alaska young will alter your perception
Meet the curious Australian musician who has set a precedent for refreshingly unexpected music as we premiere his incredible first track.
It's in our nature to categorise music upon first listen according to pre-conceived ideas based on what we've heard before but newcomer Alaska Young defies expectations. He is a charismatic nomad who's made a cool, six-minute-long electronic ballad called El Loco Divino as his first-ever released track. The accompanying music video, which we're premiering here, sees Alaska running around the Himalayan desert, at points naked and possibly taking hallucinogenic pills in a clear demonstration that he doesn't care to comply. In other words, it's amazing. Watch the video below as we speak to Alaska about what inspires him, what's next and that white track suit.
i-D: El Loco Divino is such a great track. Can you tell us the story of how it came to be?
Alaska Young: Wow, thank you. Well, I started writing and recording this track about 18 months ago while I was living on a friend's couch over in London. It was a freezing cold winter and I hadn't seen the sun in about two months. The inspiration for the track came from an unbelievably surreal dream I experienced. It sounds a little cliché now but that's what happened. So yeah, over the months working on the song, it kind of just evolved into what it is today.
And the story of the music video?
Making this music video was quite an experience! Where do I begin? It wasn't really planned at all. I'd been living in Northern India for a few months and I was heading up to a town called Leh to go to the 33rd Kalachakra festival to hear the Dalai Lama give teachings. I ran into my friend, the director Toa Daguet, at the event and we started talking about what we'd been up to. He had been shooting a documentary and had all his gear. I showed him a bunch of demos, we wrote a loose concept then headed off to start shooting the next day. We ended up spending about 3 weeks shooting in the Himalayas, in deserts, valleys, lakes, monasteries, anywhere and everywhere we would stop, we would shoot. I'm really surprised I didn't die making this video.
Where are you originally from and where do you spend your days now?
I was originally born and raised in Australia but I also have citizenship with Latvia. Where am I living now? Haha, this is a tricky question. Since coming back to Australia I've been living anywhere on the coast between Byron Bay and Sydney. I live in my car 'Lucy'. She is a lovely car/house, so we live where ever. Right now I'm in Sydney.
What makes you happy?
This answer could go on for 100 pages. Just to be lucky enough to be alive and experience this life and this reality makes me extremely happy and grateful. Do what you love and what makes you happy.
I like your white tracksuit that you wear throughout the video. How would you describe your style?
Ha! You like the tracksuit? If I still had it I would give it to you. I didn't have any warm clothes at the time. That was the only thing I could get my hands on that would keep me from not getting sick. I wore it for about a month straight! I don't think you would have liked it as much if you could have seen it or smelt it by the end.
We understand there are three more videos to accompany your next tracks. Can you tell us anything more about them?
Yes for sure. I'm planning on making 4 clips for this first bunch of songs I have together. The next one we are shooting will be over in Asia; Toa and I are going to head over at the end of August to start shooting.
And beyond that, what's next?Who knows, life is a funny thing. I guess I'll just keep on doing what I've always done and that is to make music.
Text Briony Wright