Born in Philadelphia, PA and raised all over the galaxy of experience, Alex Schein’s emergence as an artist began while rehabilitating a torn knee ligament suffered during his senior year of high school. The injury focused Schein's energy into learning the guitar and only 9 months later the self-taught singer/songwriter performed his first gig in the winter of 1996.
While earning a B.A. in Religion & Philosophy at Mary Washington College, Schein honed his songwriting and performing skills in the college town of Fredericksburg, VA. A study abroad program in the fall of 1998 gave him the opportunity to travel to Durban, South Africa where Schein lived, studied, and played music for almost 6 months.
In the time following his return from South Africa, Schein’s study of Islamic mysticism (Sufism) began to unlock a new writing style--drawing from the rich spiritual symbolism contained in the poems of Jalaluddin Rumi and Hafiz as well as in the works of Rainer Rilke and Khalil Gibran. Music thus became more than a personal outlet for expression but a way of articulating philosophical insight and spiritual experience.
Shortly after graduating from college, Schein was invited to manage the Bosnia Peace Project’s tour with the Dave Matthews Band in the summer of 2000. On this tour, Schein had the opportunity to share songs with some of largest audiences in the country as well as some of the most respected talents in the industry including Ben Harper, Ozomatli, and Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. Schein later released his first self-produced album entitled “Cycles” in April 2001 and toured extensively that summer in the Midwest and Northeastern United States, sharing stages with Is What? (Cincinnati, OH), Still Black See (Chicago, IL), and Dexter Grove (Syracuse, NY).
After returning to Charlottesville, VA in the fall of 2001, Schein began working at the Music Resource Center—a non-profit music studio for middle and high school students. His work in youth education would continue for the next 5 years with organizations such as Camp Rising Sun (Rhinebeck, NY) and Building with Books (Philadelphia, PA). In 2005, he led a trek of students from the Bronx, NY into a village in Mali, West Africa to help with the construction of schoolhouse. The journey for Schein was a tremendous validation of the functional power of music to inspire and unite an entire community—without the need for celebrity status or lucrative record deals.
In May of 2006, Schein teamed up with Emmy Award Winning Filmmaker Josh Lowell of Big Up Productions to produce the video for “RiseUp” off Schein’s album “Speed of Light”. The video features emcee Deirdre Breeden (Charlottesville, VA) and members of Breaks Kru (Kings of NYC 2006) and Evolution out of Brooklyn, NY.
Known around the globe as the leading creator of high quality climbing and bouldering films, Josh Lowell’s films “Pilgrimage”, “Dosage III”, and “Dosage IV” have all featured songs by Alex Schein. In December of 2007, Schein’s song “the Drop” was featured in Lowell’s Emmy Award winning segment of Chris Sharma’s ascent of The Arch at Es Pontas as seen on NBC’s Jeep World of Adventure Sports.
As a member of Hip-Hop Congress, Schein has performed with such artists as Amir Sulaiman (HBO’s Def Poetry), Proof of D-12 (RIP), Brother Ali, Zion I, Percee P, Ursula Rucker, Quese IMC and Culture Shock Camp, Planet Asia and the Bedouin.
In July of 2007, Schein was invited to perform at the “Takin’ it to the Streets Celebration” featuring Lupe Fiasco, Ali Shaheed Muhammad (Tribe Called Quest), and Rocksteady Crew. Later that year, Schein performed at the “We Are Change 9-11 Benefit for First Responders” featuring Immortal Technique and M-1 from Dead Prez.