Exclusive Stream: Dutch Dream Pop Artist Ilja Alexander Gets Optimistic on ‘I’ll Wait’
The London-based, Amsterdam-bred musician talks about how lockdown opportunities and working with pop producer Curtis Richa
Dream Pop artist Ilja Alexander is tough to pin down even in a detailed email interview. Ahead of releasing his new song “I’ll Wait,” the London-based, Amsterdam-origin artist talks about how he’s learning graphic design, diving into the world of digital marketing and writing music all along the way.
Moving to London earlier this year, Alexander – who released his debut album Hold On To Her in 2011 – has a master’s degree in economics (“with IT specialization,” he mentions) and studied physics and mathematics during his undergraduate course. He adds, “However, there aren’t enough hours in a day to both study physics and mathematics and focus on a music career, so I decided to pause my study.”
While working as an IT consultant, Alexander attended a songwriting masterclass and ended up becoming friends with American producer Curtis Richardson aka Curtis Richa. With Richa’s credits including songs for pop stars such as Jennifer Lopez and Rihanna, Alexander returned to writing and releasing music, including his previous single “Someday” in late 2019. Always a fan of British indie rock, Richa suggested bringing in American producer and singer-songwriter Adien Lewis (whose credits include writing for Korean artists such as Shinee and SuperM’s Taemin and NCT Dream) and that shaped Alexander’s new sound into what he calls “American Pop.”
“I’ll Wait” certainly has that accessible, earworm peppiness to it, making it a must-hear for fans of bands like Beach House. More importantly, it seems to carry an important, somehow prescient message about waiting out the tough times, given the current global pandemic. He says about its new meaning, “I strongly believe my music should serve a higher energetic purpose, and hope the song will bring light and harmony to everyone and everything around us.”
At home in London, Alexander says he was “a bit demotivated” at first about the effect on the music industry with the lockdown, but changed his perspective to learn new skills. The artist has now learned more about graphic and visual design, plus improved on his Photoshop and movie editing skills, plus basic website design. “Whether you work as a musician, or in any other field, the better you research and understand the processes in your sector, the better you can navigate your career,” he says.
While he’s been writing pop tunes and influenced by British indie rock, he’s also been creating future bass remixes and there’ll be more “remix collaborations” coming up. Additionally, there’s a new song called “Butterfly” coming up that addresses his own “personal transformation” (also featuring Richa and Lewis on production duties) and an EP called Nature.
Listen to “I’ll Wait” below. Pre-order the track here.