Demo Taped, known offstage as Adam Alexander, is a 19-year-old Atlanta native whose sounds of electronic pop match the pastel visuals aligned with his songs. I had the chance to shoot Adam in Los Feliz on a sunny day before one his Los Angeles recording sessions.
AMBAR NAVARRO: Hi Adam! It was so fun to photograph you during your time in L.A. I know you had your hours mostly booked for studio recording time working on your next EP. I wanted to talk about your newest single, "Pack of Gum", which you just released. It is such a different and more electronic route from the last song, "Insecure"—I was wondering if you could talk a little about the change of tone and equipment, although both are about the subjects of anxiety and insecurities.
DEMO TAPED: I don’t think there’s so much of a change in sound completely from my other music. I think "Insecure" stands out because it has live instruments. "Insecure" is more about letting insecurities and distorted views affect a potential relationship. "Pack of Gum" is about the end of a relationship and growing apart from someone close.
AN: I read that you recorded "Insecure" inside your grandfather's church in Atlanta, which was originally started by some of former slaves of the Civil Rights movement. Can you talk about the meaning of recording inside a sacred space and if you have plans to do any more inside-location recordings?
DT: Yeah, we recorded the organ for the song at the church—it was the last thing to go into the song. It felt very right to finish the song there. I really wanted to make a song that my grandfather could listen to and really get. It was great recording there.
AN: I knew our shoot was going to be fun when you painted your nails and let me put eye shadow and glitter on you. This is something I don't always get the freedom to play with when photographing men. I love that you also mentioned your mom would be proud because she's a huge Prince fan. What are some of her favorite Prince songs, and some of your favorite idols?
DT: I had so much fun! Yeah, I’m really excited for her to see the photos. “Adore” and “Nothing Compares To You” are two of her favorites. I think, fashion-wise, I look up to Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Prince—all the greats. Music-wise, I look up to all of them as well.
AN: What was your favorite thing you did in L.A.?
DT: I honestly love just hanging out in L.A. I brought my OP-1 with me, which allows me to make music really anywhere, so I was just sitting outside in the sun and making little songs.
AN: Following you online, I noticed your purchase of some new instruments, like the Teenage Engineering OP-1. Do you plan on taking a more analog route? And, also, exactly how much does your instrumentation affect the song you are going to write? Do you write the lyrics first? Or decide on the sounds/instruments, then add to it?
DT: I had to switch up my workflow. I was just getting too caught up in the computer screen and distracted. I definitely am shifting to a more analog route. I’ve always loved the sound and warmth of reel-to-reel tape, so I had to get one of those, too. The instrumentation really makes the song for me. I usually produce my music first and write around the feeling I get from the instrumental.