By Sophie Minello
Alex Bloom is an LA musician who is not to be overlooked. He released his first album in 2017 entitled Blue Room, earning high praises. His voice carries a smooth depth that’s hard not to pay attention to. He just released his latest single “Elevator” in October of 2018. Read our interview with him below!
What is the story behind your latest release, “Elevator”?
I was living in NYC. I would walk around Manhattan listening to Radiohead and Kendrick Lamar, and I loved the sonic worlds they created for me as I waded through rivers of people. When I moved back to LA, I produced this song with my friend Cary Singer and our goal was to create a world like that. Lyrically, it explores existential dread and feeling like you’re free falling through life. “Elevator" is from my upcoming album. I wanted to release Elevator first because it differs greatly from the songs that made up my first album, Blue Room which was heavily inspired by The Beatles and mid-late 60s pop.
What was the idea behind the “Elevator” music video?
The director, Dylan Doornbos Hayes, and I wanted to create a purgatory where strange things are happening. The video starts off with me happening upon an old office building and walking inside, and it’s left unclear whether I’m searching for something in particular, or just wandering. Every time I open a door, there is someone doing something, and eerily no one seems surprised to see me. This idea was heavily inspired by The Shining, where there is something strange and unsuspected behind every door. We wanted to make this office building feel like an alternate universe, which is heavily implied in the end scene…
When do you feel most musically inspired?
I’m most inspired after 11pm. This goes back to when I first started writing songs at 15 years old. I always liked playing music when I was supposed to be in bed sleeping, and the songs would just drip out. I still feel like that today.
I get inspired a lot by movies and TV shows too. Most recently I’ve been inspired by Cowboy Bebop, which is like a space drama anime. The music is done by Yoko Kanno, and it is incredible.
What is the experience like running your own label and also being an artist on it? What responsibilities do you have that maybe other artists don’t have?
The thinking behind running my own record label comes from the fact that I like to be in control of every aspect of my releases. I’m in charge of everything, from submitting materials to distribution, to making artwork, to deciding on final mixes and masters, etc. I like being in charge of all of these things because I feel they all inform one another. The most important thing to me as an artist is to be authentic, and I feel having other people be in charge of artwork or other things might undermine that authenticity.
What’s your favorite aspect of being part of the LA music scene? Have you had any difficulties being in such a musician-populated area?
I’m fortunate to have grown up in LA and to have gone to USC Thornton School of Music, where I connected with dozens of amazing musicians. There is still a sense that the local music scene gets overshadowed by huge acts because literally everyone plays here. Sometimes I think it’d be easier to grow as an independent artist in a small town, being a big fish in a little pond.
Describe the most memorable show you’ve played.
Last March I played my songs with a string quartet in a beautiful church. I was opening for a British artist named Newton Faulkner in London for a record store day event. The thing that really made the night special was that the audience was listening more intently than I had ever experienced.
What’s your favorite part about playing your music in front of a crowd?
The best part about playing live music is when people come up after and tell me they really connected with a song. I’m songwriter first and foremost, and having someone listen and connect with a song in realtime validates that I’ve written a good song, and motivates me to write more!
What’s in store for the rest of 2019? New album? Tours?
I have an album recorded from which I am planning on releasing several songs this year. I’ll be playing regularly in LA for the first half of 2019, and am hoping to do a west coast tour in the second half.
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