We caught up with the 20-something-year old amidst the craziness of this year's SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas for a quick chat.
Atlanta native Demo Taped (aka Adam Alexander) is known for his sunny disposition and positive attitude, effervescent electronic soul sound, and distinctive visual style.
From recording music in his grandfather's church, to spreading daily messages of love and kindness on his social media, the producer and multi-instrumentalist has had us mesmerised since he dropped his 2015 debut, Heart EP on SoundCloud. Since then he has collaborated with Goldlink on Polarized (sharing album credits with Masego and Anderson Paak), been covered by major music publications including Pigeons and Planes, Billboard, and The Fader, was released by esteemed label 300 Entertainment, toured with NAO and Wet - and the list goes on.
RKCB X Demo Taped - Open Arms
Why do you make music?
I make music because I love it. I’m drawn to it. I believe in its power.
What is the first instrument you played, and how did you learn it?
I played piano first. I was around 4 years old when I started playing. I took lessons—my piano teacher is actually the person that discovered I could sing.
Name the most unlikely musical influence you have
I’d say MF DOOM. I love the production and drums in his work.
If you were to give up your music career for one thing, what would it be?
Once Upon A Time in Shaoli—the lost Wu-Tang Clan record.
Your success came off the back of your debut EP, which you released on SoundCloud in 2015. What do you think it means to have become known in the age of the “SoundCloud producer”?
I think it was just a lot of very creative people thinking outside of the box. There were no boundaries when it came to sound exploration.
Excellence in music is a wide, and many faceted idea. In which ways do you strive for excellence in your own music, and how do you measure “success”?
I really look forward to live shows. I love interacting with people that enjoy what I do, and seeing reactions to my music is truly special. I guess I measure my success in smiles.
Demo Taped - Pack Of Gum (Music video)
Directed by Shy Kids
We invited you along to our SXSW showcase, and I can imagine you played a fair few others. What are your takeaways from SXSW?
There was an incredible energy there that just with everyone I came across. It was just a positive, creative energy everywhere I went.
Do you have any phobias?
Sometimes I’m really Agoraphobic.
I saw in a recent interview that you wanted to be a filmmaker and you wrote scripts. Do you think you will ever share one with the world? Or… share a little bit about your favourite one with us maybe?
(Laughs) I still do write screenplays and short things for fun. I have one I’m kinda workshopping about the origins of Demo Taped. It’s really surrealist and over the top.
Last but not least: which artists or groups would you love to collaborate with?
I’d love to work with Standing On the Corner, KAYTRANADA, working with George Clinton would be incredible. Umm Thundercat, Frank Ocean, Kali Uchis, Janelle Monáe. There are a lot (laughs).
I really dig Paella. It blows my mind every time.
2. Holiday destination
Amsterdam. I’ve never been on vacation but I passed thru for a tour and spent a few days there. It was beautiful.
3. Instagram account
4. Item or brand
San Pellegrino (glass bottles) I like everything about it down to the design (laughs).
One hundred years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez. Magic Realism!
Tyler Mitchell. I love how he photographs people. A lot of personality comes across. He’s also such a nice guy.
It’s a tie between Lost In Translation and Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying And Love the Bomb.
It’s old but “Look at all those chickens” still brings me joy.
I need to get up on my Podcast game! I usually find a good one at the start of a tour.
10. Cartoon Character