Allie X On The Warm Reception Of ‘CollXtion I,’ Co-Writing Troye Sivan’s “Bite” & Part II: Idolator Interview
Allie X’s CollXtion I is an impeccable pop record. As original as it is cohesive, the eight-song set established the mysterious singer/songwriter as one of the break-out artists of 2015. I spoke with the Canadian in the lead-up to her recent gig at the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles and she opened up about her live show (it makes her feel more connected with fans) and divulged a couple of tidbits on CollXtion II.
Overall, however, the “Catch” diva played her cards close to her chest. Which was to be expected. She doesn’t live her life through social media like so many of her peers and remains tight-lipped about earlier phases of her career. Allie X is a complete and self-contained project. She communicates through her music (and the visuals that accompanies it) and leaves the rest to your own imagination — a rare treat in the digital era.
You’ve spoken about distancing yourself from the spotlight in previous interviews. How does that impact live shows?
It’s a good question. This project began exclusively online and it wasn’t until this April that I started performing live as Allie X. It’s changed my feeling towards people who listen to my music. I feel a real connection. It’s something about seeing someone’s face right in front of you, singing along to something that you created. It’s inspired me to become closer to the fans. I’ve always been a private person and I don’t feel comfortable communicating in all the traditional ways that artists are supposed to but I’m working on trying to find a new means of communication and that was largely inspired by the live performances this year.
Have you always felt that reluctance to interact, even prior to the birth of Allie X?
As you can probably tell from reading other interviews, I don’t speak to my past. That is part of the Allie X project but I’m sure I can come up with some sort of answer to your question. I have always been an insecure/incredibly confident person and I’m always just riding that line between wanting to be a complete exhibitionist and wanting to crawl in a hole and never be seen.
I know the feeling! You’re probably sick of being asked about it, but how is CollXtion II shaping up?
Everyone wants to know about CollXtion II. I can tell you that I’m working on it every day.
CollXtion I has such a cohesive synth-pop sound. Are you going to really mix it up on part II or is it a sonic continuation?
I do have a sound that I’ve crafted and I am conscious of it and I do try and work within the same sonic sphere. That said, I have written songs in other styles that nobody has heard yet and they’re likely to be a few tracks like that on CollXtion II.
Are you working with the same producers?
Yeah, I’m working with the same people.
CollXtion I is only five months old, but I’m sure you’ve been living with the songs for a lot longer than that. Does the connection to the material grow stronger or has fatigue set in?
I’m not at all bored with it. I stopped listening to it. I used to, before I released it, I listened to it obsessively trying to perfect it as much as I could. Now I don’t listen to it at all. I’m really enjoy performing it live. I found by singing the songs live, they have new meaning.
Were you ready for the overwhelmingly positive reaction to CollXtion I?
That’s really excellent to hear. The CollXtion hasn’t been widely heard but it has done really well. I feel very proud of it.
It’s one of the few 2015 releases that I love from beginning to end.
You’re making me smile and blush, Mike. Thank you.
Every track is single-worthy, but I think “Good” is particularly special.
I can answer your question by saying thank you, and I agree. I tried to make a collection of music where any song could stand alone, so any song on CollXtion I does have the potential to be pushed with the video and marketing. I have these specific songs that I put aside for CollXtion I and “Good” was actually a last minute addition. I wrote it in November with Billboard. We just wrote it in one go. I hear from fans and from the press quite a bit that “Good” is definitely original, so I’m really glad that I added it.
I noticed you also have a co-write on Troye Sivan’s new EP.
I do. I adore Troye Sivan, I think he’s so refreshing and so smart. I believe that artists like him are changing the way the music industry is going to work. To speak to the song we did together, there are many and one is on his EP, it’s called “Bite.” I think it’s the second track. And the inspiration for that song was imagining going into a bath house for the first time and what that might be like.
That’s amazing. I wouldn’t have picked that up from the song.
I can’t speak for Troye. That was the inspiration on my end.
How did you connect with Troye?
We connected on Twitter. He was an early supporter of the songs that I was putting out in 2014. We have a mutual friend as well who is a co-writer of mine. Leland is his artist name, Brett McLaughlin is his writer’s name. We did a lot of writing together and it’s been very fruitful.
Who else have you worked with?
I don’t believe that I could announce any of this at this point.
Fair enough. When will CollXtion II arrive?
It’ll be 2016. I am working away at it. As everyone at Idolator knows, I have hundreds of songs. I don’t want to rush something out. I want people to live with CollXtion I for a bit of a longer time before I put CollXtion II out.
I can’t wait. Thanks for the chat.
Fantastic. Thank you so much. I love you guys. Bye.