Indie singer D. Alexander holds a defiant attitude toward the corporate labels of the music industry — strange for a dance-pop singer whose genre relies big-time on that kind of backing and radio play. But the young singer is intent on having his pop career his way, even if it means forgoing all the swag and perks of the mainstream.
“I said to the producers, you can keep your money, cars and chicks. Just give me a mike and some glitter,” he writes in his biography.
Alexander does like dazzle, though, which is probably why Razzle Dazzle Dallas brings him to town Thursday to perform at the Rose Room’s Rising Star night. This is the first that Razzle Dazzle has endeavored outside of its summer event, and Alexander’s first performance in the Metroplex.
Although he opts to go his own way, Alexander hits the music biz at just the right time. As boy bands like One Direction and teen heartthrobs such as Justin Bieber are cycling back around to the top of the charts and the pages of Tiger Beat, Alexander’s boyish good looks and chipper tunes fit right into the mix, only with an androgynous edge.
“Today’s youth are the first to realize that music doesn’t have to be black and white,” he says. “I sing songs that might be considered more appropriate for female singers but my ability to show a different side of masculinity is what sets me apart from other male artists. I pull off the femininity the song demands, so why shouldn’t I sing it?”
Last year, he released his debut EP Evocative, a collection of five tracks with some major sexual charge likely not found by the aforementioned artists. And his appeal to the gay community could expand with his sound that’s ready for the dance floor. His beats remind of early ‘NSync, but tunes like “Sleeping With the Enemy” and “Touch Me” don’t leave much to the imagination save for whether he’s directing his attentions to a girl or a boy. And it’s kind of a brilliant move.
Alexander does play to some obvious pop formulas in Evocative, but he steers clear of any major mistakes. His songs never fall into dance track traps of throwing his voice over a pulsing beat. The electronica background of “Secret Love” has an impressive layer of sounds and Santilli’s rap gives it an extra punch. The EP’s final track “Tell Me” might use a little too much Auto-Tune, but like another budding singer, Adam Tyler, Alexander sounds like he’s done his homework in pop music to create something refreshing.
The Rose Room (inside Station 4), 3911 Cedar Springs Road. April 19. Midnight.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 13, 2012.