interview: atlanta’s own demo taped dishes on cathartic music-making process and touring across the pound

May 12, 2016

Early 2015 Adam Alexander aka Demo Taped released his debut ep Heart. What followed was a tribute to the power of; individuality, creativity and of course the power of ‘internet fever’ to catapult; ideas, movements and (in this case) an artist into the global musical landscape. Minus the influence of some big label or some influential PR agency, Demo Taped has achieved what many artists hanker for with all the vigor of a serious crack addict ‘just one rock please, please’-it was a project that captured people entirely.

The ep deserved every ounce of those superlatives lavished upon its three niceness; produced, mixed and mastered in his bedroom, Heart detailed with a great deal of intimacy (and maturity)Demo’s feelings post a traumatic break. Trauma aside it was an ep that managed to capture that pure, powerful and undiluted love and leave you feeling paradoxically positive-a triumph.

Off the back of that ep Demo received a call from none other than the ‘hot right now’ artist Nao to support her on with a UK tour.

Yours truly caught up with Demo in London post his brilliant performance at Village Underground to talk about his; musical beginnings, his fresh new single, the glowing Game On and of course that all important question-is there any chance he could get back with the girl who broke his heart?

By itchysilk, AFROPUNK contributor *

So firstly I checked out your twitter feed, everyone said you really enjoyed your performance.
Demo Taped: The show was great I had such a good time as I always do-I love playing for people. I did not realise that Village Underground was such a big room-when I told people where I was playing they were telling me the vibe would be good but no one told me it would be such a big room so when I saw it I was like ‘wow’.

And of course supporting Nao that must have been great.

DT: Nao is the sweetest person and it was really great to work alongside of her. I have been a fan of hers for such a long time and it was great news to get the call that they wanted me to open for her-it’s been such a great learning experience.

So let’s get a little background on your musical journey-tell me more.
DT: I have been a musician for a long time. My parents encouraged me to take piano lessons at the age of four and I continued practicing for many years. Playing electronic music however that started basically in 2015 and it was in February when I released the ep Heart-it was crazy.

Did you always want to get into music?
DT: Well I actually wanted to be a film maker, before all of this music stuff happened. I was on track to go to film school but my parents kept on at me to make a go of a career in music and of course I eventually did and I have just embraced it.

Heart is an emotionally charged ep.
DT: Yes I mean that ep came about at a time when I was in a really depressed state, a really low place. No one really knew I was making this ep apart from a few friends. The funny thing is that I did not think it would do anything-I did not expect anything from it. I was just going to put it out then continue on the way to film school but it took off and I am so blessed.

The ep really explores with a great deal of candour your emotions within a ‘relationship.’
DT: It was a really difficult time for me and things did not go well-I was floored by it and I did not know what to do. The ep is a collection of love songs but there is of course pain but from that pain I was able to create something that seemed to resonate with people.

So Game On your new single follows on I expect from all of that time.
DT: It’s a track about my struggle with depression and anxiety and it is about saying Game On with these things and not just trying to live with it but actually trying to battle these afflictions. I am really good now but at the time it was indescribable how I felt and I was bogged down with the relationship and in my life generally and a lot of things were bringing me down.

Game On and other tracks; are they cathartic?
DT: I wrote Game On a long time after I was ok so it was a reflection on that time but if I had written at the time it would probably have actually helped me through that time and it would have been a great release of all that emotion. Looking back it’s tough to write a song about all of those emotions but it helps my process and it helps me to create a greater track.

And talking about creating tracks-how do you sometimes approach the process?
DT: Sometimes I just start with some chords and drums and then take time to lay down some harmonies because I do a lot of vocal swells in my music and then I will lay down some bass. Then I will try and flush out the whole track and get it all mapped out and try and get the melodies cemented. Sometimes I do not get melodies for a track for a long time and so I will keep making tracks and then I will come back to each one at a later date.

Of course you must be working on new material so what can we expect?
DT: I have an ep that is done-I made this ep right after I made Heart in fact. Then I am going back home to work on my album. It’s a concept album and it will be a story and a continuation of. I am very excited because the album is turning out better than I expected.

What does your ex think about the tracks actually?
DT: We are on very good terms we are friends-she actually loves the music because they are not hateful tracks they are love songs and she loves that whole thing of that being immortalised. Sounds like you are getting back together then.
DT: Oh man that is a heavy question- I can’t answer that!

Ok lastly sum up this past 6 months or so.
DT: I am always expecting to wake up from a dream this is very insane and I cannot believe how quick things have happened I just feel so amazed and blessed-it is beautiful.

Listen to Game On via Soundcloud:

* itchysilk on Twitter:
‘to the dreamer reality is pain’