him I told you!) I received an email from The Pineapple Thief’s management asking if we would be interested in opening up for them in October! Amazing! Yes of course, but… This tour is happening in like, 8 weeks, and here we are, still in Tangier, now new owners of a 10-bedroom boutique hotel with no experience in that field whatsoever, with so much work to do around this new up and coming tour! The tour, visuals, merchandising, renting vans, hotels, plane tickets, building a crew, and well, we also have to gather and rehearse, right?! :)
This is what I mean when I say it’s hard for us when we are able to plan only a few weeks in advance...! We were supposed to bring the band to Tangier and work on the next record, and Alex had spent many days getting mentally and emotionally ready for this project. So, the day of the signature mixed with the amazing news about going on tour, ended up with a nervous breakdown, forcing us to push the great news party back to the following week in order for our almost burned-out selves to cope with the amount of work prior to leaving, and then, once in Europe, play every single night...!
I’m far from complaining here. I’m simply grateful to have the immense privilege of being surrounded by amazing people, now more than ever, in the label. And on top of it all, you’ve been so magnificently generous throughout your messages, pictures, and in sharing parts of yourself and your universe, towards Alex especially! Those amazing heartfelt gestures of yours truly gave us wings and the necessary amount of will and energy we needed to embark on such a journey in a pandemic context.
Plus, the cream on top, we had such a huge privilege to make so many new great friends, and can’t thank you all enough for your true love and support throughout this rollercoaster called 2021! We’ll forever be thankful!
THE SINGLE CASK
I’d love to end this year with another exclusive news only for you! Alex has always been a serious scotch whisky lover, and for the first time, he had the chance to partner with a unique brand that shares both the same passion for single malts and music; The Single Cask! I’m very proud and honored to announce this to you first as we’ll share it with the world on January 4th!
It’s very important for me to mention that The Single Cask are behind the shipping and handling of those bottles, as well as the entire profits related to those! Our partnership is out of passion for both our great tastes in single malt scotch whisky and music, and of course, friendship. We’re very fond of being part of The Single Cask's great family and friends!
Only a few hundred bottles have been crafted, from, you might have guessed it, one single cask (which means once they’re gone, it’s forever). The bottles feature Alex’s soulful colors and hummingbird logo on them. So knowing that some of you share this very same passion for great tastes, I wanted to tell you first!
Music in our glass and harmony on the palate, from spoken words to a liquid song of love, this is a project of passion that we are proud to share with you.
Here if you want to know more about this very promising partnership where art, craftsmanship, passion and dedication all meet and this for centuries! Keep this between you and I, as this will only be announced to everyone else a little later.
Know More About the AHF Scotch Whisky : https://alexhenryfoster.com/
A very Happy New Year to you! So much will be created and shared all along this still uncertain year ahead! One thing for sure, no matter what comes ahead, we’ll gather and meet as many of you as we possibly can!
Thanks and stay safe!
Your Host and Friend,