Who Is Allie X? Inside Pop's Best New Mystery

comments



We're going to call it right now: Allie X is the most promising new singer of 2014. Fact. The upstart Canadian songstress has already won over Katy Perry, been written up by Billboard, TIME magazine, and Buzzfeed, and her song "Prime" has already been called a strong contender for Song of the Summer. And, we agree.

All this, already — without a record label, a music video, or even a real bio or clear photo available online. The hype, this time, is entirely justified. Her two currently available tracks are both self-produced but enormous. They're hooky, intricate pop singles taking CHVRCHES and Purity Ring's heavy production techniques somewhere both more serene and scary, with shimmering beats culled from both R&B and sci-fi. The lyrics are intelligent, disturbing, and memorable in all the right ways ("You stuck a needle right into that vein/You let me take it like a soldier/ And, for a while I could ignore the pain."), giving us just enough of a stylized glimpse into her world to be intrigued: She's a medically obsessed lost girl trapped on the wrong side of a fairy tale with syringes and shades, and she's spinning menacingly. That's all we know, and yet, what an impression it already makes. In the age of social-media transparency and constant deconstruction, Allie X's mysterious approach — impervious to Google's prying eyes — is definitely refreshing.




In an early interview with Billboard, Allie X (all we know is that she's formerly Allie Hughes of Toronto, and that's fine) says that's all part of her intention. She claims inspiration from Lana Del Rey, The Weeknd, Macklemore, and other artists who took a less-forthcoming path toward stardom. "I don't see a reason for there to be a ton of personal information out there about me — at first, at least," she says. "I think the content should speak for itself."

And, it certainly has: A month ago, Katy Perry tweeted that she was "currently obsessed" with "Catch," calling it a "spring jam." Perhaps, Perry knew of the song because Allie X is working with Cirkut, an equally mysterious entity who produced songs for her own PRISM — or maybe she's just got an instinct for great underground pop. In any case, since that tweet, Allie X's blog hype increased a hundredfold. But, as of now, Allie X has no intention to follow the conventional superstar's path to fame. "I don't know that artists entirely need major labels to get where they want to be…If I found the right team of people who understand and share my vision, then that would be one thing," she explains. "But I'm not looking for some big advance or some 'We're gonna make you a star! We're gonna get you on the radio!' None of that interests me."

So, what's next for the shadowy singer? She says to expect more self-released music, GIFs, and original artwork, as well as some sort of live show in the near future. For now, we'll be listening to "Catch" on repeat for the entirety of this gorgeous weekend. Enjoy.