Alexis is quickly rising through the ranks as the latest dance artist to set the scene on fire. A woman of many talents – producing, DJing, and a vocalist – Alexis’ creative tendrils spread far and wide. Originally from Texas, the young artist embarked on a journey to London – where her eclectic, esoteric sound would has only thrived.
With a Boiler Room set, along with an RA mix under her belt – listeners can’t get enough of Alexis. Her latest releases, such as “Wishingbone” and “Angelcore” are proof in the pudding. Throughout “Angelcore” Alexis’ classic industrial beats propel the song along. Over the top, the artist’s whispering lilt is almost hypnotic – while a pop-tinged edge keeps listeners utterly entertained. Coupled with equally ethereal visuals, Alexis has been dreaming up an oeuvre that transcends that of her peers.
A shining star amidst the monotonous music industry, Alexis is doing the damn thing. We had the pleasure of sitting down with her, to get a glimpse into her intricately layered artistic process. From the sprouting of her sound, and self-expression, to what else is on the horizon – we dug deep.
Check out Alexis’ latest release “Angelcore” below…
To read our interview with Alexis, head below…
Can you tell us about your background and how you got started as a producer, DJ and vocalist?
I started DJing when I was about 18, I always wanted to make music but wasn’t really sure how to and was too nervous to just properly try. So, DJing felt like a good way to explore and really start to learn what sounds I liked and disliked, also it taught me to find discipline to just get stuck in and learn something. I got really into left-field bass and was obsessed with labels like Hessle Audio and Livity Sound, which I still love! From there I got more into other left-field/experimental and started listening to a lot on PAN and AD93 for example. Production followed quite naturally on from that, and then using my own vocals was something I’d always wanted to do but was terrified to do up until now. It’s taken me years to build up the confidence to have them on a track.
How would you describe your sound palette and what influences it?
Hmmm, I really love bassy sounds, and I also love almost random skittering sounds – if that makes sense. Kind of discordant drums and little sounds. When I first started making music my obvious references were from club music and nightlife, which I still draw from – but I’m finding a lot of other inspiration from different styles of music that I’ve always enjoyed, but never incorporated into my work.
You’re based in South London, how does the city’s music scene influence your work?
London is just bursting with creativity at any given moment! I think the music scene here is so innovative and special, and I hope that I can contribute to that.
Your music has been described as “left-field experimental cuts” and “alt-electro-fused pop”, can you expand on that?
Yeah, I have always wanted to create music that is pretty left-field and hopefully boundary pushing, and combining that with pop elements has felt like the right pathway for me. I find it very creatively freeing to be experimenting and approaching music and creation with a playfulness I didn’t feel before.
You often incorporate your own vocals into your tracks, how do you approach writing and recording vocals?
This is relatively new for me, so there’s still a lot of learning to do – and there always will be with making music and art! I’ve found trying to make a beat first helpful and piecing in vocals after what’s worked. It worked for “Angelcore”. I sat on the instrumental for so long and always knew I wanted it to have vocals but nothing was sticking. Then I caught Covid and was locked inside and was like okay this is the time to just do it, and I got the idea down in pretty much one take after like a year of mulling it over and trying new things. So the vocals were recorded when I had covid which I find kinda funny.
Your music delves into themes of self-expression, can you tell us more about that and what messages you hope to convey through your music?
Self-expression in music and art is very important, so it felt like something obvious for me to follow. I want to convey emotions that I feel and have felt through my life and share stories through my music. I also want to create an atmosphere through music, whether that’s sonically or lyrically. I think the mood of a song is really important for me both in terms of what I want to create and convey – and in terms of what I enjoy listening to.
How do you balance underground dance music with a more pop-leaning sound?
I think these work so well together as you can still make something incredibly underground and experimental with pop elements, and for me that’s the sweet spot! Trying and experimenting is a big part of this as well, and I feel like I’m still very much in the experimentation stage of that – but it’s a lot of fun trying things out.
Can you talk about any upcoming projects or releases that you’re excited about?
Just working and creating as much as possible, I really want to just push myself into uncomfortable places musically, which I’ve been trying to do behind the scenes for a few years now.
Your music explores notions of desire, sins and virtues, can you tell us more about the significance of these themes in your work?
These themes I played around with as they’re something I think every single human can relate to. I want to make my music relatable.
What has been your biggest challenge as a producer, DJ and vocalist?
Learning how to produce and write vocals, more specifically writing for my voice – this is something I’m still learning and working towards. Using vocals is still new to me, it’s so easy to mimic other artists’ voices or way of writing, but trying to make something your own is something I’m finding hard with writing vocals.
Can you tell us about a particularly memorable performance or gig you’ve had?
There have been a couple of really special ones over the last few years. I think my Boiler Room was curated by Tara Hakin, a friend of mine. All my London friends came, and my family and friends who couldn’t be there in person were tuning in life from all over the world. It felt like having an army of cheerleaders and was just such a special show for me because of that. A lot of graft paid off for me that evening.
How do you see your music evolving in the future?
I’d like to see myself carving out my own niche and sonic identity, taking elements of my sound now and constantly re-shaping them into new forms. I don’t feel like my progression as an artist will be a linear process and that really excites me as it’s walking into the unknown.
Can you speak to the importance of self-expression in your music?
I think self-expression is pretty much everything to me when making music, it leads to self-discovery and self-exploration in such a fun and meaningful way.
How do you stay true to your artistic vision while also catering to a wider audience?
It’s not something I’ve thought of consciously too much to be honest. I’ve always approached things by thinking about what I want to create first. I strive for versatility in my work and music.
What advice would you give to aspiring producers, DJs and vocalists?
Be your authentic self and keep persevering.