We had the good fortune of connecting with Alex Kislov and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alex, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
All the amount of work and time that is done behind the scenes. It’s easy to look at an artist where they are at now and not realize the long, winding road it took to get to this touch point. One of my favorite sayings is “success doesn’t happen overnight” – although often it may seem this way but there is more that people are unaware of that artists and people in my industry have to do before they actually get on stage (or put the stage up).
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Well, as I inch towards 30 there have been so many milestones and failures to get to this point. I am proud that I stuck it through the hard times, and I am excited about where the brand is headed, especially in the last year after the pandemic.
Getting to where I am at professionally took a lot of resilience and self determination, I set out a goal since my teens to become an accomplished DJ and producer and slowly each of those goals I’ve written down has been crossed off my list.
Overcoming challenges is likely the most important skill set anyone in any business can have. Learning to tackle issues, being practical and thinking ahead was my saving grace. Not everything will work, most things will actually fail but you won’t know it until you try – and when things do finally go your way, it’s probably the most gratifying feeling an artist can have.
ALong the way I learned to navigate through the noise until I found my direction. Many people want to help and get involved once they see you becoming successful, and often not for the right reasons. Learning to understand everyone’s part in your journey has been a very valuable lesson to me.
Another huge lesson was learning to preserve your energy or in some instances I heard it called your social meter. Burning out is a very real feeling, I’ve spent so many evenings feeling burnt out and not stopping. Now I take my mental breaks, I take care of myself personally so that I can shine at my brightest on stage. I don’t need to be everywhere all the time, I just need to be at the right place at the right time.
A little bit about me: I started djing when I was 14 years old in High School, I moved to the USA at the age of 10 from Israel. I had no friends, did not speak English, did not have money and was working from a very young age to help my family get by. As I continued to DJ through High School, it became clear to me that I was in love with the art. It’s all I ever thought about, all I ever maneuvered in my life to accomplish. In college, I paid my tuition and rent by djing at the local bar scenes in Lincoln Park, ironically, djing was what fed me through my entire 20s as I was exploring myself. My big break came when I was 19 – I opened the Porter Robinson show at Congress Theatre and the rest was history. My first official national tour came in 2021 (after the pandemic) where I played and sold out 10 different cities in the US. I experienced a real taste of this life and I was hooked even further. Before that I had shows in cities like Kiev, Lviv, Tel Aviv, Moscow, Tulum, Playa Del Carmen, Saint Martin, and many more. Production and writing was when my career really began to take off and signing to indie labels all over the world. Simultaneously, I always had a passion for film and my love for directing and producing stories came when we filmed our first music video Shining with MAA films.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Prysm, Spybar, Primary, Electric Hotel – the best venues for music in Chicago imo
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First of all, my mother, raising two children in a foreign country as a single mother – I attribute any of my success to the woman that gave me life, nurtured me and pushed me forward. It also helps that she listens to every single song I make – everyday. Literally.
Special shout out to Elizabeth Meshem for being my support system through the tough times and basking in the glory with me in the good ones.
Thank you to Mike Lang, Orville Kline, John Linklater, Travis Barron and Marcus Aubin – a dream team of people I get to work with all the time! These are the people that help propel my brand, sound, visuals and ability. These are the peoples I trust to get the work done right!
Most important, a big thank you to the fans that listen to my music, support my mixes, buy tickets to my shows and show me love. WIthout you, I would be nowhere.
Image credits: Crystal Lotus Studios, Prysm Nightclub, Lucas Ewing Photography