Meet Alex Kazemi, the mysterious author approved by The Queen of Pop
27-year-old pop artist Alex Kazemi has been manufacturing compelling mysteries in pop culture for over a decade. His strange career has taken him everywhere from being a 16-year-old magazine editor at the classic UK cult mag SuperSuper!, where he highlighted and forecasted screen trends in fashion and music, to creating the first viral real-time Snapchat movie Snapchat: Mudditchgirl91, which flare-signaled an early warning to the dangers of Instagram-meme art on the subconscious mind (it also brought an eerie prediction of the Tide PODS meme that would follow years later). In recent years he served as a guest editor at King Kong, where he and music video director NABIL put Diplo in drag, which publicly impressed Madonna. Speaking of, this summer, the Queen of Pop herself publicly gave Kazemi her stamp of approval on his new occult guidebook, Pop Magick. Now, the self-proclaimed “Illuminati Prince” is here to dawn this latest project, which acts as a modern guidebook on how to use occult practices such as witchcraft and alchemy to deprogram from the chains of our culture in exchange for freedom of thought and artistic productivity.
We can only wonder what future calculated persona Alex is secretly planning next to get the media’s attention, but for now we caught up with this hidden voice to sound off on some of his favourite topics: his flip phone, MTV’s The Hills, and tips on how to handle our world’s digital ecosystems.
Alex! What did it feel like waking up to Madonna and Steven Klein reading passages from your book on Instagram?
You might think I am kidding when I say that that day was one of the most monumental, powerful moments of my life so far, but I’m not! How does someone ever recover from waking up to your phone blowing up because Madonna introduced your underground book to the world? Madonna endorsing Pop Magick was such a powerful validation of my focus, my determination, my hard work ethic, my iron-clad will, and my soul’s desire to challenge the mainstream consensus and wake minds up to a higher state of consciousness –– not to mention that Steven Klein has also been one of my favourite photographers since I was a little boy. Madonna historically has always had such exquisite taste as well as a history of taking chances on the creative unseen weirdos of her time, and she did that with me. M’s creativity, sense of humour, work ethic, and iconography are forever eternal and irrevocable. M’s endless kindness – and by that I mean the charitable selflessness to extend her hand out, to help out a young, unknown author like myself, some random kid from the suburbs of Canada, and televise my work out to her loyal audience that I wouldn’t be able to reach on my own – I mean, it’s just such a dream come true. Bitch, it’s MADONNA! Also, the coincidence that she chose to read from my favourite chapter still gives me goosebumps! The whole scenario is divine perfection – intervention!
What does the term “pop magick” mean to you? What kind of topics does your book cover?
The term “pop magick,” to me, is all about thinking huge, having big visions of yourself accomplishing your goals, and not settling for society’s limited belief system that states that the odds are against you. What happens when you bypass logic and believe that you are the creator of your own reality and that you can build your destiny with the power of your mind? Pop Magick will teach you how to practice magick and alchemy – and how to apply these non-dogmatic, non-discriminatory spiritual tools to invigorate your life – along with sharing my personal stories that will hopefully inspire you to take on this world as well.
From doing a quick Google search on you, it is safe to say you have a bit of a reputation already. Do you ever get frustrated that your ambition to achieve success could be misperceived as opportunism by some?
Absolutely. Almost everything that I’ve ever heard about me in the media is a lie! Why is it my fault that not everyone else has my focus and drive? Why do I have to be punished and ridiculed by people who feel like me going after my dreams is a personal attack on them? Do I have to tip-toe around everyone’s egos being bruised? I’m unapologetic about what I want, but that doesn’t mean that I am cruel-hearted, and I feel like a lot of people want to imply that someone who thinks about their career as much as I do is cold in their nature. I’m not shooting from the hip. I’m not looking for a moment, careers take work…
What is something personal that you can share about yourself? You seem to be mysterious, and maybe even a bit guarded.
I’ve sacrificed a lot to reach my goals. I’m a pretty lonely person. I don’t have a personal life. I don’t have friends. I just work all day and all night – I’m a workaholic. I don’t go to bars and try to pick up girls like my peers. I’ve just always been focused and gone up to bat not being distracted all the time, and I’ve learned that this rare athletic vigour does pay off. But I’ve definitely, you know, sacrificed the free-spirited developmental time of my 20s to develop myself into a stoic disciplinarian…
How has practicing Kabbalah changed your life?
Everything I have in my life is because of Kabbalah, which is the most ancient, powerful, advanced form of magick. If you choose to open yourself up to the tree of life, you study the sefirot, you work through your inner negativity to create more space for light to come in, and you are taking responsibility for your inner world and how you choose to react to external events, then everything can change.
What are some TV shows you watched during quarantine last year?
MTV’s The Hills. The Hills is me and my friend Bret Easton Ellis’s favourite show, and we can talk about it in circles forever because of how incredible it is. I mean, I disagree with him about the show being over when Lauren Conrad leaves because I love Kristin Cavallari, but it really is such a breathtaking show about being in your 20s, and really captures the magic of being in California but also the void – the hopelessness. What a powerful show.
So… Do you actually have a flip-phone?
I do. My phone is an orange Motorola Pebl. I don’t have any social media accounts and I don’t have any smartphones. I like to live a quiet life off of the grid and I’m not interested in being distracted by these modern machines.
What is some inspiring advice you’d give to young artists who feel consumed by their phones or technology and are not creating as much artistic output as they would like too?
There is no law that says you have to be on your phone 24/7 in a group chat sharing memes, right-swiping on Tinder, and talking about whatever is trending on your TikTok page. You should be carving out and choosing a specific time for entertainment rather than being constantly hooked to your phone. Entertainment doesn’t have to be constant or disruptive, and just because this anesthetizing behaviour of being online 24/7 is normalized, this doesn’t mean that you need to succumb to peer pressure and do what everyone else is doing. You should take the road less travelled and make sure that constantly practicing your skill and nourishing your mind with powerful creative content comes first above anything else.
What’s next for Alex Kazemi? Any more books?
One of the biggest secrets about magick is not speaking about its manifestation until the result exists in the material world. Yes, there will be more books. Or wait, no… I’ve just been chilling, doing nothing, relaxing, I’m taking a break