Name: Alexander 23 (Alexander Glantz)
Hails From: Chicago; currently based in L.A.
Résumé: Signed to Interscope Records; released his debut EP “I’m Sorry I Love You” in late 2019 and a remix for Selena Gomez’s single “Rare” in January. His song “Another Summer Night Without You” was included on the “13 Reasons Why” season 3 soundtrack. He’s scheduled to join Lauv on tour later this year.
Why We Care: The musician, who launched his solo career as Alexander 23 just over a year ago, has seen his profile rise with the release of several singles last year, culminating with his debut EP “I’m Sorry I Love You.” He spent most of 2019 touring — first as an opener for Alec Benjamin.
He released his latest single, “IDK You Yet,” and an accompanying video on April 9 — two weeks after he wrote the song, while stuck in quarantine at home in L.A.
“It was definitely an emotional response to everything going on,” says Glantz the day before release.
Less flashy than his previous videos — the production crew was just him and two other people — the video is a single-take shot of a bike ride through L.A. Glantz tosses red roses onto lawns, paperboy-style, from a wicker basket on the handlebars as he rides by. Both the bike and basket were supplied by his roommate, who drove Glantz’s convertible with the top down while someone else filmed the scene on an iPhone.
“It was one take — roses aren’t cheap,” he says. “I think times are so strange right now that nothing affects anyone anymore — you see a guy on his bike throwing out roses and you’re like, ‘Yeah, it’s just another day in 2020.'”
Glantz’s 2020 started with a high-profile release, a remix of Selena Gomez’s single “Rare” after her team reached out to him and asked if he was interested in putting his mark on the song, which is from her third album. Obviously he said yes, and created a pared-down, dreamy version of the pop song that speaks to the tone of his own music, although the altered tune only features Gomez’s vocals. He produced the new version in a few hours in his van while on tour.
He’s slated to join Lauv at the Red Rocks and the Greek Theatre in late August, although recent events mean those plans are currently up in the air. “These are dream venues and I’m hoping they happen in some capacity, whether it is in late August or rescheduled,” he says.
In the meantime, Glantz is continuing to write and make music, blending confessional lyrics with a smooth musicality, while using the downtime to reflect on the direction he wants to take his career. Although he loves playing shows — and meeting new fans — the flip side to that lifestyle is finding new experiences to write about that tap into a similar emotional vulnerability of his earliest songs.
“I’m trying to look at this quarantine as a backwards blessing,” he says. “Artists put out their freshman round of music, and you often see a sophomore slump,” he says. “People don’t want to hear about being in a van for 12 hours a day and then playing a show and then showering every three days. That doesn’t communicate any emotion, which is really the entire goal of why I write songs.”
The Chicago native moved to Philadelphia to attend college, started a band, and dropped out to pursue music full-time. He was living on a friend’s couch in New York after the band broke up when he decided to move to L.A. and pursue writing music for other people. “And then I was like, I have too much to say to not write my own music.”
He was 23 when his career of writing his own songs really started to take off — hence Alexander 23 — but the number also relates to his birthday, hometown and love of basketball (23 being Michael Jordan’s number). “It was just a number that followed me everywhere throughout my life,” he says.
While he continues to work from home and take stock of his career, he’s learned at least one new thing about himself from the quarantine.
“As a musician, now more than ever, you have to wear so many hats: you’re touring, you’re making content, you’re collaborating with other people,” he says. “And it’s nice to have this time for sure, but I definitely have learned that I like working from home when it’s by choice much more than when it’s not.”
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