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Feature: Lexer [Interview + Podcast]

22 min read

Lexer is a young man from the eastern part of Germany. It`s very tough to present his music in his home area. It´s a new style of deep and melancholic pop music and everyone is touched by his special way to produce and play this music. He is from a new generation of DJ´s who grow up with soundcloud, facebook and youtube. Alex aka Lexer is moving very fast and so it´s right to say: he is heading for a great future.

Hi Alex, thanks for joining us, how are you today? and what are your plans for this week?

Hey, thank you. It was a week full of studio time, my weekend starts this friday in Berlin and saturday SonneMondSterne Festival.

What music from your youth had the biggest affect on where you are today? Are there certain tracks or albums which profoundly influenced you?

Good question! Queen has influenced me a lot, but also lots of classical music like mozart or vivaldi.

Classical music was a big part of my album, because i like the melody in music, it's something you can play and people close the eyes and enjoy the moment, wich is unforgetable.

Tell us about Germany, how has living there shaped your sound and career?

When i started djing i started to play in small cities and participated in dj contests. Many people laughed at me during school time, and i got no credit or respect for what i was doing. That motivated me to work even harder so i did! I manged to sing and release some of my music, and as time passed by there was more and more relases out. It was very hard to succed because i came from a small town with only 10k people. It was only possible with the WWW. Also my dayjob didn't help either but Yes, there was ups and downs but in the end of the day hard work pays off!

You're relatively young we would guess as your bio states you come from the generation of DJs who grew up with Soundcloud, Facebook and Youtube, so just curious do you own any vinyl and if so, what was the first and last record you bought?

Haha, young is good ;) I feel with my 29 years old, but yes compared to other I’m from the young generation, and when I started making music, it was already usb stick time. BUT! I have some vinyls, first one was „Swayzak - State of Grace“ from  Kompakt - timeless track. Last one i got few weeks ago „Swoop - Superlicious (Funk D'void Remix)“, that’s a club banger :)

There's an understated yet anthemic quality to your productions, is this something you strive for and where does your inspiration come from?

My inspiration is Hans Zimmer. What he does is huge. It's not only movie music, it's proper art. So my goal is to produce music, that people will not forget and what they can listen to in 50 years. There is so many music this days and you listen to it for 3 months or like a half year and get bored of it. But to create something timeless is what i strive for, something that you could be able to show to your kids to!

Your productions have always been very musical as well, how important is it for aspiring artists to study music theory in today’s landscape of electronic music?

It's very important. I never learned to play instruments but if i ever have children, I would raise them musically. Music will never die.

What do you want your music to convey to the listener and has that changed in the last few years?

It should make people happy, connect people, it should impart feelings of every kind. Many people write me messages, that my music helped them in difficult times, or that my music has helped them to defeat the cancer... When i read this kind of messages it makes me the happiest musician. My music is now harder then years ago, but it's still melodic and my latest release „Felina“ is the typical new Lexer sound. The feedback of this EP was huge.

How much of an influence is music outside of electronic spectrum?

A lot, i watch movies because im interesteng in hearing musical compositions. When I see a new movie with Hans Zimmer, I am happy as a little child. I listen music before my football games to go in my tunnel, to concentrate. Music is everything for me. In 90% of all life situations.

Your best selling track over the last year has been ‘Hideout’ on Einmusika, can you walk us through the production process on that one?

It was a normal studio day, i had a good groove, then i put some chords on the keyboard, and i have this special melody for a good huge break. Then there came the point where i was missing a vocal, but not to much of it, only for the melody in the break. I send it to my management, and they said yes we have a singer for that! 1 week later, the track was finished. That was perfect teamwork. Samuel was in love with this one, and I’m happy with this release!

Let’s talk about your creative process. How does a project start for you? Do they usually start with either a melodic idea or solid drum loop? And how much live play is involved in helping refine a track before you’re content with it?

I start with a good drum loop, and that can take time. Then the next step is to find a main melody. If i find a good one, the rest comes easily for me. Most of my tracks are made in 1-2 days. And usualy im happy with my tracks. Then i test my ideas at the gigs, and see reaction of the crowd and if i feel like it needs some changes then i go back to studio and maybe do some changes. And that’s it.

Your sound does vary from project to project which is quite exciting, it’s sometimes deeper but can also move closer to a poppier sound which you release on Spinnin for example. The one constant is a very clean, dynamic sound which relies heavily on detail and a distinct emotive theme. How do you accomplish this so consistently on every release and what are your go to tools in the studio?

In my first 4 years, when i started making music, the music was more poppy. In the last 2 years its more dynamic, more groove, more synth. How do i  accomplish this so consistently on every release, is a good question. Honestly i don’t know haha, i go in my studio and do my thing, i know many producers they work months on a track - i can’t to that. Spending time to long on a idea, that’s not me. Maybe that's my strength! I have hundreds of ideas on my hard drive, and maybe there are 2-3 ideas that i might go back to, but usualy the ideas i dont finish are the ones that will be trapped on my hard drive forever! :)

What was the first synth you bought and is it still with you today?

Kontakt library of native instruments and the aturia bundle. For me the 2 best and main synths. I also use them today :)

Looking back over your discography can you pinpoint a track that really set things in motion for you and if so why?

„Red Puddle“, for me my most timeless track. I was finishing this track in my studio and i showed it to my friend Paji, and he was speechless, but he said, let me play some strings on it. After that the track was more lively. He give the track the final touch. The original played string together with the small female vocal gives so many emotions. Perfect festival track.

Which one of your very first tracks that still puts a smile on your face when you listen to it now, and why? And could you still play it?

„Red Balloon“. I Can’t play it anymore, because it doesn’t fit with my sound today. The track is 6 Years old, it was released in 2013. It was the first track i played on the fusion festival. I played there 6-8 in the morning, the sun was rising. People stayed on dance floor, holding hands i saw some people with tears in eyes (hope because they liked my music) :))

The first track of a set is important, especially on such festival. So this track many many people will never forget. Also for me in this was a very special moment.

You’ve performed all over the world, what gigs hold the fondest memories for you looking back on everything?

Years ago i played on a boat on the Hudson river in New York. My set time was 19-22- during the sundown. To play when the sun goes down is special, and that time i played in front of the skyline of Manhattan and on the other side was the state of liberty. The sky was violet/red. I had Goosebumps all over my body. This is something I will never forget – a perfect first time in NY. Now it's my favorite city!

What country would you love to play in that haven’t had a chance to yet and why?

Why is a good question haha. Maybe because of no request yet! ;) There are too much countries i still want to experiance and play in! Because i want to play everywhere at least once!

You’ve recorded the latest episode of our podcast which we’re quite enjoying, tell us a bit about the mix.

The podcast is exclusive Progressive Astronaut -  it's a studio recording and it includes some upcoming tracks of mine and also some tracks from my friends, some are released and some are yet to be released in next weeks!

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