Alex Blocker is becoming known for his boundary-breaking style with a contemporary fusion of R&B, hip-hop, and jazz. Influenced by his Chicago roots, Blocker began his music career producing and recording at YouMedia, an urban creative space in Chicago with previous alumni such as Chance The Rapper, Noname, and Akenya Seymour.
Currently collaborating with Colorado artists Nobide and Angelique, he has also shared stages with performers such as Gramatik, Boombox, Masta Ace, Def-i, Maggie Brown (Daughter of Oscar Brown Jr.), and recorded with John Walt of Chicago’s Pivot Gang. Blocker’s latest release, Moonlight Palace, is innovative, fresh, and original and has the tendency to leave audiences grooving and coming back for more. Moonlight Palace features eight original songs from the artist, showcasing his fresh perspective in the hip-hop/R&B music scene by interspersing hip-hop beats and rap lyrics with jazzy violin licks.
We chatted with Alex Blocker about his new album, the inspiration behind creating, and what’s next for the young artist.
What’s your favorite song from Moonlight Palace?
Tell us about the album…. what inspired you to write it? What do you hope listeners glean from it?
I live with a bunch of other creatives, and we often find ourselves working deep into the night on our various individual projects, both audio and visual. The songs I write are directly inspired from my life experiences. This is the next chapter in the BlockerOnTop saga. I hope my music inspires my fans to live their lives to the fullest.
What’s your favorite lyrical line from the album? Why?
“Slicing through the water ain’t no time to drop an anchor/ salad by the bay had to garnish it with capers. ” (From “Boujee”). This line encapsulates many themes on the album at once. I have noticed a lot of progress in my career, and I don’t plan on slowing down any time. Also I love food and eating.
Your sound is a unique fusion of different genres of music. Can you tell us more about what has influenced your music and how you incorporate violin into your hip-hop/rap vibe?
My music is influenced by whatever is going on in that moment. I hang out with people from many different walks of life and so I hear many different artists from around the world. Not to mention going back and forth between Colorado and Chicago provides an interesting sonic dichotomy in my mind. I’ve been playing the violin since I was 5 or 6 so it’s not something I usually overthink. When I hear a song needs strings, I add them.
Speaking of, you’re native to Chicago but currently live in Colorado. How has spending time in two different musical scenes shaped you as an artist and shaped your career? What’s different about the two music cultures?
In Chicago I’m around a lot of people from the streets, and a lot of hipsters. Never a dull moment. Colorado has this really interesting scene where most people are either into bands, or electronic music, or some sort of fusion between the two.
What does your creative process look like?
I’m pretty much always creating. I enjoy producing as well as collaborating with other producers. I always write my own lyrics. There’s a lot of free-styling involved. Live instruments are often used.
Who are some of your musical inspirations?
Too many to name! I’ve always been a huge fan of Pharrell. In the Chicago scene Supa Bwe is definitely a favorite, and of course my team at DeltaWavesENT.
What can fans expect next?
Fans can expect consistency. Make sure you check out #BlockerOnTuesdays for weekly releases and updates.