The rising indie-pop artist releases his debut album, featuring previously released favorites including “Hate Me If It Helps.”
After leaving a trail of broken hearts in his wake, Alexander 23 continues his spellbinding singles with the release of his debut album – leaving us all with a sense of replica. With the highly personal “Hate Me If It Helps,” in which Alexander lets himself be villainous in order to appease the person he loves, the entire effort reflects the indie-pop artist’s brooding approach. to songwriting – which leaves us feeling a kaleidoscope of emotions while ensuring we never feel alone.
From unrequited love in “The Hardest Part” to the exaltation of found love in “If We Were A Party”, replica feels less like a scrapbook than a diary entry – carefully documenting the natural ups and downs that love, and life in general, can bring.
To mark the release of the album, we sat down with Alexander 23 to discuss his favorite singles so far, his writing experience replica and the possibilities of the future. To stream the track and for the full interview, head below now…
Hey, Alexander 23! How’s it going?
I’m very good ! I just had a dirty matcha latte. I recently discovered them, they are awesome! Life is Beautiful!
What have been your highs and lows for the year so far? Significant moments?
I think the summit was touring with John Mayer who was a hero of mine for so long. The pit should be just a few of the horrible things that have happened in this country recently.
Let’s start at the beginning, how did you find yourself in music? What sparked your interest?
I discovered music for the first time when I was 9 years old. I saw my dad play the guitar and immediately thought I had to learn to play an instrument so I could be in a band.
If you had to describe your sound in one word (musical or not), what would it be?
Did you find your sound naturally or did you have to experiment a lot first?
It definitely took tons of experimentation, especially since all of my early work was entirely self-produced. I spent many, many hours driving myself crazy thinking about how I wanted to present myself to the world. It wasn’t until I created Dirty AF1 that I felt like I had found my sound.
In fact, you’ve been on our weekly Wonderlist several times, what was your favorite single and why?
I think “Hate Me If It Helps” has been my favorite single from this cycle so far. I hadn’t released music in a long time and felt like this was the right way to reintroduce myself and my music. I’m really proud of every dimension of this song, from the lyrics, production, performance, arrangement, etc.
Congratulations on the release of your first album, replica! Can you give us an overview of the title of the album?
Thanks! This album is mainly about a breakup, but more about the aftermath and the grieving process of this relationship. I like to say that if the breakup was the emotional earthquake, the making of this album was the emotional aftershock.
What was your main goal in writing it?
I really wanted to make an *album*. I had released two previous projects which I love but which were more like collections of singles. Writing a real album gave me the space to explore new territories both sonically and lyrically.
Who did you play the album to for the first time? What was their reaction?
My manager/best friend Andrew. He’s incredibly supportive of all the avenues I want to explore creatively, but also incredibly honest. I trust him a lot both personally and professionally and having his holistic support was really important to me.
Are there elements of your art that you would like to explore that you haven’t yet?
I mean yeah, I feel like there’s so much to explore musically. I really want to dig even more into guitar playing, but I also want to experiment with more dance-inspired stuff. I do not know. I will never know until I do!
And finally what’s next for you? Do you have specific long or short term goals?
I’m thrilled to finally be able to make some new music again. I’m so proud of this album, but I’ve lived with it for so long and I’m ready to go back to the studio.