Look Who We Met: Singer Allie X
Just before the elevator doors open, I envision poofs of Technicolor confetti. That seems like the only entrance befitting for LA-based singer-songwriter, Allie X, whose quirky electro-pop single “Catch” makes you want to sing into your hairbrush-microphone like no ones watching (listen below). It’s sonically textured, layered with dark lyrics and do you need more of an endorsement than Katy Perry tweeting it to her 51 million followers? During our hour-long chat, we got the scoop on how Perry actually discovered her and how rebelling from the music industry is paying off:
So you’re self-releasing instead of going through a big record company. How does that work? Why take that path?
Because I can. I have the material and I have the attention of the public, so I can curate it and control all aspects of the project. The climate and the landscape of the music industry is rapidly changing, so I’m experimenting with how far I can take things. It’s a gigantic game but I don’t want to be anyone’s b**ch, so I’m playing it the best that I can with the tools that I have—good music and good content.
Katy Perry tweets about you to her 51 million followers. What was that like? Where were you when you found out?
I was in Topanga, Vancouver and when I saw it on Twitter, I squealed! I was writing a song that I haven’t yet released, Katy’s heard it, and she ended up tweeting about it the next week.
How did she even hear about you though? What’s the connection?
It’s never been publicized properly, actually. People assume that it’s an LA thing, that we have mutual connections or something. But she actually found me when she was surfing through what she calls “the cave hole of Tumblr.” I release a GIF with every song and that’s what caught Katy’s eye!
So how important is social media to you?
It’s the weapon that I have as an independent artist, it’s incredibly important. I’m no social media guru but I’m really making sure that I put in the effort and have various channels to communicate my ideas with the people who are into what I’m doing.
Do you interact with your fans?
In my own way, yes. But as an artist and as a human I need to maintain a sense of privacy. It’s not like I’m going to be taking selfies in the bathroom or talking about getting waxed—that’s just not going to happen.
Your outfit is so complex, do you work with a stylist?
Yes, the incredibly talented Krissie Torgerson who’s based out of LA. She does some work for MSMR and the Haim girls, too. I think with anyone that I work with, I provide the initial blueprints and then they help me refine it. Photographer Logan White did the same thing with my GIFs.
What do you wear when you’re performing on stage? How important is comfort?
Things that make me feel confident! I’m like the most egocentric, overly confident slash cripplingly insecure person that I know. So I just try to bring out the really egocentric side of myself on stage. It makes me feel like I can just [takes a bite].
—Brooke Mazurek, InStyle Assistant Editor
Photo credit: Sarah Balch for InStyle.com; Logan White