• Maia Joy

Alexander 23: "Introspection on the Circuitous Nature of Finding, Losing, and Resolving Love"

At eight years old, Alexander Glantz picked up his father’s guitar for the first time in their family home in Deerfield, IL and hated it. But a year later, he began studying with a private teacher and discovered he actually loved nothing more; he began writing his own songs at age 12 and playing packed bar gigs at only 17. Since then, Glantz’s musical career has grown far beyond the suburbs of Chicago--now better known now as Alexander 23, he has become one of the most vibrant and unique voices in alternative pop music.

In the early stages of his career, Alexander’s family blessed him with endless support--from his parents chaperoning his 21+ performances as a high schooler, to his grandparents attending his Lollapalooza show, he feels that he “won the parent lottery.” Intelligent both musically and academically from a young age, the former rocket-science major left the University of Pennsylvania after his first year to pursue music production. He moved to Los Angeles and decided shortly thereafter to make his own music, using his birthday (the 23rd of the month) as his stage name. “I didn’t want to be, like, ‘Lil IceBaby,’” he laughs. “If people were coming up to me after shows, I wanted them to call me Alexander.”

Alexander’s new EP Oh No, Not Again! features singles such as “Cry Over Boys” and the TikTok phenomenon “IDK You Yet.” Structurally, each track tells its own part of the story--all while breathing with its own voice independent of the album itself. This is due to the fact that the album happened by accident, as Alexander revealed; he had no intention of creating a larger project at first but decided to compile several tracks after noticing a thematic trend between them. “It was a fun challenge putting [the EP] together,” he shares. He describes the EP as being “Why am I like this?” in nature, featuring introspection on the circuitous nature of finding, losing, and resolving love.

“I just chose violence!” Alexander laughs as he shares his writing process for “Cry Over Boys,” a single from the album released on January 27. The single provides an outsider’s perspective of a girl who has caught the singer’s attention crying over other boys. In many ways, he found himself in the lyrics as he wrote them. “I felt like I was calling myself out as much as I was calling everyone else out--I wouldn’t do anything to you guys that I wouldn’t do to myself.”

And his lyrics never disappoint. He shares that he “definitely spends the most time on lyrics out of anything in the process,” although he takes every aspect of music production into consideration for his tracks. “I’m just kind of a control freak,” he says. “I learned how to do it because I was sick of trying to rely on other people to make my dreams come true.” This extensive handcrafting has resulted in an entirely unique sound with a diverse range of ability, all of which are showcased throughout the EP.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has put touring on hold for the foreseeable future, Alexander expresses that “losing the autonomy to [write the way I usually do] made it a lot harder.” For him, touring provides a break from the songwriting process and offers a “reset perspective” for his writing. “Touring in general gives you a nice healthy perspective on things that are happening in the rest of the country. It’s very contextualizing of things I might not think by default.” However, he is happy that the EP came about as a silver lining of the pandemic. It gave him an opportunity to “find his next wave of sound,” as well as to contemplate several past experiences. Now that he’s done, he says, “I just feel happy, and I don’t need to do anything about it.”

In the meantime, Alexander will keep making music, leaning into his own sound, and indulging in his favorite pastimes. “No one asked me about basketball today; that’s pretty disappointing. I guess I’ll just keep on training.”

Alexander 23’s EP, “Oh No, Not Again!” released on February 19, 2021. His music can be found on all streaming platforms, as well as the Ogma Spotify.