Alexander Kotz, better known as Elderbrook, is a British self-taught producer, multi-instrumentalist, and Grammy-nominated artist who’s become a live sensation.
From gracing the stages of popular gatherings like Insomniac’s Daytrip Festival to recently headlining his own album-titled North American tour, Kotz has cemented a respected reputation for himself within dance music.
His sound delves into sensitive and introspective themes such as identity, love, and growth, and is renowned for its emotive qualities. Now, after embarking on a new life journey of becoming a father, presenting his music with depth and meaning is more important to him than ever.
“It’s always been really important to me to keep it organic” shared Kotz. “Give [my music] some emotion, feeling, and depth.” And in his sophomore LP Little Love, Kotz doesn’t fall short of that, keeping in mind that his children (his little loves) will one day listen to their father’s music.
Elderbrook jumped on a call with EDM Maniac after Ultra Miami to chat about his newest project, how it turned into an introspective journey, and the way fatherhood has shaped his recent releases:
EDM Maniac: With what intentions did you produce your recent sophomore LP Little Love and what inspired its name?
Elderbrook: I wrote this album after becoming a father, so I think that really shaped what I was writing about.
I wanted to put everything into one place and as a message to my children, should they ever decide to listen to their father’s music later down the line… if they ever do *laughs*
I was looking inward more, and it was about that, but also about myself as well. Just the bigger picture, type stuff rather than other things that I’ve written before. Quite simply, just my little loves, really.
EDM Maniac: Before jumping into dance music, you wanted to focus on hip-hop and more soulful sounds. Do you believe that’s influenced how you produce music as an electronic artist?
Elderbrook: When I got out of college, I started messing around with music on a computer more because before that I was only playing acoustic or folk music. So, I started using a computer to sample stuff and create my own sounds.
I carried that into what I do now, although I’m just kind of sampling my own voice. I love electronic music, but it’s always been really important to me to keep it organic at the same time. Give it some emotion, feeling, and depth.
When I’m trying to think of a new song, sometimes I have the beat going in the background and I’ll just mumble things until a word comes out, or a phrase and I think about what that means to me.
EDM Maniac: Which track from Little Love had the strongest effect on you when producing? Can you walk us through the emotional process?
Elderbrook: Lyrically, it’ll definitely be the song “I’ll Be Around” because it’s a straight-up message to my children for when I’m no longer around, which is kind of dark *laughs* but it’s something for them to listen to when I’m no longer around.
When I’m writing, I think it really helps me in my own head. It’s a therapeutic experience for me and keeps me writing more and more. Musically, “Walk Away,” which was originally by a folk singer, Ailbhe Reddy, and I found that I absolutely loved it and wanted to record it myself, so now we have a song together.
EDM Maniac: In journalism, there’s a saying “You should feel comfortable with killing a story” after realizing that it’s not what you thought. Did you go through a killing process in your most recent album?
Elderbrook: It was a smooth process in the sense that I knew that I wanted to write about being a father, my children, and what that meant to me.
That was the most obvious thing in my mind when I was thinking about the theme of the album. But, what I think was difficult, as you said, is the way it changes, and it became more of an introspective journey for me. Rather than just simply talking about my children, it was more about the messages that I wanted to hear when I was younger.
Something lyrically changed.
EDM Maniac: We all know you for the great musician that you are, but tapping into what makes you YOU… Can you share with us a random thing you believe fans would be surprised to learn?
Elderbrook: I’m really, really good at playing badminton *laughs*
I haven’t done it in a really long time, but absolutely out of nowhere, I’m incredible at playing badminton. [I’d play] just a little bit at school, but the teachers kicked me off from being able to play since I was smoking cigarettes on my way to the court *laughs*
But I find it later in life that I’m still really, really good at it. Yeah, badminton for life.
Listen to Elderbrook’s Little Love album down below: