The singer, songwriter and producer on his new single, IDK You Yet, and finding a creative rhythm mid-isolation
I’d like to believe there’s a perfect entry point to every artist’s discography. For K-pop group SHINee, for instance, I’d nominate their debut track Replay (a tried and tested way to make nearly anyone love them) or View, which might just be the perfect glimpse into the kind of sound they’ve made their own. For pop songstress Carly Rae Jepsen, I’ve recently learned that a banger like This Love Isn’t Crazy is more likely to prompt an exploration than something like Call Me Maybe. For breakthrough artist Alexander 23, that impeccable gateway to his sound takes shape in his latest single, IDK You Yet.
Alexander 23 hails from the same label as global sensations like Lady Gaga and Selena Gomez, but that’s hardly the most interesting thing about him. A singer, songwriter and producer packaged into one instrument-wielding showpiece, he only just started writing his own music at age 23 (hence the stage name) but already has a number of milestones to show for himself. He rakes in over 5 million monthly listeners on Spotify. Dirty AF1s climbed its way up global charts for hot new songs in 2019. IDK You Yet, his latest self-produced hit, charted fifth in the country’s Viral 50 playlist and is the track that is truest to him and his sound thus far.
“I think IDK You Yet probably [describes me] the best just because it’s so vulnerable and so honest and specific,” shares Alexander, dialing into our Zoom interview from half the world away in his Los Angeles home. “I think that’s why the people like it, because they can relate to the vulnerability, and then they can apply it to however it fits within their lives.” Perhaps that’s exactly what his fans love about his music: the plain-spokenness of it all. With lyrics like “How can you miss someone you’ve never met? ‘Cause I need you now but I don’t know you yet,” IDK You Yet is genuine and lovelorn and a little confused—and in these strange times, aren’t we all?
Like any artist in isolation, Alexander 23 can attest to the fact that staying creative while locked down is a task easier said than done. Despite the challenge, he overcame, taking a moment between cooking, learning random trivia and sending out tweets we can all relate to in order to pen IDK You Yet after a bad day. On creating under quarantine, Alexander 23 says, “I think it definitely is important, because this is not forever. It’s important to keep making art and tangible things that can exist outside quarantine, because we’re going to need it when we get out. We’re gonna need our artists and our creativity just as much as we did before, if not more.”
i wrote “idk you yet” exactly 2 months ago after having a bad day. thank you guys for listening, sharing, and changing my life. cant believe its on todays top hits with some of my favorite artists @Spotify ? https://t.co/yTlOnajdwY pic.twitter.com/KUnUfYv93K
— Alexander 23 (@alexander23lol) May 26, 2020
Make your way through Alexander 23’s discography, starting here. Stream IDK You Yet on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, YouTube Music or your platform of choice, and watch the music video directed by Chris Ullens on YouTube.
Special thanks to Universal Music Group PH
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver