Alex Boye’s American Dream
Alex Boyé, known for his dynamic African-infused songs and viral videos (over one billion views on YouTube alone), found himself fielding phone calls from friends and family that were telling him that he was on the Jimmy Kimmel show.
“I think I would have known if I was on Jimmy Kimmel,” he laughs. A friend sent him a clip of the show and during a segment on the highly popular Broadway musical, “The Book of Mormon,” Jimmy Kimmel pulled out a playbill about the Latter Day Saints with Alex Boyé grinning widely on the front and zoomed in on his infectious smile.
Alex, a devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (formerly known as Mormons) himself, says that the incident inspired him to create a story about the real-life LDS church in a language that the future generation could understand. He began development on his film, “American Prophet,” a hip-hop and R&B musical based around the story of religious leader Joseph Smith and the innovative community he created for freed slaves.
Alex Boyé, an accomplished musician who has shared the stage with notable artists including, Jay-Z, Tim McGraw, Missy Elliot and opened for Olivia Newton-John at the world-renowned Royal Albert Hall in London, wrote the story and composed the songs himself. The story follows the lives of three slaves who were set free by their masters on the condition that they would serve the world as missionaries.
“I wanted to give kids a part of America’s history in a language that they can understand,” says Alex. He also hopes to eventually make his story into a Broadway production, following the success of such shows as “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” and “Jesus Christ Superstar,” since the stories all follow the universal themes of triumph over adversity.
Alex is no stranger to overcoming hardship himself. At the age of eleven, his mother went to Nigeria for a three-week stay and didn’t return for eight years. During that time, Alex found himself at relative’s houses and in foster care until he became homeless. At the age of sixteen, he found refuge in the dance clubs of London since they were a warm place for him to stay during the evenings. Being resourceful, he made deals with the security personnel to stay inside the clubs for shelter. One night where he was grappling with thoughts of suicide, he heard a song that filled him with so much inspiration that he decided to dedicate his life to music.
“I don’t remember the artist, but the lyrics were something along the lines of ‘you can do this, keep going, there is a light at the end of the tunnel,’” Alex recalls. “It was like ten years of therapy in three minutes and fifty-eight seconds.”
“American Prophet” is expected to go into pre-production in the next few months with producers Edward Wenrick and Suzanne DeLaurentiis.