Meet the 19-year-old producer turned singer with his upcoming debut project, zero.five
Sometimes you need to turn the focus on your own craft and see it through. Coming off his debut project, zero.five, 19-year-old Alex Mavroudis flipped the switch from producer to artist under the moniker OFFISLAND.
What started for Mavroudis at age 12 with Minecraft dubstep remixes on free softwares eventually grew into a curiosity for music making. When it came time for post-secondary, he attended Recording Arts Canada in Montreal to take up audio engineering and music production.
“I picked up mixing and producing because I wanted to make my own stuff,” said Mavroudis.
He asserts that his education in mixing gives him an edge as a recording artist, saying, “If you learn an instrument or a sound you don’t have to rely on a producer.”
With formal education finished, Mavroudis got to work in the Montreal scene, getting in the studio with artists like 3MFrench, nayil, and YNG Travs.
“I admire the people I’ve worked with a lot, these guys are all great and on their way up,” he said.
Having worked primarily in the Montreal trap scene, Mavroudis opted for a different direction on his debut project, zero.five, slated for independent release in February. With a trio of tracks varying from indie rock to psychedelic synth-pop, the variety is there, though it’s not something to hold against him.
“It’s not the first fully defining sound I am going to release,” he explained. “I would describe it as fluid and spacey.”
Through his three-song tracklist of “Burn Down The Bar,” “Cynical,” and “No Make Up,” Mavroudis wrote, recorded and mixed everything except the bass on “Cynical,” done with help of bassist Ilia Galanakis. There is room for comparison between the Mac DeMarco-esque “No Make Up.” He admitted he “Took heavy inspiration from ‘Chamber of Reflection.’ He’s a one man show but he’s insane at bringing a track to life — someone I look up to as a singer, artist, and producer.”
Even with a short tracklist of three songs, Mavroudis’ inspirations are still at the forefront of his creation. For “Burn Down The Bar,” he wrote the song based on a photo of his parents’ old car, the same photo used in the album artwork.
“I wanted to take the feeling I got from that photo and put it in the song,” he said. While the song is close to home, it’s a double-edged sword for the musician, adding, “I saw two young people partying having the time of their lives and I wanted to capture that, but it’s sad also because time catches up to you.”
When it comes to the future, Mavroudis’ plans are ineffable.
“It’s hard to explain what your vision is sometimes, with words,” he said. Without a set plan in mind, the artist is taking things as they come while navigating new sounds, saying, “I don’t think that far ahead, especially when it comes to making music. The next thing could be completely different.”