If you're not familiar with Montreal-bred stripped-R&B electro-soul singer Black Atlass (real name Alex Fleming), you may be the only one. After appearing on Action Bronson's 2015 LP Mr. Wonderful, he premiered his single "Haunted Paradise" on Jaden Smith's MSFTS FREQUENCY Beats 1 show (and earlier this week dropped his self-produced debut album of the same name via Fool's Gold Records) and was later enlisted by Woodkid to open dates on his European tour. More over, and in an entirely different industry, Fleming's music has served as the score in campaign ads for both Yves Saint Laurent and Louis Vuitton, and Christian Dior has invited him to their Paris Fashion Week presentations and styled him for the front row.
Here, Black Atlass talks to REVOLT about how he initially garnered such attention and became a triple-threat, his collaboration process, his entrepreneurial goals and finding inspiration in Kanye West. Read excerpts and watch the full interview below.
On the transitions in his career:
It all started off with producing and trying to emulate certain artists, people like Kanye West who started off as a producer and was able to grow what he did into something a lot bigger and something that was really unique to him.... From there that kind of spiraled into really taking an interest into my own thing and pursuing that and all the doors that music opens up in terms of being able to work with different directors, photographers, artists, graphic designers.
On collaborating with fellow artists:
I really wanna collaborate with people. I take this seriously, it's not always about money for me or not always about something growing financially, it's really about an appreciation for the art. It's not even about followers or growing my audiences, it's really more just about collaborating with people that I find inspiring and can make a connection with.... That's the way I think I'm always gonna work.
Black Atlass' debut album Haunted Paradise is available now.