The one and only ALXDNR London stopped by THRDS for catch-up and told us all about the significance behind his hat, coming from a life drawing background and his appreciation for the kids of Africa “coming forward and making our own scene”. With his unique sense of style, which pays homage to Anime and African heritage fused with captivating vocals and humble nature, it’s no wonder he’s gaining so much attention on the European music scene. His amazing self-proclaimed ‘soul’ songs dabble across a multitude of genres such as garage, jazz, reggae and electric, there is no sound ALXNDR London can’t conquer.
How are you? And are you excited for the shoot today?
I’m alright; I’m nice and yeah 100%.
First off, your artwork and visuals are absolutely amazing, where do the concepts and inspiration come from?
Ah thanks, it comes from my sis, IJ/Dysect she creates all of the artwork, she’s talented, but yeah its inspired from what I love. I love Africa, sci-fi, the future so I guess the stories I’m trying to express come through the art, music and visuals.
Your face is hidden in the majority of you’re visuals, why is that?
I think it’s just not me. I don’t like being bait or obvious. Even when you ask me a question I give shrouded answers. It’s a give and take world; so I’m learning to be a bit more open but I prefer to remain hidden, especially when I’m singing and there’s the “snap snapping” in my eyes, it’s too much. Social media has changed the game so it appears that more is seen – but that’s not me.
Okay so you’ve touched on garage with Jupiter and Pluto, soul, and jazz but the last two tracks you released felt quite different. Is this a new ALXNDR London we are experiencing?
I’m the same old me, I just reveal different sides to who I am and what has influenced me. The songs tell different stories. Sometimes you watch a Rom-Com, some days its Nollywood or Hollywood. For me, “Jupiter and Pluto ” was a story I told in 2015, a long time ago …
You dabble in multiple genres throughout your music, could you put yourself in a certain category if you had to? And if not where did your sound start, what was the origin…
It’s soul. I think all music has a bit of soul in it, so that’s the easiest way for me to label it. Whether you want to put electro, neo, twisted, dark, moody or whatever next to it, that’s for you to decide. To me its soul.
Where are you when you’re at your most creative?
You know what, it catches me anywhere and at any time. Sometimes during conversation or when I’m day dreaming, I might hear a tune and start humming, connecting the dots. I need to be in a calm place, if I’m in a session with the world’s greatest and the vibes not right it just wont happen.
Who are your favourite artists right now// who are you listening to?
“Wild Thoughts” is a tune. I can’t say I know much about Bryson like that but even him, he was doing it. I just heard Ray BLK’s tune “Doing Me” and I’m liking all the UK Rap/Afrobeats/Grime fusions like “Did You See” and “Addison Lee“, I’m here for all of that, they are going in. All these young kids of Africa descent, coming forward and making their own scene. You’ve even got dons like Drake jumping on it so you know there’s something in it. I love the radio because it flips it on me and lets me hear a variety, I like that; discovering new music.
How would you describe yourself in 5 words or less?
Wow, I dunno, “man like me”! I have no idea.
Now its apparent that you have a really unique sense of style, where does that stem from?
I got into life drawing and graffiti when I was a little one and I used to draw all the time. I used to design and customise my own clothes too, so I had an understanding of what I liked and what I wanted. I love my anime and manga too. When I saw man like Goku and Piccolo, everything draping, looking bad like some new century Darth Vader, samurai sci-fi alien, that aesthetic just stuck with me. The masquerades of Yoruba are a big influence.
Is there a meaning behind your signature hats or do you just love the way they look?
There are similar hats across Africa and Asia found in spaces where you have anyone from the traditional agricultural workers to the peaceful homeless monk. It’s like essential traveller gear, I’ve always seen myself as this person traveling through life on a journey. Whether the sun is piercing down on me, or the rain is slapping me, I put the hat and I’m good.
What would you call your style?
I can see how it fits into that afro-futurist vibe but I wouldn’t name it as such, i’ll let someone else do that.
Do you have any brands that you’re really interested in right now?
I love thrifting because you find everything from like Kenzo to YSL, anything and everything along with history and wealth behind them. Right now I’m wearing sliders, they could have a tick on it or few lines but I’m wearing them because it’s functional for me right now.
If you’re not in the studio what would you be doing?
I’m probably just chilling or spending time with my loved ones, they keep me grounded. I’m probably just ghosting somewhere.
Do you like to set a vibe in the studio before you hit a session? What’s your process?
There’s always conversation and bants to set the mood but I’m very easy. I can enter adapt to environments. I’m not very prescriptive I just like to see where the vibes take us.
What can we look forward to in the next coming months?
So, I’ve got my second EP landing any moment from now. Its called “TODAY” (The Only Day After Yesterday). It’s a nice little acronym. I think that’s the cleverest thing about the EP. The first EP was called “A Long Time Ago“ and this time I wanted to do something more present.
What countries would you most like to take your music to?
Everywhere you know, it’s not so much the countries but the people, I want them to receive it. I even have people from South Africa shouting me and that is bloody humbling.
Is there anything you’d like to say to your fans?
You lot are the realest, I can’t even cry (lol) I’m not even there yet but its humbling. You guys could be anywhere else, doing something else with your time but you’re hear reading this, I thank you.