Alex Gardner prepares 'trippy' introduction


The 18-year-old Edinburgh singer-songwriter talks about his "psychedelic" debut video, working with pop whizz-kids Xenomania and the future.

When and where did you write I'm Not Mad, your debut single?

I've been working on it for about two-and-a-half years. I've recycled some lyrics I wrote when I was 12 or 13 years old.

It's quite good in that sense, because it's a story that's stuck with me through my whole teenage life.

It's a song about wanting to be with someone and getting beaten to it. You can't be sad about it because it's not your place.

The video is strewn with mirrors, what was the filming of that like?

Absolutely amazing - I got to go to Los Angeles.

It was a big deal for me because my entire life I've never been out of Europe or anywhere. There are some great visuals to it. It's me basically in this mirrors box room. The floors, the walls - everything is mirrors.

It's very trippy, you look down on the top of your own head so it's very kind of strange. It's basically a metaphor for being stuck with things that you can't really do anything about.

It's me going a little bit mental, a little bit crazy. It's very psychedelic.

After moving to London as a 16-year-old you've recently been working with production whizz-kids Xenomania. How's that been?

Incredible. Brian Higgins the mastermind behind it is an absolute genius.

It was a great team to work with. They've had a lot of chart success. It's a great feeling for me because if you look at the roster of acts they've worked with most of them are female except for the Pet Shop Boys.

I think I'm the only male solo artist - so that's great.

Bearing in mind their success with people like Girls Aloud and Kylie, is their approach to writing hits quite scientific?

Very organic, very creative. Their studio is this huge house in the country next to where the book Alice In Wonderful was written. It has this immaculate garden.

The way they write things is all melody-based. They'll write about 50 or 60 melodies and then strip it all back to get the best possible outcome.

What else can we expect to hear from Alex Gardner in 2010?

I've always said I'm Not Mad is a teaser. It's a very electric, upbeat song. A teaser for bigger tracks.

There's a lot more to come. Music's been a massive part of my life for my whole life so I just want to be doing my thing.

I want people to listen to my music and enjoy it. That alone will be enough.