To call Elderbrook an electronic artist would be to undermine his many talents as a singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist. Alexander Kotz is the very definition of “versatile”, a modern day triple threat - his musical influences range from country and soul to rock and gospel, whilst he’s also classically trained in piano and guitar.
Despite this, it was Elderbrook’s undoubtedly dancefloor-orientated collaboration with German duo Andhim that first cast him into the dance world spotlight; his distinctive lilting vocals resounding in clubs across the world, with Mixmag naming it one of their top tracks of 2015. Prior to this he’d released just one debut EP under the Elderbrook moniker, ‘Could’ - with the title track currently sitting over 6 million streams on Spotify alone.
For Kotz, “phonetics are as important as lyrics. My voice adds another important harmonic element to the sounds.” It’s this which marks out the distinctive Elderbrook production style; those soulful vocals adding a sense of emotion unlike any other standard club fare. There’s a sense of depth and texture on each one of his releases; whilst he admits he’s enamoured with “the power of the computer”, it’s the electronic and acoustic guitar, synth pads and percussion coming from every available prop that give his tracks character.
On his quest to “make something I haven’t heard before”, Kotz has been known to sample the sound of breaking reading glasses and crackling ice in coffee, although “I often bang the table I’m sat at, sample it and use that as my drums”. Kotz maintains that his releases have to contain an element of “that bounce”, something that translates to his increasingly talked-about live shows.
With just a microphone, an MPC and a guitar, Elderbrook has gone from selling out hip venue Omeara, to the larger XOYO, and Oval Space London, and touring with Gorgon City at the 5000 capacity O2 Academy Brixton. The lyrics may be reflective, but during his energetic performances Elderbrook makes sure he keeps a sense of humour - “that means things don’t get too serious. Having been handpicked to support the likes of Hayden James and Rüfus Du Sol on tours of the US, Elderbrook’s profile has now grown significantly stateside too; he recently sold out his own headline shows in Brookyln, New York and Echo Los Angeles, and will be making a return on his own headline run of dates in February 2018.
Without doubt, 2017 has been the year for Elderbrook so far. After releasing his official remix of Clean Bandit’s single ‘Rockabye’, the Londoner lent his vocals to Camelphat’s ‘Cola’ - with seismic consequences. The track boomed globally, becoming the go-to anthem for the 2017 Ibiza summer season, and was heard across club floors and festival stages worldwide. Crossing over into the mainstream, the track has made it to various worldwide playlists including BBC Radio 1’s A-List, garnering over 20 million Spotify plays as it surged to the Top 20 of the UK singles chart, and shows no signs of slowing down.
Riding the wave of his trajectory, Elderbrook’s highly acclaimed September EP featured the singles ‘Woman’, ‘Good Times’, and ‘Talking’, with ‘Good Times’ later receiving a heavily supported remix from Garage legend MJ Cole, also earning himself a coveted spot as one of VEVO’s DSCVR artists for October 2017 and widespread press support from titles such as Clash, Dummy, Notion, Majestic Casual, C-Heads, Kaltblut and MTV.
With his popularity booming, Elderbrook took to the stage for a series of dates across the UK in October, playing at Glasgow, Manchester, London, and Brighton on his headline 4-date UK tour, with support from Housekeeping at his Oval Space gig. With his streaming number in the millions and headline tour dates ever increasing, Elderbrook looks set for mainstream success - yet for him, “the main goal is to just keep making music I love”.