Brittany Jean Carlson, better known by her stage name BC Jean, is an American singer-songwrite, actress, known for writing the song "If I Were a Boy" which was later sung by Beyoncé and achieved worldwide commercial success. She's also one half of indie duo, Alexander Jean, featuring herself and Mark Ballas! The duo, who first met in 2012 at a Los Angeles singer-songwriter showcase, and then married in 2016, recently released their debut EP titled “Head High,” which debuted at #1 on iTunes’ Singer/Songwriter chart, and then rose to #1 again for a second time. Their power-pop ballad and debut single “Roses and Violets,” also hit #1 on the iTunes singer/songwriter chart and #6 on the iTunes overall chart; reaching the Top 20 on Billboard’s Hot 100 “Bubbling Under” chart. Their single “Thief,” hit #5 on the iTunes singer/songwriter chart.
The duo, named “KIIS FM Next Up Artist of the Week,” performed at Sundance Film Festival’s 2017 Creative Coalition event. In 2016, they completed a 21 date U.S. tour, “Head High,” sponsored by Nicorette and Nicoderm; made their SXSW debut in as an official showcase artist; and were tapped to perform at BMI’s 2016 annual “Snow Ball” event at Sundance, where they received a standing ovation, in addition to a stripped down, intimate set at the much-coveted Chef Dance. Alexander Jean was also chosen as one of three acts, from nearly 600 artist submissions, to perform at the 3rd Annual L.A. GRAMMY Showcase at The Fonda Theatre.
Working together on vocal production and harmonization, BC and Mark share lead vocals; and Mark, who helms the musical production, draws on a unique array of instruments to create a rich sonic palette, including the nylon string flamenco guitar, steel string acoustic guitar, electric guitar, percussion, drums and piano. He creates the deep foundational grooves, employing everything from kick drums to Brazilian drums and tom-toms.
Alexander Jean’s live in-studio recording approach using all real instruments transcends today’s pop norm and gives their singer-songwriter pop rock fusion sound a uniquely earthy yet cinematic feeling. “The reason that I feel incredibly liberated being part of this duo, is that we’re not trying to put our music into any sort of stylistic box,” says BC. “We’re keeping it full on 100 percent organic, bringing our different strengths to the songs that work perfectly for us,” she adds. “We’re living our passion and writing what we feel, whether that neatly fits into a category or not. Some may call it pop/rock, some might hear singer/songwriter, but for us it’s just an experience.”
BC and Mark build on their musical epiphanies from scratch and just, as Mark says, “we let it ride.” Their writing process is a genuine 50/50 split, usually beginning with Mark coming up with a cool guitar riff and BC creating the “topline” from where they build the melody; both brainstorming on lyrics together. One of the keys to their creative flow is that each has the ability to bring out and complement each other’s strengths.
Mark explains that when they fuse those together, they naturally emerge with the strongest possible melody and message: “What we’re creating as Alexander Jean is a whole other entity that feels more honest for us,” he says. “We’re in control as songwriters, and we’re building on the natural musical and personal chemistry that we have. When we wrote our very first song together, ‘Head High’ in 2013, we looked at each other like, ‘There’s something here.’
Both BC and Mark are multi-faceted singers and songwriters with lists of accolades in the music world. BC became an in-demand artist and songwriter when Beyonce recorded “If I Were A Boy,” which she wrote. A worldwide #1 smash, the song – the only track Beyonce didn’t write on her double CD I Am…Sasha Fierce – was one of the most played songs of 2009. It topped the charts in many European countries (including the UK) and reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #2 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart. BC subsequently signed with Clive Davis’ J Records and released several singles, including “Just a Guy” and “I’ll Survive You.” The San Diego native also starred in the popular web series Talent, produced by Alloy TV on YouTube.
During his childhood, Mark moved to London and attended the world-renowned Italia Conti Academy of Performing Arts School. He began playing guitar at age nine, training in flamenco. By 12, he was performing his own music, and over the years has played and performed in bands in many different genres from hardcore metal, punk, to jazz, folk, and funk.
As a singer/songwriter in 2011, Mark was the winner of MTV’s Freshman Five and MTV named him as that year’s “Artist To Watch.” In 2014, he released his debut single “Get My Name”; the track hit the Top 25 on iTunes pop chart while the song’s video debuted at #1 on multiple MTV platforms. He has performed at legendary L.A. clubs like The Troubadour and acoustic sets at South by Southwest, in addition to Will.I.Am’s Trans4rm Pre-Grammy Party (on the bill with Alicia Keys and Estelle). More recently, Mark played the lead role as Frankie Valli on Broadway’s final production of “Jersey Boys.”
Alexander Jean is much more than an exciting one off dual project. The duo is intent on building momentum step by step, track by track, and have their sights set on performing across the U.S., touring the world and playing different cities and venues every night. “We’ve both faced so many ups and downs as artists and songwriters,” says BC, “and now it feels like everything is falling into place and making perfect sense. Mark and I not only up each other’s game as writers and artists, but this amazingly balanced partnership has given us the opportunity to forge ahead with a fresh new sound."