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APRIL FEATURE: Rubehill (Alex Stavropoulos-Laurie)

April 23, 2018

Name: Alex Stavropoulos-Laurie


Hometown: Toronto


Preferred Art Form: Music, Performance and Writing/poetry


Artist Bio: 


What Alex Stavropoulos-Laurie ultimately set out to attain when he embarked upon his upcoming project was to seize the freedom to write and produce music on terms dictated by no one but himself. He's calling this solo act of defiance RubēHill (pronounced Ru-bee-hill), a name taken from the main character of Flannery O’Connor’s short story “A Stroke of Good Fortune”. There was something in the internal and contemplative nature of O'Connor's prose and the title character's continuous fixation on anxieties that resonated deeply with him. Explorations of human behaviour and the darker nature of the mind were concepts Alex sought to infuse into to his own songs.

Upon an initial listen of RubēHill's second single, titled Apartment, you get the sense that he's tapped into a special class of alternative music. By alternative I don’t mean the genre as a whole— more-so in the innovative divergence from the norm that he's taken in the song’s unconventional structure and bold changes in tempo. His lyrics carry a sense of entrapment with an unfulfilled need to break free: “If I leave this room it means I’ve made it out of a tar pit / roll me up in a carpet / please, someone get me out of this apartment, " Alex bellows out in the sinister and epic outro. There's an overtone of ambiguity in his words that leaves you longing for an album of songs just like it, or at the very least another verse of Apartment.

Among the luminaries for Alex’s desire to create something different are Frank Ocean’s “Blond”, A Tribe Called Quest’s “We Got It From Here… Thank You For Your Service” and the Gorillaz “Demon Days” , records he says are “all stunning examples of creative freedom in the world of contemporary music”. The eclectic blend of genres within each of these records helped define the genesis of RubēHill, but it isn't just the sonic eccentricities that have inspired the project; he also sees great value in the collaborative approach that these artists have adhered to— the process of a range of artists from different backgrounds working towards a greater common goal. It's a philosophy that Alex continues to implement in his inner circle of Toronto-based friends: a group of tightly-knit and exceedingly talented musicians seeking to nourish the collective approach.

Alex speaks in earnest of the faith he has in the intelligence of his audience and rejects the notion that people will only be interested if the music adheres to certain set of rules and limitations. If the versatility of Apartment is any indication of what lies ahead, Rubēhill has seemingly given birth to a rare form of being: a sound that's singularly his own