Aidan Alexander's impressive talents extend far beyond any singular medium. From acting, amassing an avid following on every social media platform that's worth using, to now, music, the 20-year-old is the reason why the term crossover success was invented in the first place. However, upon hearing Alexander's music for the first time, it is difficult to see him as anything but a genuine musical talent. With only three singles to his name to date, "I Don't Love You," "Yours," and "melancholia," Alexander poignantly touches on themes surrounding love with delicately painted brushstrokes of lush atmospheric pop.
Currently working towards his highly-anticipated debut EP, we had the chance to sit down with Alexander to discuss his transition to music, but it was in our moments of spirited digression that I came to discover a new side of the rising talent. It is a side defined by a delightfully sarcastic demeanor, love for his Aquarian nature, an abnormally-started friendship with Billie Eilish, a desire to use his social media platform the greater good, and so much more.
OTW: It's been a few years since you moved, but how has the transition been from Idaho to Los Angeles?
Aidan: It was a culture shock. My mom used to live in New York for a long time. So, growing up, I used to spend a lot of time in New York as well. Luckily, I got to experience more prior to going to LA. You know? I had a little bit of a cushioning. But I loved it. I loved the commotion. I love the chaos. There's a lot of inspiration all around me. There's a lot in Idaho, as well, but it's a different kind.
OTW: So what made you choose LA over New York?
Aidan: I came to LA for acting. LA, I think is a little bit better for acting than New York. Also, I need space and I don't know if I could do a 500 square foot apartment for like $4500. Maybe one day. I was telling my friends I would love to spend a year in New York. And then I have dual citizenship in Europe so then maybe after that I would just jet away. Out of here. Always just going east.
OTW: In a past interview, you said you were either too busy or too scared to pursue music. What is it about now that made you finally pursue it?
Aidan: I don't think I was ever too busy. I think I was just being a little bitch about it. I think I'm just a perfectionist. You know, it's my nature. I'm just very, very meticulous with details. So I really wanted it to be perfect. And that's probably why I would say it took a little bit. But now that I kind of ripped the band-aid off, I'm like, "Let's get it." You know?
OTW: What was the immediate feeling like after releasing "I Don't Love You?"
Aidan: I was just very happy. It's cool to have people finally hear what I’ve been listening for months. It’s cool to have them finally get it. You know? There's more to reference. I can finally be, like, "This was really cool when I was in the studio working on this." It's another thing to talk about.
OTW: So speaking on being meticulous, does that have to do with your Aquarius nature?
Aidan: I don't know if being meticulous about detail is an Aquarius thing. I just know that "I Don't Love You" is an Aquarius thing. The first single. That's very much my Aquarian nature. Yeah, I don't know if that's my zodiac sign coming into play or not. It might be. It probably is. Either that or just my flat personality. One of the two.
OTW: On the topic of stars, do you know your whole chart?
Aidan: I know that my sun is a Gemini, which is really spooky. I'm a crazy person. I think my mars is a Leo. That's all I know.
OTW: You don't know your moon?
Aidan: I don't know my moon. Let me check. I have it on my phone. It's gonna bother me really bad. Let me pull up my chart.
OTW: Yeah, I'm a Gemini moon, so…
Aidan: Gemini moon, huh? What is moon? Is moon your emotion?
OTW: Believe moon is your emotion, which I hear it isn't too great to be a Gemini.
Aidan: My sun is how I'm perceived which is a Gemini. I'm like, that sucks [still looking for his moon sign]. Sorry, just give me one second. It's gonna bother me so bad. Ooh! There we go! I found her! I got her. Oh, hold on. I spoke too soon. Oh actually, I might have just gotten it. Okay. That's pretty lit.
OTW: Whoomp, there it is.
Aidan: Okay, so, my Moon is in Leo. My Mercury is in Pisces. My Venus is Capricorn. My Mars is in Aries. Jupiter and Saturn are in Taurus. Uranus and Neptune are in Aquarius. Pluto and Lilith…I don't even know, these just sound made up now…are Sagittarius. Sun is Gemini. So yeah, we didn't learn too much.
OTW: We got your full birth chart though. That's what really matters.
Aidan: I can't wait to be picked apart by everyone who now has my natal chart.
OTW: So, both "Yours" and "I Don't Love You" tackle love in very different ways. So is love a major part of your songwriting process right now? Or does it just happen to be present in the first few singles?
Aidan: No, love is just a major part of my life. I love love. Not even so much, like, romantic love. Whether it's platonic love or self-love or kind of just like emanating love outward, you know? I'm a big believer in love. I think it's romantic and it's pretty. So, there's a lot of things you can write that pertain to love and they can be totally different. But, you know. It's all like one wheelhouse. Having said that, my love life is a joke [laughs]. So, I write about that a lot. Just because it's something that matters to me. So it's something I write about. I also write a lot about stuff that doesn't necessarily pertain to love. A lot of it is going to be on the new EP. But no, I think that love is a big part of everything.
OTW: Is there anything you can tell us about the forthcoming EP?
Aidan: The single "Melancholia," which is a poem I wrote when I was younger. I just thought it was really pretty and I wrote it. I kind of transplanted it into musical form. That is going to be on the EP as well as what's already out and a few new records which I think are really cool. There's a lot of different sounds, you know. I try to pull inspiration from a lot of different kinds of music that I liked. I'm not a big fan of when every track on a record is the exact same or sounds similar. I kind of like having a wide array. So that was something I wanted to focus on.
OTW: So speaking on your vast influences that range the gamut of Robyn, Fleetwood Mac, and Billie Holiday, was that something you grew up with in your household or something that you sought out later on?
Aidan: Yeah, I remember my mom used to always sing "Blue Moon" around the house and "Good Morning Heartache" by Billie Holiday. And I used to love jazz growing up. I thought it was really pretty, so I would always sing "All of Me" by Frank Sinatra. I performed at a cafe once when I was really young. I loved the lyricism to it. I loved how poetic it was. Just cause back then you had to stand out more to be popular. There weren't all the gimmicks that we have now. A big part of my creative process is making sure there's a lot of focus on the lyrics. When I say that my inspirations were, like, Fleetwood Mac, people would say, "Okay, well you're not singing folk music on a guitar." But it's very much like…you can draw inspiration apart from just the sound, you know? There's the thematic content.
OTW: Has your social media popularity affected how you document your day to day life?
Aidan: You know, when I first started doing social media, I was the textbook definition of that little child running around a mall with his Snapchat out. Just cause that's what I saw online. That's everything that was out there. Everyone has that phase when you're young, when you’re just the absolute worst to yourself. I might still be in that phase. I'm not really sure [laughs]. I really just stray away from all that now. It's so not me. And I've already done it, so I know that it isn’t me. It's really only affected me in the sense that I will post a song I'm listening to and be like "Oh, actually, maybe someone will listen to this." If I had 200 followers, I would probably never post a screenshot of music I was listening to. I know that's a weird example but that's something that I think about a lot.
I think I use Instagram like a normal college student, which is not good. I should probably be more professional on my Instagram. It definitely gives me a level of responsibility, you know? Cause you have a platform. You have a voice. And you have certain responsibilities. Apart from that, I think that if anything, it just gives me more people to talk to.
OTW: On the subject of using your platform, you recently did a PSA tackling the "arming teachers" argument.
Aidan: Oh! Yes, I did! Oh, I haven't even talked about that yet. It was a really really cool PSA. My manager sent me the script, and I felt really passionate about it. I'm from Idaho where guns are very easily accessible. And I hate guns. I think guns are so scary. I'm very squeamish around guns. It was so comical, the whole "arming the teachers" thing. It was like, we're doing everything except actually tackling the problem. I just thought it was so ridiculous. I saw the short as just a way to bring more attention to it in a way that wasn’t too dark but still was very serious.
OTW: As an artist with a platform, is being politically and socially outspoken personally important to you?
Aidan: Personally, yeah. I just think I owe it to the greater good. Maybe that's my Aquarian nature. I just think it’s kind of a waste if you have people listening. I feel like you should be saying something that's worthy to be listened to. I think it’s like in Spiderman, "With great power comes great responsibility." You have such a chance to shed light on things that the average person doesn't necessarily have the platform to speak on. So I think that it's a bit of a waste of an opportunity if you don't.
OTW: You mentioned posting songs that you listen to. I heard that the recent Billie Eilish song made you cry.
Aidan: Whew! Yeah. I Snapchatted her last night. I was like videoing on Snapchat and it keeps going and it was like literally recording for like 10 minutes. And it was me. It was like a 45-minute long video of me just sobbing to "when the party's over." I sent it to her and I got a notification this morning that she screen recorded the entire thing. Yeah, so I don't even know if that was the answer to your question.
OTW: No, that was great. So how did you two first become acquainted?
Aidan: It's funny because I think that she DM'd me something like, "Let's be friends!" or something and I was like, "Oh my god you're kidding. Of course!" And this was when "bellyache" was pretty much all she had out. I remember I sent her a photo of someone covered in beans. I don't know why. It was super weird. And then I went to one of her concerts and then we just started hanging out. I can't remember all the specifics. But I know that it was a very odd beginning
OTW: Just something involving beans.
Aidan: I know! I think she sent me the beans photo. So I sent it back, I think is what happened, if I recall correctly.
OTW: You've done acting, you're killing the social media game, and are now venturing into music. Are there any other artistic ventures you hope to pursue in the future?
Aidan: You know, I love writing. I write screenplays and songs, so writing is very present in my acting and my music. I write essays a lot. Not essays that are argumentative school essays or something. Sometimes I feel like I'm not poetic enough to say what I'm really trying to say in a stanza of six lines. I just feel like I’m not good enough. So essays give me a big platform to spew and by the end, I think you'd somewhat know what I'm trying to say. I'd love to do an essay book or something. I already have a ton. I also wrote an entire poetry book and I was hesitant about releasing it, but maybe one day I'll put that out. Who knows? And I love to direct as well. I'm a terrible dancer but at my gym, there are dance classes and me and my friends do that every Monday. So maybe in the near future, I will also be a talented dancer.
OTW: Who are your Ones To Watch?
Aidan: Ooh, okay. I just found a girl on Spotify today, GIRLI. She's so So badass. I like her song "Young" and "Day Month Second." I also love bülow right now. She has a really good song called "You and Jennifer." Obviously, I'm always watching Lorde. Always. Always. I think that's it. Those are the ones I'm watching right now. Oh and also La Femme. It's like a little French electro band.
OTW: Before you leave, describe yourself with one Vine.
Aidan: Oh, mother of God. Let me think. I have to make this good. I’m going back and forth between two. Because I act tough but I'm really a baby, I think it would be the one where the girl goes "It's the fourth of July. Imma pop these firecrackers don't pop em on me. Where the police at?" and the mom goes "There's a police right there" and she gasps. That's my favorite one.
Or the one where he looks at a crayon or something and the sister goes "Is that a weed?" and then she calls 911. That's funny. Ooh, or the one of the guy dancing to uh…you remember in American Horror Story where he's like "You're all I want! You're all I need!" and he's like screaming?
There's a video where a boy is dancing and he dubs that over to him dancing so it's him dancing to screams and it's pretty good. That's probably me too. That's my internal struggle. Just link all of those.