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October 2020
Feature

Getting to know... Alien Tango

Check out his new video for oddball pop tune 'Arthur Conan Doyle', too.
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Published: 10:50 am, June 03, 2020 Photos: Julia Lubner.
Getting to know... Alien Tango

There's isn't another artist like London-via-Spain pop oddball Alien Tango. With a 30-track album of made-for-internet-notoriety, blink-and-you'll-miss-them tunes already out in the world, the past few months have also seen him put out an EP, and now a video for his ridiculously addictive single, 'Arthur Conan Doyle'. It's beyond strange, but in the best possible way - and you can give it a watch below.

Hi Alien Tango, how's it going? Are you good
Hi, I'm doing good, thank you very much. Thought I saw a rat in my kitchen the other day, it came in through a spot below the oven, so I'm a bit suspicious ever since.

How are you coping with lockdown, has it mucked up many of your plans?
It was a bit terrible because we were gonna do SXSW and some gigs we really wanted to do here and in Spain, but now I'm more zen about it. Gigging so much is always disruptive for the creative process.

What's a typical day like for you at the mo?
I spend the whole day making music, and then I watch a movie or read a bit. I have like six projects at the same time and I try to figure out how to put the right amount of time into everything, but I end up just doing whatever. Recently I've been trying the pomodoro technique without sexy results.

What first drew you to making music then, have you always wanted to be a performer?
Not really, I wanted to be a cook and then a writer and then a comic book artist. I started making music in my late teens, and I was drawn by the idea of creating a show more than making the music itself, though now I'm putting much more effort into it (too much, maybe).

Is being a musician living up to the hype so far? What have you enjoyed (or not)?
I kinda expected to have a yacht earlier, but I can't complain. I enjoy playing live a lot, and I've been in lotsa amazing cities and festivals.

Tell us about your move to the UK - did it take a bit of getting used to? It feels like your eccentric stylings fit in well here.
Thank you! I come from a town in the south of Spain, the kind of town where you can't really do anything cultural, and you can only be inspired through TV or the internet, so the contrast was quite big, and I loved it from the beginning.

You've released an awful lot of music this year already - what was the thinking behind 'Blink Pop, Vol. 1'?
It's a compilation of mini songs I made for Instagram and TikTok. I had thought for a while about making 15-second songs for the Instagram stories, and when I started, they blew up on TikTok, so I did one each day for a couple of weeks. They are really meant to be listened to while watching the videos.

It must've been really fun to put together, how did you come up with all the many, many ideas for tracks?
It was! I have silly thoughts very often, and I've got used to writing everything down or making voice notes. It's just a matter of turning them into little jingles.

And then there was your EP 'Friends!' too, is your process different when writing longer songs?
Of course. I filter my ideas much more, and I'm quite a perfectionist, so they take forever to make.

Why 'Arthur Conan Doyle' for this latest single - are you a Sherlock fan?
I read some books when I was a kid, but there's no particular reason I made the song about him. It's not even really about him; maybe it's about how we de-contextualize and depersonalize figures from the past. It was just made in a stream of consciousness; I was putting the words as they came to my head (some of them with the Wikipedia), so only my subconscious knows what the hell is going on.

How did you conceptualize the video?
I liked the idea of putting Arthur Conan Doyle in a crappy Spanish village, saying he's a British writer with my Spanish accent and doing cringey dance moves. It's totally absurd, and I'm curious about how British audiences will react to it.

Was it filmed during lockdown?
The video was actually filmed in October, but I got my laptop stolen with all my work on it (I hadn't done a backup for months), and I had to re-record almost the whole song. I was super lucky I had uploaded a draft of the music video to YouTube in private, or it would have been lost forever. The final video is just the draft with the finished music on it.

What else are you working on at the moment?
I'm mixing my fourth EP, made of songs I've been playing live for ages. I'm also writing an album, making some more mini songs and producing music for other artists.

Do you have plans for during the summer?
I haven't made my mind about summer yet. It's going to be chill without the festivals. I love summer in London, but at the same time, I really want to go to Spain to see my family and disconnect. I kinda want to be everywhere, but in the end, I will probably just stay in my cave making music.

Alien Tango's single 'Arthur Conan Doyle' is out now.

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