Christian Alexander Lets His Honest Lyrics and Smooth R&B Grooves Speak for Themselves

Words by Josh Jones
Photography by Goosie

Christian Alexander spent all of last year sidling onto Ones to Watch lists, firing up the hype machine and making a name for himself on both sides of the Atlantic. Born and raised near Preston in northwestern England, he’s been steadily building an international fanbase with his honest lyrics and smooth R&B grooves. So far in his short career Christian has released two full- length projects, Summer ‘17 and Summer ‘19 — both of which capture the epic loneliness of adolescence.

Christian’s music reached the ears of Brockhampton founding member, Kevin Abstract, who invited him out to LA to hang, write and record for several months at the end of 2020. Not that the change from wind- swept and rainy England to the bright sunshine of LA changed his output, not at all. “The warm weather was definitely a nice change of pace from where I’m used to,” he tells us. “But I’m focused on songwriting and a good song is a good song no matter the weather. For me, it’s more about who you’re working with that can help impact how you record and write.” The extended trip to LA resulted in Kevin and the rest of Brockhampton inviting Christian to be main support on their forth- coming European tour, which is no small achievement for someone who up until that point had not played a single live show.

The studio is where Christian prefers to be, what- ever city he’s in, and it’s there he feels most free. “I’m more of a kid when I’m in the studio,” he says. “I’m a lot purer. It’s fun, it’s where you can laugh most without being looked upon weirdly. I’m more reserved when I’m out and interacting outside of music, but I’m sure it’s like that for many other people. I’d say I’m more myself when I’m in the studio, where I’m my most confident. But I’ve grown to accept that.”

Christian hails from the tiny ancient market town

of Garstang — with a population of less than 5000, it’s a somewhat progressive place that can lay claim to being the world’s first Fairtrade town, having a local newspaper that offers a recorded version for the visu- ally impaired, and an arts festival. But it was more the lack of entertainment that steered him into music than the creative environment. “I didn’t feel there was much to do there when I was 19 or 20,” Christian explains.

“So, I isolated and obsessed over music until I became more and more confident. If I was around excitement and younger people all the time I probably would have been distracted. It was a blessing in disguise. I’m at a point where I’m ready to explore and be in different surroundings in order to create, but it was a little haven for me these last two years.”

Not unlike compatriots James Blake and Jamie xx, Christian Alexander is not outlandish and happy to let his music do the talking. He wears his modesty almost like an armor, “I guess it stems from the idea that the less I say or do, the more control I have over my perception from people. Although, I’d say my outlook has definitely changed in the last few months. I also just don’t have a lot to say or share that I can’t share through mu- sic. I’d rather let my art speak for itself; that feels most satisfying.” @christianalexander_97