Chesterfield guitarist brings musical message to Africa

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- "To me music. Music is life."

Even while singing from the comforts of his Chesterfield home, Alex Paullin’s mind remains forever on the road.

The travelling musician, who is a member of the Richmond-based group Philosophunk, sings about faraway places he cherishes. For the last year and a half Alex has crisscrossed southern Africa. Places like Lesotho, South Africa, Swaziland, Botswana, Namibia, Angola, and Zambia.

He has racked up 10,000 miles on two wheels. A used motorcycle is his main source of transportation.

"I was doing nine, 10-hour days at certain points going across the desert," Alex said.

Alex traveled with nothing but his trusty guitar, Whitney, a tent, and recording equipment.

The 25-year-old crafts lyrics with local artists.

They are musicians who may not speak the same language, but strike the same chord.

"They were some of the warmest and kindest most open people I have ever met," Alex said.

The James Madison University grad with a degree in Geographic Science said he wanted to save mother earth through song.

"Maybe I discovered this idea that maybe I can use this idea to help create a culture of conservation and sustainability in this part of the world maybe one day the whole world," he said.

He shines the light on erosion, poaching, and climate change. His non-profit, Conservation Music, is hitting the right note.

"A lot of people understand and resonate completely, but again there are a lot of people for whom this is not in the forefront of their minds," Alex said. "I’m finding more and more people who are attracted to the same calling. I’m excited for the future. This is only the beginning."

The guitarist may have returned to Richmond before Thanksgiving, but already he is mapping yet another musical journey.

"If you ask me this is a global movement in the making," Alex said.

Alex Paullin is a travelling musician whose heart and soul lie in a place that was once foreign, but now feels quite like home.

"This is my life’s calling. This is what I will be doing for the rest of my life as far as I’m concerned."

Alex will return to southern Africa in March. Before his next journey, Alex and Philosophunk will hold a benefit concert on January 9 at The Camel.

If you would like to help Conservation Music in its effort to help save the environment, click here.

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