Music

Getting to Know Ilja Alexander
Let's dig a little bit deeper
 
 

 

Ilja Alexander is a London based musician and producer, who has caught our attention with this new single "Someday," and the current remix that accompanies. His infectious and breathtaking musicianship bring his songs to life, and truly shows the heart and soul of the artist. Ilja stopped by The Indie Source to give a bit of insight of the inner workings of his world, and we're very much intrigued. Check out the interview after the jump, and get familiar with your new favorite artist!
 

This year we saw the release of your newest single "Someday". When writing the new song, what was your inspiration behind the piece? What drove you both musically and lyrically?

 

The inspiration for “Someday” was my personal life. After years of random dating I felt the need to a more meaningful relationship, of love. I visualized the perfect situation, meeting my dream girl at the early and nightshaded morning streets after a night out in a club. I envisioned it would happen “Someday”, and the lyrics behind the song describe this fictive dream situation. It is unfortunate that things never really turn out the way you had visualized them before. ??The music came to me while jamming chords at the piano. In fact, this is how I write most songs, sitting behind the piano, jamming and wearing a pair of headphones. Chords come first, then the melody, or perhaps both come more or less simultaneously. 

 

When creating and penning the latest track, what artists or influences did you channel?

 

I don’t switch influences per song, but in general my influences are very broad, to include bands and artists from various genres, such as Jazz, Indie Rock, Indie Pop and Classical music and many era’s, from the 1930s to today. I have periods when I listen a lot to one artist or one genre. As a child I listened frequently to Elvis. Later the Beatles and artists such as Shirley Bassey. At uni I was a big fan of Oasis and Queen, then became a fan of most British indie music. Recently, I discovered the 80s and Motown music from the 70s, to include bands such as the Electric Light Orchestra. Releasing music is great, because it also connects you to new music, and since the release of “Someday” I have added a lot of new bands and artists to my spotify playlist, incl. Electric Guest, Post Malone, Poolside, and Beach House, 

 

You seem to be very hands on in the process of your music and songwriting which is GREAT! Can you walk us through the process for the latest release?

 

“Someday” was co-written and co-produced by my dear friend, multi-platinum US producer and singer-songwriter, Curtis Richa. After “Someday” was released, Curtis suggested doing a remix. Curtis took the lead and approached German electronic DJ/producer Marvin Dörsam, with whom he had previously collaborated. Marvin agreed to do a remix, and I was only involved with the very last revision. I really loved the collaboration with Marvin, and to my own surprise, I really love to do dance remixes for my songs. With remixes I can experiment with many different sound directions. They give me more freedom to experiment, and elements of the remixes will most likely appear in future newer original songs. 

 

When you have a concept for a song, how do you execute it? What comes first? The lyrics, the music, or do they work hand in hand?

 

To be honest, I never have a concept for a song. Normally, I sit behind a digital piano, wearing a pair of headphones, to isolate me from the world. I then start to play, often with my eyes closed, letting my fingers and the chords trigger emotional feelings and with it, a melody. Lyrics follow that match the emotions. Sometimes I hear music in dreams, and recall bits of pieces that I include in my songwriting. While I write my music mostly behind a piano, I take lyrics throughout the day, when they come. To be honest, often they don’t come, and I focus on something else, like going to fitness. Moreover, with most song concepts I record my own piano, guide vocals and occasionally guitars, and for some songs I do my own initial instrumentation or musical arranging. 

 

With the new song in tow, how does the song differ from your prior work? Or does it feed into the upcoming releases?

 

I was so surprised by the sound of the original single of “Someday” as it was something completely different from my past song productions. It took me some time to really open my mind for this new sound. You could say I was experiencing tunnel vision of my own sound prior to the recording of “Someday”. Even until halfway the studio session of the recording of “Someday”, I had difficulties ‘feeling’ the electronic and trap sounds included in the production, but then something switched in my mind. It opened up registers of creativity that lay dormant before. Then came the remix of Someday, which again surprised me and took me off-guard. I’d like to give everyone involved in music productions and other collaborations enough space to add their own influences to my work, as I highly value the social aspects of music creating and creativity. Initially, I always give freedom to producers, but also to engineers and band members, to interpret my songs without my direction, getting myself involved at later stages. I found out after “Someday” and the remix of “Someday” that I like to be surprised by the outcome of single recordings and this also applies to my the next single I’ll Wait, to be released on May 1st.

 

Do you have any plans to make it to the US anytime soon?

 

I planned to visit LA later this year, to collaborate on a new single production with Curtis Richa and Adien Lewis. However, due to the coronavirus outbreak I may be forced to postpone this trip. Should you be around LA during my visit, let’s meet for a coffee hangout and celebrate the end of self-isolating.

 

As 2020 is off to a running start, what surprises do you have up your sleeve in terms of music, touring, videos, releases this year?


Last year, I completed 6 original single recordings and 2 additional future bass remixes. 


“Someday” was the first release, and each 6 to 8 weeks a new release follows. I intended to record new songs in 2020, scheduled to be released in 2021. I also intended to start with live gigs with my band in London, and gradually export my live act outside of the UK. However, again due to the coronavirus, I am forced to suspend many projects caused by travel restrictions, temporary drying up of income, and general uncertainty. I feel it is important, perhaps now more than ever, to focus on love, light and harmony, so let us send those energies into the world. I am decisive in continuing my single releases and hope my music brings you love, light and harmony.

Written by Freelance Writer

Emily Hinde

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