Having spent the majority of the past two years confined to our own domiciles has really forced us to reevaluate our own relationships to the places we call home. Between feeling isolated from the communities and locales we had grown to associate our own identities with to moving away and starting fresh somewhere else, this sense of detachment has been just one of many unforeseen side effects of an ongoing pandemic.
For an artist like TAYLOR ALXNDR, who was raised in the rural edges of Atlanta and has gone on to become thoroughly enmeshed in the city's DIY scene, this disconnect can pose its own set of existential dilemmas but it also happens to be the jumping off point for their new single "Big City."
Part love letter, part motivational anthem, this latest offering off their forthcoming EP, 1993, sees ALXNDR linking up with fellow local Atlanta artist Breathers for a bright nostalgic synth-pop collab that contemplates the "chew-you-up-and-spit-you-back-out" nature of big city life.
"'Big City' is all about wanting to make it and thrive in a big city where everything is constantly changing," ALXNDR says of the track. "It’s definitely autobiographical to my life here in Atlanta and the people, places, and things I’ve seen come and go over the years, but who also made me into the artist I am."
They continue, "It’s about gentrification and how it completely changes art scenes. It’s about seeing friends leave Atlanta for new cities and wondering if I’m inhibiting my growth or potential by staying here, but ultimately knowing that my success isn’t tied to where I live, but what I do and how I move."
The single arrives alongside a self-directed music video that further pays homage to many of Atlanta's now defunct DIY art venues and spaces around Atlanta that are part of ALXNDR's own personal history.
"I shot on top of a parking garage in downtown Atlanta, which is where I first lived and worked when I moved here," ALXDR says. "Throughout the video, I included shots of local art, streets and some iconic Atlanta landmarks that have changed rapidly in the last few years. I really wanted to give the video a local flavor because it explains so much of what the album is about."
Check out the PAPER premiere of TAYLOR ALXNDR's "Big City," featuring Breathers, and stream it, below.
Photography: Jamee Cornelia
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