I first met Alexis Curshé on social media. A quick glance over her profile revealed someone I wanted to know more about. The energy that came through was inviting, confident and honest in self expression without compromising her truth. Artistic expression is ingrained in her and a part of her character. She was kind enough to take a call with me and share her vision for the future. That October 5th of 2022, I met a star that I believe will have a much needed and long lasting career in the world of dance music.
Exactly 4 months later, Alexis called me and told me she was ready to take things to the next level and asked me to join the management team. I was obliged and ready to get to work; very much looking forward to the journey ahead. We’ve accomplished so much in a short time and I couldn’t be more happy with how everything has come together. As Alexis said to me in response to my Virgo self always striving to manage things perfectly and make moves constantly, “All things are always on time.” So with the release of “Down South” on Nervous Records, her worldwide debut as a music producer. I invite you to get to know the woman who keeps me wanting to know more, Alexis Curshé.
WWD: Hello, for those just meeting you today, who is Alexis Curshé?
I honestly don’t like this question because it’s like, she pauses, I’m just another individual having a life experience. To answer the question though, I’m a black woman that has pursued as well as am intrigued by the arts, an art whore honestly. I’ve had my hands in digital designs, being a pen artist, a model, photographer, you name it I’ve probably done it and still do. I’m a life student, y’know.. a nerd for things I’m unfamiliar with. To add to that, the reason why I enjoy my career is because it allows me to go on these adventures around city’s I haven’t been to before and connect me back to being a photographer, wanting to capture these moments. I’m someone who just enjoys having fun and trying new things, my solitude and creating memories with my people.
WWD: What inspired you to go on this journey of becoming a professional DJ and now a producer with her first piece of music out?
It definitely ties back into my interest for creativity. I didn’t have the common DJ journey, I saw my first black female DJ at a young age and have been inspired ever since, to make it a short story. I decided to go to school to learn how to DJ, but the school actually didn’t have the program I needed after enrolling, so I ended up buying my own equipment and teaching myself. I believe now, it’s a mission of mine to educate people and spread the awareness that electronic music is ours. House and techno is so much deeper. I’m still being approached by people who are shocked to see a black woman behind the decks playing techno or strangers who are black thinking techno is “white people music” as she laughs, seriously though, there’s so many of us in this industry that deserve to be recognized, celebrated, and put onto these same platforms because we have a gift and major purpose for being here, especially black woman. On the flip side, being a producer wasn’t something I thought I’d be interested in, but it came naturally as I went to college to get my degree in audio engineering. Now, it’s unusual if I don’t turn on my gear every day.
WWD: How did you approach the production process? What did you find inspires your creativity in the studio?
Curiosity. “What does this instrument sound like if I did this?” Anytime I start a project it doesn’t sound the same as the first day I created it, it’s always changing, and that’s what inspires me. You don’t know what you’ll discover one day. That’s why I like to produce or revisit my tracks every day. It’s a habit.
WWD: “Down South” dropped last Friday on Nervous Records in good company with the ‘Full Tilt Cary’ various artists compilation including Devoye, Eli Escobar, Justin Cudmore, and the curators The Carry Nation. That is a major way to debut your first piece of music. How does that feel? How did it come together?
It feels beyond words. I’m so grateful of Nita and Will aka The Carry Nation, placing her hands on her chest. They’ve literally supported me since the first day I met them on the rooftop of Clermont in Atlanta. To get to the gag though, talk about a moment when Nita reached out to me asking if I had any tracks to submit for the comp. At that time I was so focused on producing music solely for my EP, also in a funky space with producing, but I wasn’t going to tell her no. So, I started a whole new project just for this album. Initially, I went through 2 projects that I didn’t like nor felt like it resonated with my energy at the time, which then led me to only having a month to submit a track. Within that time, I had to do a little self recollection to remind myself that it’s about having fun. Then I got back into the studio and every idea came effortlessly. Down South was born.
WWD: You have a lot of amazing peers in your community that support you. Can you tell us about some of those people? Also, how important is something like this for an up-and-coming artist to have?
My peeps, I love them all. I want to share the back story of when I met Vicki Powell and Ash Lauryn. They’ve been such a huge blessing in my life. I was still in my early stages of being a DJ, putting out mixes, and going live on instagram because during that time it was the start of covid, if not a year after it came to the US when I met them. Very respected and powerful women in the industry in both the black and gay community. They saw me for me and offered to record a mix for Deep South’s podcast. Almost immediately after that mix went live, a lot of collectives and parties globally began to reach out to me for their own podcasts. We then began to build a sister-hood overtime and one day they both sat me down at Banshee and asked if I would like to be a member of Deep South. With them reaching out, with those two opportunities it shifted my entire life. I began to be a part of a community with so much support from one another, which poured into me in so many different ways. I think it’s important to know who you are as an individual, so that when you step out into the world that energy is reciprocated. That’s how communities are built, I believe. When you and someone else share something in common and have genuine intentions for one another and then it’s just word of mouth. You share with your people, they share with theirs and it is more like minded people under one roof that continuously grows. That’s not to say you won’t attract bullshit, but you’ll know when you know. It’s essential to keep it real, as she’s shrugging, keep it deep.
WWD: Who do you look up to in the scene right now? Who are your top favorite artists?
Everyone, all my people are killing it in their own way. As far as my favorite artist there’s so many, I feel bad for even listing anyone. Everyone who’s still rooted in underground music. DJ Pierre, Stefan Ringer, Ash Lauryn, Peven Everett, Evelyn, The AM, Kai Alcé, DJ Duke, Mr. G, K-Hand forever and always, Mood 2 Swing, and the list just goes on.
WWD: What can we expect from you in the coming months? Tour? New Music? What’s in the works?
Like I mentioned before, I’m working on my first EP that will be releasing in August of this year as well as going on tour overseas with my lovely ‘We Are E’ team backing me up. Grateful to have this opportunity to meet with Pieter and Darrell who will handle all my abroad bookings from now on. In between it all, I’ll continue to be a student of life, keeping it deep aka real for the culture, and diving back into the arts to express myself.
Interview by Valdano Terzic of Illuminate Artists.