Alex Keeper: “It can be difficult knowing that there’s no home to go back to when you need to feel safe and understood”

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The Paris-based artist Alex Keeper speaks with us about his latest EP Depart, which explores themes of belonging.

Alex Keeper, a rising Paris-based electronic dance talent, is celebrating the release of his latest EP, Depart, which marks his return to the French imprint, Get The Sound. Through just five tracks, the EP highlights Keeper’s unique experience of home and belonging as he was raised between countries. Although Keeper reflects on new themes in this EP, he keeps his unique emotive, chill-house sound throughout each track. It is this sound that has already earned the 24-year-old a loyal fanbase. Releasing music monthly for two years, Alex Keeper stays actively connected to his listeners, who have already amounted to 750,000 monthly. We speak with Alex Keeper about his creative process behind the release of Depart, how his dynamic upbringing influenced his work, and his continued evolution as an artist.

What inspired you to use your vocals for the first time in your music on the Depart EP?

I’ve been writing lyrics for the past several years and even recorded demos for singers to interpret my ideas. When recording a demo for ‘Setting Sail’, I decided to keep the idea and worked on the recording, and it turned out great! The vocals on this EP are inspired by Vancouver Sleep Clinic or M83: wide, atmospheric, and calm.

How has your background split between France and Singapore influenced your music and artistic journey?

I think I went into electronic music because it is borderless. Singapore is very diverse in culture and EDM unites people due to the limited place it gives to vocals on the songs, and the priority it has for the music.

Could you elaborate on the theme of movement and its impact on our sense of belonging, as explored in Depart?

The main topic of this EP is exploring the idea of belonging. I have been traveling during my entire life and never felt like I was in the right place. I have lived in Dubai, France, grew up in Singapore, and studied in Canada, and Ireland. This challenge has a lot of pros like being more open-minded and understanding how the world is, but it can be difficult knowing that there’s no home to go back to when you need to feel safe and understood.

What drew you to the chill house genre? How do you think it sets you apart?

I have been producing for a decade and explored most electronic music sub-genres. By starting with dubstep in my early teenage years, during the Skrillex/UKF/Monstercat era, then going in different directions like drum and bass, future bass, psytrance, or big room house. For many years, I loved making music but never thought of releasing it. Like many creatives, the pandemic allowed me to spend more time on my art. This is when I finally decided to start making my music public with my chill melodic house project “Alex Keeper”.

Can you share some insights into your creative process and was there any new process you used while creating this EP?

When making a new song, I always start by creating ambiences using textures, drones, atmosphere, or reverbed elements. It gives me a base and keynote to start writing down the bassline. Using the bassline as root notes, I created nostalgic chords, and potentially added guitars. I use my go-to homemade chill/melodic sample pack for the drums. The last part, and most difficult, is writing and recording vocals. I prepared a live looping session on my EP, triggering different instruments of each song live to recreate the EP song’s structure. We went to Deauville, in the North of France with a few members of the Get The Sound team and only had one day to film it. We went for a chill and windy mood to match the songs, and I’m very happy about the result.

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How do you feel your music has evolved since your debut in 2020?

There’s been a progressive change in my music over the past four years, but the feeling has remained the same. I try to make each release better than the previous one, to improve on the production or visuals every time.

What role does emotion play in your music, particularly in creating the emotionally charged soundscapes evident in your work?

I’ve been a dubstep nerd for many years, but now love sharing my feelings much more than making the ‘heaviest’ sounds. Although my music can be sad or nostalgic, I like to think that it brings comfort to people and makes them feel less lonely.

With the success of your previous singles like ‘Setting Sail’ and ‘Safe and Sound’, how do you approach the challenge of maintaining your signature sound while also pushing creative boundaries?

I just love music and innovation so much that I add whatever new idea or sound I’ve discovered during the day while listening to other artists. As the emotions are personal and the genre is always close to chill house music, as long as the criteria are met, I am free to go in any direction I like.

How has your relationship with Get The Sound influenced your growth and what do you value most about working with them?

We’ve been working and growing together for over four years. I love seeing the label and its artists reach higher milestones and release great new music. Get The Sound always wants to innovate and discover new grounds to share my music with a new audience. That’s something that can bring discomfort, but it has pushed me to learn new things and evolve as an artist.

Looking ahead, what are your goals and aspirations for your music career?

I’ve been releasing a song every month for more than two years. It was great having to maintain this space because I produced a lot of songs, discovered the music I like making, and became efficient in doing so. Now, I wish to slow down and go deeper into sound design, communicating emotions, and creating visuals.

Purchase Alex Keeper – Depart EP via this link.

Follow Alex Keeper on Social Media:
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