Look Out For Alexander 23
Hosted by Sarah Evangelista
Graphic: Emily Lantzy
Pop artist Alexander 23 has been gaining more and more fans every day who admire his music. Ever since he opened for Alec Benjamin on his North American Outrunning Karma tour lasting from March to May, his demographic has been larger-than-life. Now, the singer has dropped his third single, “Mars,” and I had the chance to speak with him about his new music surrounding the release.
Could you introduce yourself and describe your music?
Starting out with the hard ones! I am Alexander 23 and I try to make music that makes people feel good— or feel bad, but that always feels good.
That’s a great way to describe your music, actually!
Thank you! Like, maybe when you’re listening to it, you get sad— but maybe after, it gives you a little clarity.
Well it makes me happy, so that’s definitely true.
Well that’s good!
For sure, and your stage name is Alexander 23– does the number signify anything?
Yeah, it’s actually a few things. I was born on the 23rd—
Really? Which month?
Oh sweet, I’m January. That might— oh wait no, that’s not my three-quarter birthday. My two-third birthday? Anyways, I grew up in Chicago and played basketball. I wore number 23, and I was 23 when I started writing these songs, so it’s kind of just a number that followed me around.
I had no idea it had that much of a meaning to it, it’s pretty well thought-out.
Yeah! There’s a lot going on and I liked how it kind of looked like a screen name.
Awesome! Also, a lot of people know you from opening up for Alec Benjamin on his Outrunning Karma tour, so what was the best thing about performing in front of all of those new faces almost every night?
It was so fun. I think one of the coolest parts— actually, I’m going to say two things. One was the opportunity to win people over in real time, because when you put out music, you don’t always get to see people become a fan of you right in front of your face, so it’s really cool to see that take place over a thirty minute period. I was playing maximum one or two songs that people could possibly know, so I think that speaks to Alec’s fanbase and how open they are to finding new music and enjoying new music, so that was cool. I got the opportunity to meet a bunch of those people after the shows, which was incredible! I was so incredibly lucky to be able to talk to everyone and say hi.
And I was there to experience it at the Montreal show and you were awesome, by the way.
Yeah! You were awesome. You had these insane custom-drawn shoes that had my name on it, it was so cool. I have pictures of them and signing them, my brother signed them- he was so hyped. It was awesome.
Thanks so much! You’re also playing the Lollapalooza festival in August, how are you feeling about that?
I’m incredibly excited. Like I said, I’m from Chicago, so growing up, that was my way of making it, I guess. And now that I’m a little older and wiser, it’s not like— going to bed, waking up, being a superstar and playing Lollapalooza, but it still feels really cool and it’s really an accomplishment. I’m super excited to do it, and so many fans will be there, which is cool.
Are you nervous?
No, not really. I don’t really get nervous for performances, because I practice a lot, so it’s going to be how it’s going to be. I do everything I can to make it as good as a show as it possibly can be. Then, once I’m up there, it’s kind of just fun— it’s like the icing on the cake. You spend so much time in a studio making songs as perfect as they can be, so like when I’m up there and people are enjoying it, it’s the best, so I’m not too nervous.
Yeah, totally! So your first single, “Dirty AF1s,” is about missing someone, “When I Die” explains the beauty behind mortality, and your newest single, “Mars,” is released today— what is this song about?
“Mars” is about being in a relationship with someone and no matter what you do, it couldn't possibly game up because they love, or want, or miss, or need a version of you that you can’t possibly be, and feeling like the effort is not being reciprocated in the way that you expect, or want, or need to be.
I’m excited to hear the song!
I’m so excited for it to be out. I just feel like having two to three songs in a lot of ways, is the biggest jump you could make. Two songs is like, “Okay you’ve got a couple of songs,” but three songs is like you could put my music on and I’ve become an artist rather than a guy with two songs out.
For sure. Now, some people may know you from Top Bunk—
Which is a band you’re also in! What’s it like working with a bunch of other musicians versus working by yourself?
It’s amazing to have— well first of all, Petro is about to come to my house in like an hour.
Personally and creatively, I need to balance. I do the Alexander stuff pretty much by myself— and a couple of things here and there with other friends who are talented— but it’s pretty much just me at the end of the day. So to just have Top Bunk as an amazing outlet creatively as well… I’m just lucky to have it. Everyone is just so incredibly talented in that group. I’d say it’s fun, but it’s also extremely necessary.
And you’re also a group of ten people, so I mean, lots of talent!
Yeah and it’s fun, everyone’s super cool.
Speaking of fun, I thought it’d be fun to look at your Twitter a little bit, because you tend to tweet really mind-blowing thoughts.
Thank you! I think some people would call them stupid, but I appreciate “mind-blowing.”
Yeah! Like I’m scrolling on my Twitter feed and I’ll see one of your tweets and I think, “Wow, how does he come up with this stuff?!”
I have a lot of time and I’m by myself for almost all of it. I think Twitter is honestly my favorite social media platform because I feel like it’s where people could get the realist, the easiest. So, I kind of just enjoy sharing my thoughts of confusion and delusion, and it’s nice to know that people are also as confused and delusional as I am.
I’ve pulled up a few, so that you could explain them a little bit.
Let’s go, let’s get it!
The first one is “when i have a headache i dont know if it’s because i had too much coffee or not enough coffee.”
That, I stand by completely. I drink a lot of coffee— like when I wake up in the morning, the first thing I think of is, “I gotta go get a coffee!”
Yeah, I feel like most people do these days. It’s such a thing. So it’s kind of confusing when I feel like dehydrated or I have a headache or a migraine, because I don’t know if it’s my caffeine addiction talking to me like “Get more,” or if it’s my body being like “Dude, you gotta slow down on this stuff.” So I stand by that. It is definitely a problem I face often.
I can definitely relate. Next one is “if bracelets r just necklaces for ur wrists then is ur hand the face of ur arm?”
Oh boy, the last one is packed there! I probably was just bored and wearing a bracelet, and I love wordplay, as you probably could tell in my songs. I don’t know, my mind is weird. So like, if I’m wearing a bracelet, it’d be like, “Look at this bracelet on your wrist, that must be the neck of your arm, which makes the hand your head, and your arm the body.”
So, did that tweet come naturally, or did you have to think about it for a while?
I don’t think I thought about it for too long, I kind of just looked at my bracelet and made that comparison.
Oh wow! And lastly, do you have any messages you’d like to make out to fans who may be reading this?
First of all, I think there should be a new word for “fans.” I think that word is transactional. Like, fans are in quantity now, rather than a personal relationship. So I haven’t come up with a word yet, but I think there should be a word that combines “fans” with “friends,” like “frands.” Something like that. I’m just extremely grateful, like I can’t even explain what it means to me when this is happening relatively fast. I put out my first song however long ago, and so I just couldn’t be more grateful. It’s mind-blowing to me the amount of support I’ve gotten in a short amount of time. I’m lucky to have gained a lot of new friends along the way, and people to connect the music to.
Alexander 23 is definitely an artist to keep an eye out for if you enjoy fun beats and lyrically thought-out songs. Although he recently finished going on tour, the singer has a bunch of new songs up his sleeves, and is soon playing the Lollapalooza festival in his hometown. His new music video for “When I Die” and new single “Mars” are streaming online now!