A brief conversation with man of mystery and mystic music maker, Alxndr London

Daft Punk, SBTRKT, The Knife, Deadmau5, Burial, Gorillaz, DJ Invisible. Music’s lineage of identity-disguising musicians is long and alluring. Even Kanye West has been known to replace his ubiquitous image with that of a teddy bear from time to time. Whether an attempt to keep the focus on the music, or swerve celebrity status, it’s always a bold move. And in this moment of social media selfie overload, it feels refreshing when someone who deserves the spotlight, shies away from it. Enter up and coming singer / songwriter Alxndr London. While he doesn’t go as far as donning a mask or costume, his big hats and enigmatic public persona achieves an air of mystery in keeping with his hazy sonic output.

Alxndr London’s sound is simultaneously ancient and new; down to earth yet out of this world; minimal while infused with oh so many layers of goodness spanning garage, jazz, electronica, funk and gospel. It’s the kind of woozy music that demands intense listening and rewards you with a fuzzy glow on the inside. Having garnered early praise from Annie Mac for his first outing a year ago, he’s failed to dodge the growing interest ever since and has recently released his debut EP, A Long Time Ago. Its tracks take you on a sonic journey past celestial planets (Jupiter And Pluto), through intoxicating love (Harrison), around dungeons and dragons (Shuffle), and right into Alxndr London’s spread wings. Nataal tracked the elusive east Londoner down for a short, sweet chat…

How has 2016 been for you?
It's been wicked. The debut EP, live performances, features, radio, airports, studio. A few complaints. Zero regrets. All is well.

What moods and messages do you hope to deliver with A Long Time Ago?
It is a pilgrimage chequered with despair and misery. A quest for answers. A bitter pill. The spawn of fear. A portrayal of things as they were, once upon a time. I shut the door to that episode the day I chose freedom. Close your eyes. Open your mind. Come with me. I would tell you so much more but I don't play the violin.

Where do your dreams take you when the lights go down?
I don't actually remember my dreams or nightmares. To be honest mate, with the imagination I possess, it's probably for the best.

Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
Where do I begin? Amy is babes. Michael is babes too. Lauryn is babes three. Stevie. Fleetwood. Ray. Etta. George Clinton. Proper pukka.

Do you identify with the Afrofuturist movement?
1,000,000 per cent. Not only am I from the future, I'm also African. I believe these are just some of the qualities that affirm me.

Why so mysterious?
It's important to be me. I've only ever shown you me. I pray that never changes.

Let’s talk style.
I'm into hats. I'm a travelling man, see?

Describe the Alxndr London live experience.
It’s intimate with a bluesy-jazz lounge vibes, lots of laughter and banter, good times and even better memories. It features the best band in the world: Harrison, JP, Sarah, Morgan, Idriis and Jobey.

Have you had any moments when a fan has expressed to you how your music has touched them?
Always. I can touch you too, if you want me to...

What does 2017 hold for you?
Only God knows.