At the age of eighteen, Alex Kazemi has already found himself as a music editor for SuperSuper Magazine and a design collaborator with clothing company Vibes on a USB necklace. Don’t call it chance, though: boy’s a hustlah, and that dedication shows. What we find most intriguing is his ‘step-back’ stance on social networking sites like Twitter and Tumblr, unusual in both a teen and a writer. Let’s find out more.
1. Your most memorable show?
My most memorable show was actually recent, Fiona Apple. It was a really intense experience for me because I have been dealing with a lot of mental issues lately and seeing someone who has obviously gone through a lot, shamelessly singing about unspoken of things was really nice. I’m not trying to confide in her and flatter myself that way but I just really enjoy her music. When she was screaming during ‘Not about Love’, it initiated the most intimate linger I have ever felt in a room through a live performance. I was recently diagnosed with clinical depression, her music helped a lot during the discovery.
2. An album that changed the way you thought?
Year Zero by Nine Inch Nails, because it transcends a dystopian view of the world in 2022, he literally created a whole virtual game and universe, along with fictional drugs. This nurtured my way of thinking because I see the world coming near a dystopia right now -everyone is lost, I just wake up and I see the world decaying. I mean, isn’t it? Look at all the shootings in America. Trent Reznor is an anti-pop/ genius, his melodies will crawl around your mind like a cyborg Britney song but his production and message is violent and effective.
3. What does underground and mainstream mean to you?
The underground is usually a surreal place where fresh creativity is born, not a mission of going against the grain, a place of being a punk and doing whatever naturally comes to your mind that happens to be against the mainstream. It is a outlet where weirdos can unite and find each other through culture. Underrated films are usually good films, anything that society or mainstream companies’ didn’t decide to push because they were afraid of the risk. I also like how real underground kids don’t care about money, they just care about the art. That is a true Punk ethic, I like collisions and I love seeing creative minds work together.
I love the mainstream because it is like one big TV commercial, stimulating and extremely vivid. I think people need to stop thinking about money and big pop artists need to start supporting the underground artists… more people in the world should know who Sky Ferreira, Azealia Banks and Charli XCX are by 2013. I really have no hope for pop music, it doesn’t feel progressive. I especially hate when Rihanna and Katy steal from the underground and run with others style and end up making money off of it, it is just a pathetic cycle.
Also labels need to understand that you shouldn’t need to force-feed an artist like Lady GaGa down a kids throat, telling them ‘You are different! Come with me!’ People should be able to explore and find that one artist they can connect with.
4. What defines your writing-process?
I am inspired by different sounds and situations in life and a lot of film when I do creative writing. I plan to publish a book by summer 2013, I have a broad imagination that I can’t seem to escape and writing is very therapeutic to me because it’s like ‘finally it’s out of my head’ and I can move on to the next thing.
5. What do you think of this song:
When I first heard about it, my world literally felt paralyzed as a huge Aaliyah fan, I did not see this coming. I think it is disrespectful but also a blessing in a sense, that we get to hear her voice again and there always had been something eerie about Aaliyah to me. She doesn’t write her own music but her production was on point, she had gothic flutes serenade her as snakes were tangled all over her body, the darkness behind her was really raw and honest. She sounds like a ghost on the track and I get that Drake wants to be the one to ‘save this generation’ by introducing them to real R&B but kids should be able to discover Aaliyah’s discography on their own, it’s more intense that way. Posthumous music must be a sign of the apocalypse.
I don’t want to sound like a psycho Trent Reznor fan but she really did love him and it would be very disrespectful for him not to be involved in this project because before she died, MTV News announced that they were going to work together. She already has approved it, basically – why not make it happen?
6. Indispensable outfit?
Black shirt, black jeans and black shoes. It is simple and reflective of me, I don’t really like the sun because I have fair skin and I enjoy the fall a lot…rain storms are wonderful. I was wearing all black the other day and a friend said to me ‘Don’t you want to look attractive? You just look like desexualized’. I thought that was interesting.
7. A film or book that has greatly influenced your writing?
I like other films and books to piece together some of my ideas, inspiration is inevitable but creatively I’ll already have the idea in my head and it subconsciously probably came from a book or film I have read (or seen) recently. I like surrealism and futurism and the idea of aliens but I also hope to recreate humanly raw moments in my life for other people to relate to or enjoy, probably super exaggerated versions. I don’t want to do journalism forever, I want to make films and write books and go to school for it.
8. Your current favorite song?
‘Not Gonna Get Us’ by t.A.T.u. I don’t know why, I just have been listening to it a lot lately and the ferocious drums on a lesbian love song reminds me of something that would come from a different planet. It is just a great song, seriously – listen to it with the drums in mind. I also like the school girl outfits, they were genius. Long live t.A.T.u! They truly did change the color green forever.
9. One thing you can’t live without?
Nature probably, I feel mostly at peace when I’m walking in the woods alone or near any type of waterfall or body of water. I like the ocean and went swimming in it for the first time in a while and had this weird vision of these octopi saying ‘He’s here’, and they were sitting in a chair all elderly. It was really fucked up and I got out immediately. I believe in intuition, so I’m sure a family of octopi were planning something.
10. Together, or alone?
When I’m alone I seriously drive myself crazy and I’m alone most of the time but I use to have a really great social life but also me as a person being social, it was just kind of hectic because I guess I’m sensitive towards a lot of things because of the things that have happened to me. I just feel like staying at home. I don’t need to deal with all of the troubles that come with me in friendships. I either want to be super loud or super quiet, but I’m trying to be in-between and I am trying to get out more and do more on my own. I hope to meet new people at college.
Photo: Alex Kazemi
Published August 14, 2012.