Alex Mills on recording with Hot Since 82 and Looking Back
Songwriter, producer and artist Alex Mills is one DJ to watch. She has just released her new single ‘Keep Pushing’ on Ultra Records last Friday 21st May, which is produced by renowned Manchester house duo Solardo. Mills’ prolific output has had her crowned ‘producers choice’ of vocalist by Mixmag, and has worked with biggest names in dance music, including Basement Jaxx, Hot Since 82, Chris Lorenzo, Joey Negro and Sonny Fodera. We grabbed Alex for a quick chat.
Describe your sound In 3 words only… Spicy Classic Belters You’ve worked with the likes of Basement Jaxx, Hot Since 82, Chris Lorenzo, Joey Negro and Sonny Fodera
2. Who’s been your favourite to work with and why?
I enjoyed different ones for different reasons. Bassment Jaxx were really great as their recording process was very unique. The stuff with Hot Since 82 felt effortless and natural so that was enjoyable. He’s also a northerner so we have that in common too. I also always enjoy working with Sonny as he is super talented and is an absolute beat machine so I couldnt pick as they all have their own individual merit.
3. Tell us about your new single ‘Keep Pushing’
Keep Pushing is an energetic, uplifting, house banger with a message of perseverance and determination.
4. Who are your biggest influences & why?
I really do have so many influences a few would include chaka khan, monique bingham, evelyn king, etta james, sade, roisin murphy, eminem, carol king.
5. How did you get to where you are right now – Was it a tricky road for a female DJ?
I’m a singer/songwriter first and a dj second so I was already immersed in the electronic music world. I had a DJ residency in a members bar in Soho for 6 years while creating music and that certainly helped me hone my craft. In terms of how I got to where I am in music I’d say staying ready and always having my tracks to hand helped me massively in getting my first break. I’ve been pretty lucky since then in that one thing has often trickled on to the next so ive been worked most of the time. I’ve certainly had down periods and times and I’ve struggled but creating music is something I would do regardless of success so although im so grateful to be in a position to have my music heard, I’d create it whether it was listened to by 100 people or by 1.
6. If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be & why?
No doubt or hesitation it would be Todd Edwards. I think he has the most beautiful brain and his understanding of electronic music and melody moves me in a ways few others can. I’ve listened to and loved him since I was a kid and they dont call him Todd the god for nothing.
7. Besides music, what are you passionate about?
Besides music I love loads of things. Im a big fan of watching documentaries about the cosmos. Before lock down I enjoyed going to funzing talks about stuff like quantum physics and the theory of relativity. I barely understood any of it but I enjoy having my mind blown by the stuff I can understand and finding out crazy and interesting facts about our universe and reality. I also enjoy spending time in the countryside. My maternal side of the family are farmers and I like to spend time in Scotland enjoying nature when I can. I also love fassion and getting drunk with the Roastafarians (a group of amazing humans who try different roasts once a month, chat shit and belly laugh a lot)
8. How has the pandemic Covid 19 impacted you creatively?
Initially it didn’t impact me much at all. I can spend an abnormally long amount of time alone and in my own thoughts so it wasnt too bad. After a while though I began to feel a little uninspired and found it harder to get motivated but with the nature of my work sf motivation is important so I know what to do when I feel that way. I try not to force it and channel my energy else where. I will more often than not find something new and inspiring when im not trying to force inspiration.
9. What’s one thing you can’t leave the house/hotel without?
A sense of humour. Life is quite ridiculous when you think about it so you cant take it too seriously.
I love bold colours and patterns. I have done since I was a kid. I love big earings, bomber jackets, bucket hats and am a 90s kid so grew up on rave culture and attire. I also grew up with 90s hiphop and r&b so that aesthetic is definitely present in my style. Lets say rave meets hiphop with some Alex Mills seasoning.
11. Tell us a secret…
I have obsessive compulsive disorder so I do a weird little dance every time I walk in my house because I like to touch all the different colours on the tarmac lol.
12. What’s next for Alex Mills?
Im currently working on an EP which will be dropping in autumn and im super excited about. Also some amazing collabs coming, so its a very busy and exciting summer ahead.