Alexander Lewis is an EDM and hip-hop producer based in Los Angeles, who's created beats for notable artists, including Yogi, Krane, Juice WRLD and Chief Keef. In 2017, he performed at Coachella, and last year he went on a multidate tour in Australia. Over the last couple of years, his music has found a second home within the North Texas hip-hop community, where he is becoming a favorite producer for several up-and-coming lyricists.
The producer's entry into the world of music got started when he was only 12 and first picked up a trombone. Lewis made the choice then to make music his career and never wavered from that goal. His commitment to staying on course has paid off, and Lewis' stock is trending upward in the music industry.
Lewis is a jazz program graduate of the Manhattan School of Music. It was there that he began experimenting with Abelton software to make hip-hop and electronic music. "I starting out just producing for friends," Lewis says. "It was an outlet for me to do something different. I was excited to learn about sound design, mixing and how you can alter sound with audio effects."
Lewis says he "linked up" with Fort Worth rapper William $, who'd hit him up on Twitter and eventually came out to Los Angeles for a collaboration that became extensive.
William $ introduced Lewis to other musicians from the North Texas hip-hop scene, which led to him working with popular, up-and-coming rappers such as Matt Swagnew, Coach Tev, Jahn Dough and, most recently, B. Anderson.
Lewis and Anderson in particular have formed a strong musical partnership. Anderson will be featured heavily on Lewis' up-coming Red EP release.
Whenever possible, Lewis performs alongside the artists he produces. He enjoys the process of converting organic, creative chemistry from the studio into an energetic and often improvised performance. Fans will have a chance to witness this in person at Freebase Festival in Denton on Saturday and into Sunday, as B. Anderson and William $ are on the bill with Lewis. Jahn Dough and Coach Tev are also scheduled to perform.
Lewis is best known for his infusion of live brass instruments into his electronic production, and he also performs onstage with his trombone. Anderson was impressed by Lewis' skills as a live performer and decided he needed to work with Lewis. "I didn't know any producers that played their own live instruments in their production," Anderson says. "When I saw (Lewis) was actually playing his trombone (in the studio), and how he modified the sounds, I was blown away.
"If he wasn't dope I was gonna tell him. I could see he was someone that was serious about the music."
At the end of May, Lewis and Anderson released a new single, "Win the War." They both agree that it was the perfect track to build anticipation for the upcoming EP. A thematic horn loop is at the epicenter of what makes the song sonically appealing. It's accented by stellar drum programming that blends well with Anderson's exceptional wordplay.
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Lewis says his roots in jazz never hindered his love for other forms of music and the transition into electronic production wasn't difficult. What draws him to Dallas artists is their diversity in style and willingness to experiment with a wide variety of sounds. That kind of freedom is a producer's ideal setup, he says, because they can work on unique ideas that may not be received well in other regions.
"I've always listened to a lot of West Coast and East Coast hip-hop but not much of what was in between," Lewis says. "Getting introduced to the North Texas hip-hop scene showed me an entirely different world I never knew existed."
Listen to the track below: