Like Most LA transplants, Allie X Loves Erewhon, Yoga, & LaCroix
Like most LA transplants, Toronto-native Allie X was immediately captivated by the wonders of Erewhon, a healthy grocery store that seriously one-ups Whole Foods. Unlike most LA transplants, Allie X is an indie pop-star who rolled out her last album, Super Sunset in a very unconventional way.
Instead of dropping the album all at once, Allie dropped one song every few weeks for a sixth month period to ensure that her fans had time to sit with the track on its own rather than bingeing the entire album like they would their favorite Netflix show (or fave flavored vodka on Friday night).
We chatted with Allie X about her songwriting process, her favorite LA hangout spots, and why sheâ€™s grateful.
Do you have a unique process of songwriting?
I think Iâ€™m like all other songwriters in most ways. We take multiple approaches and hope that some magic happens. Maybe something that makes me unique is that I never can commit to lyrics. If you look at my unfinished songs, there are multiple options for any part of the song. Lately Iâ€™ve tried writing lyrics as poems before I start singing melodies, and thatâ€™s been helpful.
Out of all the songs youâ€™ve written, for yourself or someone else, which one has been a favorite?
Sophieâ€™s choice! Itâ€™s hard to say. Here are some Iâ€™m really proud of: â€œGirl of the Yearâ€ for its timeless nostalgic melody, â€œBiteâ€ for its interesting lyrics and structure, â€œBitchâ€ because I literally shat it out and so think itâ€™s very unique, â€œCatchâ€ because I didn’t give up on it for two years and it changed my life.
Since moving to LA, what are your favorite hangout spots?
Whatâ€™s the sweetest thing a fan has said to you or done for you?
Recently I met a fan at a fashion show in New York who told me I inspired him to make the move to NYC and pursue his dream of becoming a fashion designer.
What inspired you to name your first two albums â€œCollXtion?”
I liked the idea of rolling songs out in a collection like in the fashion world. A collection of feelings, melodies and words from that season of my life. I like that a collxtion isnâ€™t an album or an ep.
Is there a new album in the works?
Always. I canâ€™t not write a body of work. Queen of writing conceptual bodies of work constantly.
If you were to have a joint album with someone, dead or alive, who would you want to collaborate with?
Maybe like Mark Ronson, Mac Demarco, Glen Ghould, or Mitski. Or a million other people.
If you werenâ€™t working in music, what other path would you have taken?
I honestly donâ€™t know! Music and writing have always been my thing. The thing that makes me, me. The dream. My form of communication. Iâ€™ve done a bunch of jobs to support myself and I just canâ€™t apply myself because I donâ€™t care enough. If I had to do something else, I would still have to be my own boss. Iâ€™m terrible with authority. And it would have to be creative. I love dogs. And health food. Maybe some cool combination of all that stuff.
What in your life do you feel most grateful for?
That Iâ€™m starting to be kinder to myself and calmer. Iâ€™m grateful for the loving relationships in my life. Iâ€™m grateful that I love being alone and feel magic in the air very often. Iâ€™m grateful for the people that support my music and keep me going and feeling special. I hope I make them feel special too.
Whatâ€™s something youâ€™ve always wanted to do but havenâ€™t yet?
Be the lead in a broadway musical.
When do you feel most beautiful?
When Iâ€™m in clothes that are loose and elegant. When my skin is dewy. When my stomach is digesting well. When my eyes donâ€™t look tiredâ€”which they do a lot of the time.
How has your sound evolved from the time you first started writing to where you are now?
So much, oh my god! I used to write like straight up musicals. No subtlety in the lyrics. Someone once told me early on I needed to experience more life before Iâ€™d be a good writer. I disagree. I had experienced a lot of darkness and â€˜lifeâ€™ already, but I didnâ€™t know how to communicate it properly. I had to learn the language of songwriting and production.
How did your interest in classical music along with opera and theatre influence your sound as an indie pop artist?
I always sing high. Thatâ€™s one thing. Ha. I think it mostly affects me on stage where I canâ€™t help but be super dramatic. Classical training definitely comes in handy with keeping my voice healthy too.
What are the biggest differences in growing up in Canada vs. moving to Los Angeles?
Canadians are more humble, funnier, less competitive…people in Los Angeles are ambitious, â€˜very friendly,â€™ and hard working.
How would you say moving to Los Angeles enabled your growth?
In Toronto there was an incredible music scene (still is), but I never found my place. I still havenâ€™t. Itâ€™s weird there is a disconnect in Canada to what I do. It makes me a bit sad, because I truly love my country. When I moved to LA I found instant appreciation and excitement. Probably also has to do with the fact that I do pop music and LA is the pop epicenter of the universe.
Any advice for young aspiring woman trying to pursue their passion?
Learn how to produce, gals! Itâ€™s so important. Even if you have a producer you love, Iâ€™m telling you, you need to learn the language so you can communicate your ideas and be a boss in the studio. Girls need to match guys with their technical skills so we can move up in this world. We need more visibility for the female producers/engineers we do have, so the younger generation has role models to look up to.
Creative Director + Photographer: @joeyjamesphoto
Make Up Artist: @tonyavinaartistry
Digital Tech: Michael Kinsey Photographer
Assistant: Andrew Alvarez
Photo Assistant: Andy Lei
Wardrobe Assistant: Alice Rose + Kristina Truong
Set Dresser: Michael Francisco Chavez
Production Assistant: Alex Trampus
Model #1: Stephanie Pearson
Model #2: Jonathan Baca
Retouch: Irina Istratova