Alexander 23 Opens Up About How Pain and Life’s Constant Changes Fuel His Creative Fire

Alexander 23 Opens Up About How Pain and Life’s Constant Changes Fuel His Creative Fire


Just hours before his highly anticipated debut performance in the Philippines, Alexander 23 sat down with MEGA Man and shared how the worst times and the biggest shifts in his life became the driving force behind his continuous growth as an artist

In the cutthroat world of music, it is crucial for artists, particularly those on the rise, to overcome obstacles and constantly strive to ensure their music resonates—an idea deeply embedded in the very essence of Alexander 23. A few hours prior to his successful debut performance in Manila last September 11, the 28-year-old singer gave MEGA Man an inside scoop as he delved into the depths of his artistic journey, shedding light on how struggles and the ever-changing currents of life serve as the motivating factors behind his improvement as a musician.

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Growth through creative shifts

“How you feel about making your art is reflected in your music, and people can see through the intention.”

The crooner revealed that he believes his artistic evolution occurs seamlessly, attributing it to his passion for the exciting transformations unfolding in his career. “I like changing because it keeps me stimulated and keeps me in love with what I’m doing.”

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Before embarking on his solo career, Alexander 23, whose real name is Alexander Grantz, honed his musical prowess as a member of a band. Following the conclusion of his previous endeavor, he made the bold choice to immerse himself in the field of songwriting and production, catering to a diverse array of musicians. “At the back of my mind, I have always wanted to be an artist,” he recalled. With his tenacity and resolve, the singer courageously forged a path towards the creation of his very own melodic tapestry. Now, he stands as one of the most promising artists to watch out for, shining forth like a beacon of promise for this generation and those yet to come.

Starting amidst chaos

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The artist’s rise in the industry commenced in 2019. In the blink of an eye, a mere 12 months later, the world was hit by a pandemic. When probed about the experience of up-and-coming artists such as himself during that period, he shared that while he faced his fair share of challenges when everything came to a halt, he maintained a firm commitment to thrive. He turned the situation into an opportunity to craft an abundance of musical compositions and worked on producing his own songs.

Pain’s creative power

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When it comes to his music, one thing’s for sure: it always sounds genuine and heartfelt. From the melodies to the lyrics, each and every note in his songs ignites a raw emotion that resonates deep within the core of one’s being. “There is intangible believability, which I think is the number one factor in music,” he explained. Whether he’s bouncing back from a breakup or conquering a disappointing situation, music serves as his ultimate escape to unleash his emotions, a process he describes as both therapeutic and cathartic.

His favorite song

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When asked about the song that holds a deep resonance within his heart, the artist momentarily stopped, visibly immersed in introspection. “The Hardest Part,” he declared. “It is a song that kind of contradicts everything that I just said.” Alexander 23 penned this song after the passing of a close friend. He mentioned that his music usually serves as an outlet for him to move past his pains, but this song allows him to relive one of the darkest times in his life. “If he could see me playing this song about him in front of 20,000 people in Manila, he would not believe it, so it’s a really, really special song for me.”

Synergy in sound

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The California-based artist highlighted that collaborations are important to him not just because they help him reach a wider audience, but also because they allow him to deepen his own creative practice and learn from the work of others. He acknowledged one of his closest friends in the industry, Jeremy Zucker, recalling their past collaborations on songs like “Nothing’s the Same,” “Cosplay,” and “Okay.”

“She’s the best. No one’s that good.”

On working with Olivia Rodrigo

He also talked about how happy he is to have co-written “Hate Me If It Helps” with Olivia Rodrigo, and even produced “Good 4 U” for the Filipino-American singer. “I knew Olivia even before she put out ‘Driver’s License,’ so to see [her become successful] is very special.” 

RELATED: Olivia Rodrigo’s GUTS is Your New Main Character Energy Album

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When the topic of another collaboration with a Filipino artist emerged, Alexander 23 wasted no time in confidently answering, “It’s going to be Zack [Tabudlo].” He described him as an extremely talented and effortlessly cool artist. Although they have yet to cross paths in person, he hinted that they had already exchanged a few messages online.

His bond with his Filipino fans

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The singer-songwriter and record producer expressed that this performance in the Philippines was a long-awaited moment as he had a burning desire to explore the country ever since he started his career. “If you ask any artist, they will tell you how much they appreciate Filipino fans,” he said. According to him, one aspect that truly sets Filipino fans apart is their authentic admiration for music, a kind of support that uplifts the souls of artists such as himself. Clearly having an absolute blast throughout his stay here, he concluded his message by stating, “I cannot wait to come back here. 

Embrace, evolve, enjoy

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“I’ve committed recently to just having fun and making sure that’s my priority.” These were the words expressed by the singer when probed about his forthcoming projects. He also teased that his fans can anticipate a lot of new songs as he has been passionately penning tracks in abundance lately. No matter what obstacles may come his way, Alexander 23 wrapped up our conversation by demonstrating his determination to create more music while embracing a sense of enjoyment, firmly believing that the key to achieving greatness lies in relishing the creative journey.

Photography KIERAN PUNAY
Creative Direction ANDREW ENCAPAS
Fashion Direction JAYMAR AQUINO
Grooming Direction MARA GO
Sittings Editor PEACHES GARCIA
Shot on location ASCOTT MAKATI

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