Local Soul Singer Alvin Frazier Successfully Balances Singing and Acting
On a calm and chilly Thursday night late last January, a booming voice could be heard outside reverberating from the walls of a place formerly known as Jezebel’s Bayou (after a change of ownership, it now operates as Valo). That voice belongs to Alvin Frazier. With only an acoustic guitar and amplifier, he plays a rendition of his song, “Better,” which is currently making waves on several radio stations in the area and beyond. The atmosphere is dimly lit as couples and small groups dine, chat and enjoy the ambiance as Frazier croons original material and also covers versions of songs like the Isley Brothers’ “Footsteps In The Dark,” Outkast’s “Prototype,” Michael Jackson’s “Lady In My Life” and Jermaine Jackson’s “Do What You Do.”
“I gotta hit you with a curveball,” he says when speaking on the decision to include the elder Jackson’s 1984 tune. “That was the jam though.”
Cleveland-born and bred, Frazier takes pride in being able to reach the level of success he’s had in his career thus far without having to take his talents to a larger market.
“Back when my first album [Love & Faith: Volume 1] came out in 2007, I was thinking that Cleveland was too much work, and I was looking into relocating back then,” he says. “But then I thought to myself, ‘You were born and raised here. How would it look if someone called back to get a reference for you and no one knows who you are?’ That really struck a chord with me, so then I thought to just build at home. Just work your hand here first. Thankfully, I was able to show that you can establish yourself as an international artist living here in Cleveland.”