sad alex is an artist whose music could score the perfect coming-of-age rom-com, or the bleakest of arty A24 films. Versatile, ironic, and intrinsically universal.
Following a year of smash out releases with i’m glad that you found someone, until and ibtc, it’s no wonder that the world is becoming accustomed to the ticker-taper beats and not-so-serious sounds of sad alex – plus blowing up on TikTok definitely didn’t hurt.
In light of these smash out releases, Happy had a chat to sit down with California’s ‘happiest sad girl’ to chat about sexy songs, sad girls, and finding the humour in abject misery.
HAPPY: I absolutely love how ibtc is so scaled back, but also so cutting. There’s been such an evolution from Bitter and I’m glad you found someone, but I can’t put my finger on it – what’ve you done differently this time around?
SAD ALEX: Thank you! I have been leaning into my cheekier side and more comedic/pun writing lol, but I really like the challenge of a song that is funny and still feels like a real song. In this way I actually think i’m glad that you found someone really opened that door for me; that was the first time I wrote a song that made people laugh and it’s a fun and different way to create for me.
HAPPY: It seems both until and ibtc are going down a darker route compared to your previous releases, what’s inspired this change?
SAD ALEX: until was a pretty emotional song, and I experimented with some cool sampling and a more gritty texture when I produced it which I love. it just felt like the right thing to match the angst in the lyrics. ibtc is my first dabble in a more “sexy” song for sad alex, but done in a cheeky, smart way which feels more real to me. I am excited to show more of this versatility in my upcoming releases.
HAPPY: I love how you’re an avid genre-blender and your music shifts in so many different forms. How did you cultivate this sound? What the hell is your rabid songwriting process?
SAD ALEX: Thank you! I try to listen to all genres of music. I think it’s really important to diversify your ear so you can challenge your instincts. as a result, I think my sound is constantly shifting with my inspiration, which is typical for artists, I think. My songwriting process varies a ton now. Sometimes it starts with a chord progression, sometimes a concept, a line, a melody, a track, something I overheard in a grocery store… you name it I have written a song from it.
HAPPY: On that subject: I’ve noted that sonically, the production is perfectly balancing the lyrical content. How do you approach the production of your music?
SAD ALEX: That is really nice feedback to hear. I am still new to production and feel like I don’t know what the hell I am doing. However, I think that mindset can often make you more open to experimentation, and I try to have fun with it. As I listen back to my self-made demos over the last few years, I can hear the drastic improvement and maybe I do in fact know somewhat what I’m doing. So typically, I just try to let go of my crippling imposter syndrome and follow my gut.
HAPPY: What’s it like having a TikTok famous song? Is it weird knowing that your music is part of something with a completely different context?
SAD ALEX: It’s crazy, I can’t even go to Trader Joe’s anymore – just kidding – but I have been recognized for it, which is insane to me. The narrative of the ibtc has actually been with me my whole life; I was always insecure about my breast size and got bullied for it when I was younger (kids would yell “alex is flat, flat as a bat” on the playground lol). So being able to turn all that into a song that promotes body empowerment, and to have seen the reaction being so positive across the board was a really full-circle moment for me.
HAPPY: What can we expect from your upcoming work? Is there anything in the pipeline that you’ve been working on that you’re keen for people to hear?
SAD ALEX: I have so much in the pipeline I probably need a plumber. But I am truly so excited for my next batch of songs. They show a lot of versatility, emotional range, and still have my sense of humour shining through. Which has always been me in a nutshell. I also have a lot of songs coming out with friends that I’ve worked on both for songwriting and production that I’m also excited for :)
HAPPY: Is there anything you want to add? Anything I haven’t touched upon that you think is important??
SAD ALEX: Stay hydrated.