Aleksandir is a 24-year-old Istanbul based producer and DJ who lives between worlds. With parents from both Turkey and the UK, he grew up bouncing from one to another. The name “Aleksandir” is intended as a “mis-spelling” of his birth name, Alexander Lawrence. The name doesn’t exist in any culture–and it confuses people everywhere he goes.
“English people think I’m Turkish, likewise people in Istanbul think I’m English–to them “Aleksandir” reads like a foreign name”. None are wrong, but Aleksandir doesn’t see himself as from either destination.
Aleksandir blew up on the electronic music scene in 2018, when his track ‘Yamaha’ went viral on the internet overnight. DJs like Dixon and Tycho began playing it at some of the biggest festivals in the world, putting him on a global stage.
Aleksandir grew up in a musical household. His mother and older siblings play an array of instruments. “My brother was my musical idol, he turned me onto jazz, classical, and lots of rock music at an early age, which shaped my interests today”. Aleksandir played in a band when he was in high-school, but it wasn’t until much later when he discovered electronic music.
In 2014, Aleksandir attended University in Bath, UK to study Psychology. Alienated by the boozy student culture, he felt a little out of place there, but just 20 minutes away on the train was Bristol–a city bubbling with music and nightlife. Here Aleksandir began digging house and techno, becoming inspired to make music of his own. His first record ‘The Turtle Nipper’, a hand-stamped twelve-inch of sun-tinged dream house, was slipped out by beloved UK white label imprint, Blind Jacks Journey in 2016.
After seeing both Todd Terje and Floating Points perform at Club 2 Club Festival in Torino, he put his mind towards writing something on a level with the artists he admired the most. The result ‘Yamaha’, perhaps inspired by the latter, was released by London’s Tessellate in 2018. The track went viral, and established him as an international artist.
With its advanced arpeggios and deep percussion lines, ‘Yamaha’ has a transportive effect on the listener. Having racked almost six-million views on YouTube, the user comments on the page are filled with ecstatic similes, and gushing memories of late nights. It’s hard to believe that Aleksandir made it in his bedroom–over the course of a weekend.
Aleksandir’s international DJ debut–was a night to remember at the Hells Angels motorcycle club in Oslo. It’s safe to say a wild night ensued, which was a baptism of fire for a touring schedule with gigs in Australia, Canada and all over Europe in the past two years. Thanks to Housem (the YouTube channel which uploaded Yamaha) Paris remains his number one destination for fans of his perennial sound. The same year, he hit another milestone in releasing Contrails, his debut LP on Church.
Today Aleksandir runs his label Artesian Sounds alongside Emre Can Swim, as well as club night and radio show MİKS in Istanbul with his friend Supu. The aim of both of these is to celebrate the sounds that he loves, seen through a Turkish lens.
“Nobody in Turkey really listens to this kind of music. There’s not really a subculture, so we wanted to start making things happen for ourselves”.
Aleksandir’s forthcoming album Skin on Omena Records, is set to be his most defining career moment yet. The title derives from intimacy around a break-up, the aftermath and the blossoming of something new. In his own words, “I started writing Skin having lost something very important in my life, but found myself in a whole new chapter of my life by the time it was done. It’s about affection and touch, or lack thereof. More than anything it’s a snapshot of the past year of my life, full of recordings of my friends and loved ones, moments of intimacy, drunken conversations and laughter.”
Both musically and conceptually it’s his most ambitious work to date, and maybe the first project that feels like a true piece of himself. Half of the tracks are uplifting–the other half dark–with a more serious tone than we’ve seen from Aleksandir before. For the first time, the artist has included his own vocals on tracks, adding framework to the album.
‘Prado’ is the most club-friendly tune on the record, being the only track with a 4×4 baseline. The more subdued ‘Calvert’ is a breakup tune, maybe the true root of the album, conceived in the early days of it’s writing.
“Within the context of Covid-19, I think Skin ended up having another meaning. You know, no one has touched each other for like, six months to a year now.”
Aleksandir has shed a couple of layers of his own skin during the writing process, and has come out the other like never before.
Skin will be released on 4th December 2020 via Omena Records.
Omena release Aleksandir's most ambitious album to date. Ahead of the record's full release in December, the first single "I Used to Dream" released on the 6th of November 2020. Featuring a…Read More