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When I asked 17-year-old Atlanta born singer/songwriter/producer Adam Alexander to tell me a little more about himself and the music he makes under the name Demo Taped, one of the first things he mentioned was, “Though you might not be able to tell from my music, I suffer from depression, which has has taken me to dark places.”

Turning negative to positive is a theme deeply embedded in art, and it’s something this young creator has already fully embraced. “I’ve set my sights on spreading love and good vibes through my music,” he says. “I want to be able to put a smile on someone’s face, or to make someone dance. I want to have an audience that I can spread my love to.”

His debut EP features three songs. “I have centered my sound around upbeat rhythms, soft vocals, and synth melodies that combine with dreamy, electronic R&B textures,” he says of this project. “My work has also been inspired by Jai Paul, Spazzkid, Flying Lotus, Daedelus, Nosaj Thing, Baths, and Tokimonsta.”

“I Luv U” is the lead single. “It’s about love, obviously,” Adam says. “More specifically, it is about having someone’s back and letting them know that no matter how difficult the trials are, you are always there for them and will do whatever it takes to help them. I wrote this song for the one I love and she knows who she is.”

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You mentioned suffering from depression. For a lot of people, that means making sad music. You don’t make sad music. Can you explain that?
My depression is a big part of me, and I’ve recently come to terms with this. I have made a lot of unreleased sad music, however, this EP is dedicated to “Her.” She is someone who has entered my life and genuinely made things better. She’s my muse and I love her so much. The whole album is about her and the goal of the EP is to give listeners a small taste of what it feels like to love her. That’s why there’s nothing sad in this EP. She makes me happy.

When did you start making music?
I started making music when I was in either 5th or 6th grade. I had dreams of starting this band with my closest friends which inspired me to write a few songs. I’ve been making music ever since I can really remember, but 5th or 6th grade is the timeframe in which I have definitive proof that I began creating.

How did you learn how to produce?
I learned how to produce mainly by teaching myself. I learned basic skills of production by different tutorials, but my practice has been through trial and error. Also, a lot of listening was involved. I listen to everyone I can; every genre has its own unique layout of songs.

You’re going to get a lot of Jai Paul comparisons. You OK with that?
I have been getting a lot of Jai Paul comparisons and I am humbled by this, because as a producer, I respect his style. However, my major innovative influence is Flying Lotus. He’s THE producer in my eyes. He’s THE artist. But I do find the mystery behind Jai Paul and his releases compelling.

Most of your influences you listed are current artists. Do you listen to old music?
I am rooted in old music. My father is my main inspiration. I look up to him most as a musician. He’s truly, along with the amazing assistance from my mother, helped shape me as a person and a musician. My dad would play me Earth Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield, Parliament, Funkadelic, and all these soulful, powerful groups as a child. He also introduced me to jazz at a young age in addition to too many other genres to name.

It feels like, over the past few years, there has been a shift toward positivity. And part of it seems to be embracing sadness. Like, you have the Sad Boys movement, you have Based God, you have all these people who seem to be more accepting of being open about their emotions. What has your experience been like? Have you been able to be open about how you’re feeling? Do you talk about it, or is it something you get out with your music?
Regarding my feelings, I feel an importance to being open with my emotions and feelings. Society, in my mind, has raised many flaws in regards to young men and their emotions. We raise boys, telling them to “man up” or “act tough.” Then they grow up, burying their emotions. Once that hole filled with emotion is full, problems arise. As boys, we’re not taught to be open about our feelings, and I don’t believe in this. I love sharing my feelings with those who are open to receiving them; I don’t see a need to hide anything. I think it’s my responsibility as a human being to express my emotions, for the good of myself and for others.

Where do you want to be in five years?
In five years, I want to be on tour as Demo Taped. I want to be even better. I want to get a bachelor’s degree in film direction in college, and I want to be able to balance the creation of films with my creation of music. I want to find a way to create harmony between these two mediums. Currently, I feel my vision is blended best in music videos of my own production.


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