When a massive pop star that has the power to sell out stadiums and make dancing sharks famous not only listens, but tweets about your music, your fate as an artist to watch is practically sealed. Last year around this time, Katy Perry took to Twitter to say she was currently obsessed with Allie X’s debut single, “Catch,” calling it a “SPRING JAM.” I would have to agree with the “Teenage Dream” crooner. “Catch” is a mid-tempo electro-pop smash that should be blasted during a nice drive with the windows down.
Alexandra Ashley Hughes known by her pop persona, Allie X, moved from Toronto to Los Angeles in 2013 after honing her songwriting skills and scoring a publishing deal. Since then, X has been collaborating with hit-maker Cirkut (Jessie J’s “Domino,” Usher’s “I Don’t Mind,” and Pitbull’s “Wild Wild Love” to name a few), releasing visuals for “Catch” and some tracks as potent as her debut single (X’s hook on “BITCH” is a problem!).
I recently found out about X after her track, “Prime,” made an appearance on popular YouTuber Connor Franta’s compilation album, Common Culture (So many dope artists on that album, FYI). X’s cool voice sounds perfect on the chill, electropop synth record, and like most songwriters-turned-singers before her, X knows how to craft a great hook. The excitement that can be felt on “Prime” is what draws me to pop music, and some of the genre’s most exciting artists out right now. I love when artists stray away from safe territory and create something that has me excited to hear what they’re going to do next.
X’s voice has an alternative feel on “Catch” while the production and lyrics bring out her pop sensibilities. X’s sly voice is still stuck in my head as she taunts on the hook, “Thought you got away with murder / Left me at a loss for the words / Just wait until I catch my breath / Wait until I catch my breath.” “Catch” has a vibe that reminds me of some other upcoming artists (Betty Who, Tove Lo, Years & Years etc.) that I expect will and already influence pop music, and it’s the perfect introduction to Allie X. During a Billboard interview, X talks about being inspired by artists that are moving away from the traditional way to succeed as a pop artist (Beyoncé, The Weeknd, Macklemore, Lana Del Rey). X has the potential to be as big as some of the artists she mentioned, and I can’t wait to see how she evolves as an artist.
While watching X’s video for “Catch” or scrolling through her Tumblr, it’s obvious that X has an image that she wants her music to coincide with. While the video has elements of everything “edgy” and cool in pop music like Charli XCX’s early work (Think of the Tumblr influence that can be seen in “You”) or Natalia Kills, an artist who respects creative integrity and intellectual property while crafting a good dark pop tune from time to time. Allie X’s presence and bizarre yet slightly disturbing image helps give the video an identity. “Catch” hasn’t caught on to the mainstream crowd, but that’s irrelevant when you’re part of the wave of artists changing the landscape of pop music. I hope X stays authentic and doesn’t water her vision down to make it radio friendly. Look out for X’s debut album CollXtion I expected to release April 7th 2015.