As a youth, he moved in and out of foster care homes or he lived on the streets of London. To cope with abandonment by his parents, Alex Boye turned to music and a belief in Jesus Christ. It wasn't until he served a religious mission for the LDS Church that Boye performed for the first time in public. He eventually spent four years as the lead singer of a popular boy band. While touring in Europe, he decided to leave the group and move to Salt Lake City, where he could be with fellow members of the Mormon faith. In Salt Lake City, Boye met then-director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Craig Jessop, who was impressed with the Boye's Nigerian descent and how it had influenced his music.
Throughout the years Boye and Jessop, who is currently the Dean of the Caine College of the Arts at Utah State University, have worked together on a number of different projects. This week in Logan, they will collaborate on a performance involving USU's Chamber Singers and African drummers. And, for the first time in history, the producers of the Broadway show The Lion King are allowing Boye to sing the show's version of "Circle of Life".
UPR's Kerry Bringhurst talked to Boye about auditioning for Jessop and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
"I said I'm really worried...I've never sung in a choir before. I'm a solo-type guy. He said, don't worry, I'll be the judge of that. He had a lot of faith in me. I've got to tell you it's changed my musical direction. The type of music I've been learning has enhanced everything about me musically."