Photo credit: Maria Isabel
Alexander Glantz, better known by the moniker Alexander 23, has become an overnight sensation with the release of his debut single “Dirty AF1s” in March of this year. The song made Apple Music’s “Bop Of The Week” and made Spotify’s “New Music Friday” playlist. He recently followed that up with his second single “When I Die”. He sets himself apart from a crowded industry through his multi-instrumental talents, playing drums, bass, guitar and piano to create his own unique sound. Although he can play multiple instruments, he considers his real talent to be songwriting. He signed to Interscope Records in 2018 and has hit the ground running. Alec Benjamin, who’s hit song “Let Me Down Slowly” led to his recent sold-out North American Outrunning Karma Tour, invited Alexander out on tour, gaining him a legion of teenage fans in the process. Born and raised in Chicago, he then lived in New York and recently moved to LA. He will be performing this year at Lollapalooza, a hometown show that’s he’s very much looking forward to. You can follow Alexander 23 and stay up-to-date with all upcoming music and tour dates, as well as stream and purchase his music via the following links. Check out his brand new single “Mars” below, as well as the video for “Dirty AF1s”.
You released your debut single “Dirty AF1s” in March, and more recently “When I Die”, along with an accompanying video for each. What can you tell me about the inspiration behind each song, as well as the idea behind the videos?
Dirty AF1s is about filling the void when someone you love leaves. How suddenly the most mundane things remind you of them and become torturous. I really wanted the video to capture the essence of how brutal your daily routine can become if all of the sudden you are doing it alone. When I Die is my attempt to put a positive spin on existential dread! People often say “we all die”, but not enough people say “we all LIVE”. I want to leave this world a better place. The video is about making the most out of life regardless of what stage of it you’re in.
You have mentioned that you love to make music videos. What do you love about making them and do you have an idea for how you want your videos to look going into the filming or do you collaborate with others?
Music videos are such a cool opportunity to give context to a song. It can reinforce what the song is about or give it a new meaning. I write all of the concepts either alone or with friends. I am super lucky to having incredibly creative friends who are willing to really dive into the deep end with me on projects.
You’ve said that you have been writing for as long as you can remember but that you have never totally felt like you. Throughout the past year you’ve finally felt comfortable in your own voice. What has that journey as a songwriter been like for you, to finally have reached the point where you know how you want to sound? What do you feel helped you to reach that point?
It’s incredibly liberating to feel like I know what is me and what is not. People dm me all the time like “hey I wanna be a songwriter but I don’t know where to start” and I always just say “go suck until you don’t”. I have written so many songs I absolutely hate, but without them I wouldn’t have the ones I love.
You recently opened for Alec Benjamin on his sold out US tour! How was the tour and what was it like for you to head out on a sold out tour so early in your career? What were some highlights for you?
It was so incredible. I love playing shows so much and Alec’s fans were so amazing. I got to meet so many of them after the shows and it was so cool.
You’ve said that the internet has allowed artists to thrive and that it’s allowed there to be room for everyone. How do you feel the internet/social media has helped your music career? I’ve heard a lot of artists say that it can be challenging to stand out in the age of streaming and social media where there is so much music being released on a regular basis. Have you found that challenging at all at this point in your career?
I try to stand out just by being myself. You kinda get what you get with me and you either like it or you don’t, but that’s okay. I’m not gonna be every single person’s favorite artist, but if I am your favorite artist it will be a genuine connection.
You are also a producer. How did you get into music production and what do you enjoy about it? Who are some of your favorite producers?
I love being able to help someone else navigate through their creative process. Being a producer I kinda get to sit shotgun to someone else’s dream. I started by just recording my own songs in middle school and that transpired into doing it professionally for other artists. Honestly my favorite producers are my friends. They inspire me so much and constantly push me to get better.
Although you play several instruments, you have said that you aren’t a master of any of them, but rather see songwriting as your talent. When did you first start writing songs and discover you had a talent for it? Have any particular songwriters inspired you over the years? What do you feel goes into writing a good song?
The first song I can remember writing and recording by myself was in 7th grade. I wanted to get back together with my girlfriend and I vividly remember talking to her at the water fountain during lunch and her saying something like “prove it to me, write me a song”. So I did. So many songwriters have inspired me so much over the years. Scott Harris, Theo Katzman, Bon Iver to name a few. I think a great song often says something simple in a way that hasn’t been said before.
You will be performing at Lollapalooza this year! What are you most looking forward to? Are there any other artists you are especially excited to check out while you are there?
I am so excited for Lolla. I’m from Chicago so it is really a dream come true to play it. So many of my friends are playing this year too which is so cool. Louis the Child, Alec Benjamin, Jeremy Zucker, Role Model…I’m so pumped to see them up there.
What’s next for you?
My new song “Mars” is out today and I am so incredibly excited for people to hear it! I think it will really resonate with people that have been in a difficult relationship.