1883 Magazine

Enchanting lyrics, booming beats and tectonic synths, Allie X is not your average popstar.

Pairing striking visuals with a new breed of experimental power pop the Canadian singer is currently working on her second release, or CollXtion as she likes to refer to them, and spends her spare time writing for artists like YouTube sensation Troye Sivan. We chat to the singer to scratch the surface with the Allie X project.

You new song is called All The Rage, why should I buy it on iTunes?

It’s a fucking bop [laughs]

How involved in the creative processes are you both in and out of music? I read that you published your own comic.

Yeah I created a comic to go with CollXtion I and there’ll be one for CollXtion II as well. I’m telling a chapter of the story of X which is an autobiographical but very abstract piece and each CollXtion will tell one chapter of the story.

Who inspires your work the most?

I’m inspired by a whole bunch of music, but for my project specifically I’m actually more inspired by visual artist, writers and directors. I love [Stanley] Kubrick, [Roman] Polanski and Brian De Palma. I’d say all my inspirations for the Allie X project come mostly visually and I have folders full of images that I always draw from.

You release ‘CollXtions’ as opposed to albums and EPs, which could be considered as refreshing, can you tell me a little bit about why you decided to release material in this way?

I guess I’ve always been interested in doing things in new and experimental ways. I’m at the point now where I am always trying to be innovative but also trying not to shoot myself in the foot for the sake of doing things differently. There’s enough battles to fight within the music industry to get anywhere without doing things in new formats but I do think times are changing drastically and everything is becoming more visual, attention spans are becoming shorter and I think I just wanted to give people a full picture of what I’m doing in a multimedia format and allow it to evolve. I think of each CollXtion as a different season of the project and there will be different CollXtions until I feel the time has come to let the story end.

And with this you have CollXtion 2: Unsolved, which is a collaboration between you and your fans/

Yeah it’s a way for my fans, who are very devoted and extremely important to me, for them to contribute to CollXtion II and help me decide what makes the record. I have a lot of songs that are slated to be on the album, I’ll be releasing many of them on various platforms and getting feedback from the fans on what they like the best. Sometimes I’ll be putting things out that aren’t actually finished and asking if it should be finished and how they envision it sounding, like should it be a dance track or should it be a ballad? So far I’ve put out three songs and it’s been very interesting.

It sounds like an interesting way to go about things, I’m guessing fan feedback is something that’s very important to you?

Yeah it is and a big part of what I’m doing is to encourage people to be creative themselves. I try to give them X as the power of the unknown and for them to create their own expressions of X, I’m just trying to set an example I guess. Fan interaction is always really important and I take it very seriously what they make of things. I have an exhibit on my website where I put up every expression, it can be fan art or it can just be anything that they want as long as they tag me in it, I’ll post it.

In terms of feedback on the whole, do you take much notice of what music critics write about your songs?

I do. I’ve had some blogs that aren’t fans but on the most part I’ve had really nice support from most press. If it gets to the point where I am getting a lot of critical press then maybe my opinion will change but so far I’ve mostly had encouragement.

Originally you’re from Canada, why did you decide to move to LA?

It was a work decision. I felt that Toronto, it was really great and I was very inspired but I wasn’t able to find my place there. It was difficult to find anyone who really understood what I was doing. I think it’s because I was in a more indie, rock, experimental, electronica scene and I was making pop music essentially, I just never quite found my home. I have a lot of great friends there though and this summer I’ve actually been spending a bit of time there which is nice.

You were in London recently too, how was that?

Yeah I just got back, I’m still on BST (British Summer Time) [laughs]. It was fun, it was really good, I had a show at Hyde Park for the festival (BST Hyde Park Festival, supporting Take That) and also I did my own show at Oslo in Hackney.

When it comes to performing do you notice any major differences between North American audiences and European audiences?          

Well I’ve only performed in London in Europe and I’ve had some of my favourite shows there so that’s what I have that to base on. I think my two favourite shows are probably New York and London. I’m not really sure what that says for both of them but I had people travelling from across the state or from Italy or France and they were all super enthusiastic.

That’s pretty good going considering London sometimes has a reputation for less enthusiastic crowds…

Oh does it, that’s good, I didn’t realise.

It’s been suggested that you may drop the ‘X’ from you name when you feel like you’ve found the missing part of yourself, with all the success directed towards you at the minute do you feel like you’re any closer to that point in your life right now?

This year I think I’ve made some progress in getting myself a little better but I still don’t feel close to being a whole, rounded, peaceful person and that is how I envision myself as a goal, but I will continue learning and searching.

And lastly, if you could only listen to three albums for the rest of your life what would they be?

Let’s say A Night at the Opera by Queen, Purple Rain by Prince and Madonna The Immaculate Collection.


The track ’All The Rage’ is avialable to list to below and for more info on Allie X head to www.alliexandra.com

Words by Shannon Cotton

Photography Carlo Zambon

Fashion Jon Revell

Hair and make up Chantelle Phillips

Shot at Bounce Ping Pong Farringdon

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