Alexander 23 has heartbreak on the brain, and his new track “Hate Me If It Helps” is proof of this. Putting his Grammy-nominated singing and songwriting skills to good use, the artist has penned a tear-jerking tune, sure to propel listeners into their feels. And, with this tune having the potential to be the ultimate sad girl anthem due to its melancholic tone and heartfelt messaging, the artist naturally turned to the most celebrated cut crafter of the last year to help co-write this track in order to make this a certainty: Olivia Rodrigo.
When speaking on the process of collaborating with the pop sensation, Alexander explains, “What makes Olivia special is that she is as good at listening as she is at writing. She’s someone who makes it really easy for you to be your true self around her. This song is brutally honest at times, and I’m grateful she was willing to go there with me and help me get the best out of the feeling.”
Upon the track’s release, the artist got candid with us on the positive impact his peers have on him, the emotion-driven messaging of his new song, and what we can expect from his upcoming album.
Head below to read our interview with the artist…
Hey Alexander, how are you? How has this past year been?
I’m good! The past year has been simultaneously really fun and really challenging. I’ve been working really hard on new music and I finally feel ready to show people what I’ve been up to.
With everything that happened during the pandemic, has your creativity been affected?
Yeah certainly. My songs are about my lived experiences, so it was really hard at first to muster up the output without the input. My creativity is also codependent on my general headspace, so being in quarantine definitely had a significant impact. But as things started to open up a bit and I was able to get out more and more, I felt more creative and motivated than ever.
How did you first get into music? What sparked the interest?
When I was around eight, I remember seeing my dad playing the guitar and knowing that I needed to learn how to do that. Quickly, playing live and writing songs became an invaluable emotional tool for me.
And you’re from Chicago, do you think your home town inspires you in any way?
I don’t know if it necessarily inspires me artistically, but I do definitely feel the love, which definitely motivates me to work hard and make people back home proud.
And now you’re dropping your new single, “Hate Me if it Helps”, what was your mindset going into this?
I just wanted to write a song about where I was in the relationship grieving process. This song is a little snapshot into the cocktail of emotions going on in my head. Love, anger, empathy, resentment, honesty, pain.
And it’s co-written by Olivia Rodrigo, what was the production process like?
What makes Olivia special is that she is as good at listening as she is at writing. She’s someone who makes it really easy for you to be your true self around her. This song is brutally honest at times, and I’m grateful she was willing to go there with me and help me get the best out of the feeling.
What do you hope people will take away from your sound?
I hope the production and instrumentation come across as truthful as the lyrics. It feels like I finally have the courage and skillset to holistically make the music I’ve always wanted to make.
Who would you say inspires you?
I’m really inspired by my peers. It’s extraordinarily cool to see people you care about working towards their dreams in real time.
You have your album on the way, what can we expect?
The album is super dynamic, both emotionally and sonically. The process of making it was such an incredibly difficult yet gratifying experience. It’s brutally honest in every way, and there’s a part of me that is terrified that people will hear it, but most of me can’t wait for the world to see what has been consuming me for the past year.