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INTERVIEW: Halifax’s Alt. R&B/Soul artist Dammien Alexander

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Tidal Wave”?


Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

There were two pivotal events that happened to form this song. One was the shaping of the octave function on my loop module. The second was the circumstances of past relationships. I had been listening to more club and trap music lately. I am a big fan of the production elements but I also wanted to pull that sound off live. I was playing a show in Basel Switzerland last summer and during my set I somehow locked into the sound. I literally stopped the music to give a fan the phone to capture that moment. It was that moment the mood the poetry all fell in to sync. The girl that made up some of the subject matter was in the crowd.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

We are talking about it as a video, however you cant rush the visuals. Definitely open to suggestions, what do you see?

The single comes off your new album Love + Infinity – what’s the story behind the title?

The theory of the record originates in with my fashion line EROS XOXO. I have done a capsule collection with Underground Sun, as well as custom design for fans of what I do. Over the last four years I have been developing boots and handbags. I also wanted to have the feel of a solid soul album without being to precious about it. We endeavor to bring in alot of new sounds to the urban pop genre. This album we depict Love as the strongest vibration, music the second, combine the two magic is possible. So I fused the concept of Greek mythology and contemporary symbolism to express love being an ancient theme and a modern one. Also to acknowledge the divinity available thru music.I love symbolism and how it leads to origins.

How was the recording and writing process?

The writing and recording process was pretty extensive. Definitely an intense process. We recorded half of the record in LA and the other half in Canada. In between I had done two summer residencies in Basel Switzerland and been back and forth to Central America. I had to make sure to create good writing spaces and I was lucky i did. I’d say the majority of my writing happened in Switzerland. Plus my live sound was morphing into something more captivating. hat really enriched the process because I was very ready to have the songs fully realized. David Frantz and I have real chemistry in the studio. Honestly there is nothing rushed about this work. Nothing specifically constructed. My favourite times were tooling around venice beach and the fact I got friends from back in Halifax on this record.There was alot of laughing and discovery.

How has Pharrell and Outkast influence your writing?

Wow, well they both have the ability to take urban sounds and appeal to a pop audience. Neither are afraid to be unconventional, to stand out, to push the envelop. Yet the grooves are so steeped in Gospel, R&B,Funk and obviously Hip-Hop. Like them I definitely radiate those influences in this album.

What role does Church plays in your music?

My first public performances happened in church. However it was more the sounds that spilled out of my grandmothers record player that influenced me. A big fan of Mahalia Jackson and Big Mamma Thorpe we would spend Sundays listening to old 45’s. My mother is also an excellent singer and has lead her share of choirs in praise. It gave me a real sense of harmony and my interest in the piano.

What aspect of love did you get to explore on this material?

The aspect of love that I explored most is the celebration of it. The humanity, not just the fairytale fluttery feelings of it. How it can lift you up as much as it breaks you down. Mostly an up tempo grooved out affair, the album also offer some classic R&B moments with a modern twist.

Any plans to hit the road?

I think we are looking at tours in North America and Europe.

What else is happening next in Dammien Alexander’s world?

Right now I am working on my live presentation. Thinking about adding new tech to the sound and implement some electronic aspects to my acoustic sets. We are in pre-production for two new videos and have gotten into a couple of festivals so far. Things seem to be catching on.

Listen here



About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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