Words by Lauryn Njeri
Photo by Mimi Yvonne
Drawing energy from his Yoruba Heritage, London based singer – songwriter Alxndr London, releases an minimalist sci-fi-inspired odyssey, III META. The 3-track project reflects Alxndr transversing introspective themes of existence and rebirth, realisation and acceptance.
Produced collaboratively with East London-based production duo, Bon we see Alxndr employ experimental rhythms to which he adds a paradox of haunting yet angelic lyricism. The use of his mother’s tranquil tones of praise and worship at the end of each track give the air of a welcomed calm after a storm.
Prior to 2019’s IV MERIN, Alxndr released three EPs in as many years, first emerging onto the scene with 2016’s ‘A Long Time Ago‘ which was followed up by 2017’s ‘Today‘ and 2018’s ‘2023‘. All lying comfortably within spiritual soul, electronica and experimental music, the enigmatic creator continues to unfold sonically on his intimate journey to 2023.
2020 has been quite an eventful year for all of us. How has it been for you?
Eventful. I’ve pretty much kept my head down and tried to get through this ‘new normal’ – harder said than done. Started a new role working with homeless adults during the height of the pandemic. Grateful I’m here. Grateful for the opportunity to work with the delightful Bon, who produced III META.
Your music carries elements picking from various genres. How would you describe your sound to someone who has never listened to you before?
I call it soul but I feel like that could confuse someone whose idea of a Black man singing soul is Ray Charles or James Brown because of all the influences I lean on.
I’m from London – a beautiful melting point. I’m inspired by the magical preachers in the Black church, gospel choirs/quartets and all the legends before who transmuted gospel music into the popular secular music it is today.
III META explores themes of existence and rebirth, realisation and acceptance. What brought about these particular elements?
In 2013 I realised that I was a bot of a mess and that to be born anew, I would first have to die – by killing the old me. I decided to document this “journey to death” as Alxndr London, over the next 10 years until 2023.
I killed my old mindset and began taking accountability for my actions. I knew I had to do better so I did. III META is also about escaping Earth, because it’s definitely a mess.
Your mother features on this body of work singing Yoruba ‘praise and worship’. What role does spirituality play in the making of your music?
So cool innit? Soul music for me isn’t just elements of African-American gospel, jazz, rhythm and blues etc. Soul is an expression of my yester-fears and hopes for a better tomorrow. The spirituality in all this cannot truly be removed – to do so is to unravel the very fabric of music.
Cover art by Zaur
Walk me through III META in regards to your journey to 2023?
III META highlights that I have 3 years until 2023. I feel ‘free’ and I know change is coming. Each year I release a project – it’s my way of doing my bit and leaving the rest in the hands of the universe.
The cover art for III META carries a lot of depth. Would you care to share about it and what inspired it?
The cover was created by an amazing artist called Zaur. It depicts my journey through death and rebirth, simultaneously. Both exist in perpetual harmony. Dotted around and hidden in the art are some of my demons too.
What is next for you after releasing this EP?
As of 4th November 2020, a second lockdown is underway in London. Not sure whether I’ll make it to the end of 2020, let alone 2023…