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24 May 2011

Staying in tune with his inner Hurricane

Courtesy Minoan Music

How many University of Miami students can say they were destined to be an acclaimed entertainer?

Alumnus Eric Alexandrakis, a musician and actor, can.

Born across the street from campus at Doctors Hospital, UM has always been a second home to Eric Alexandrakis, especially because his father, George Alexandrakis, teaches as a physics professor at the university.

“Eric was raised in an academic environment. The Hurricanes’ games became part of all our lives,” Alexandrakis said. “We loved our university and Eric was attached to UM just as much as we were. He himself decided not to even apply elsewhere.”

Though his father took the science route, Eric Alexandrakis developed a passion for the arts early on in his adolescence, listening to legendary composers like John Williams and Mozart.

Eric Alexandrakis’ musical inspirations now range from John Lennon to his three partners: guitarist Warren Cuccurullo, drummer Steve Ferrone and multi-platinum producer Anthony J. Resta.

“I am a fan of anyone that is exceptionally creative,” Eric Alexandrakis said.

Nevertheless, before he was marking the top 40 U.S. adult contemporary radio charts, Eric Alexandrakis started as a public relations and English literature double major at UM.

During his undergraduate years, he spent most of his free time in recording studios and feels he learned a great deal about networking while at UM.

“Being at a university (and one of the best) is essential to anyone’s education. Not just because of the knowledge you gain, but also because of the interactions [and] connections you make,” he said. “It’s a society within a society, and it’s important to learn how to function within society. UM is extremely good at that.”

Eric Alexandrakis later attended UM’s graduate program in music business and entertainment industries and began pursuing his musical career professionally.

“I was willing to learn; I’d kill myself to meet the right people. This isn’t necessarily the best thing, as some people try to take advantage of you in the worst of ways. I’ve had a plethora of this along the way, but I learned how to present myself credibly and weed out the overly superlative phonies,” he said.

Once he made the decision to pursue a career in music, Eric Alexandrakis stuck to it even during trying times.

According to his parents, he wrote, composed and produced his first album while receiving chemotherapy to battle Hodgkin’s disease.

Despite the seriousness of his illness, his parents remember that in the midst of receiving transfusions, he still managed to make funny faces that made them smile.