In a genre full of “computer noises” like EDM you’ll come across more tunes that are meant to make you move rather than feel something. Then there are artists like Alison Wonderland, she’ll have you in your feels, dancing, crying, smiling, and on a nostalgia-fueled trip down memory lane with her favorite hits from the past. Beyond being extremely talented behind the decks, she is a phenomenal writer, singer, producer, radio show host, and classically trained cellist. Very much like myself she is a collector of tattoos and t-shirts; and strives to be as honest, raw, and transparent with her art as she can be. From her music to her soul, she has been a big inspiration for myself and others to feel my emotions, evaluate them, and decide to swim rather than sink.
Coming from down under, Alexandra Scholler is originally from Sydney, Australia, and she began her musical journey with the cello. She sat principal cellist in the Sydney Youth Orchestra as well as a bass player in a few local indie rock bands, including one that cannot be found in the depths of the internet called Skills. She parted ways with traveling classical music simply because she feels that art shouldn’t feel like work, and she wanted something deeper. Then she heard the song that started it all, “Silent Shout” by The Knife. Not only was she shockingly moved by an EDM song, she needed to figure out how it was made. In 2008, she began Djing around Australia and tirelessly working on her craft on the decks. In 2011, she entered a DJ contest looking for talented women to give opportunities in the music industry to called She Can DJ. Although she didn’t win, in a few years she would end up signing with the record label that hosted the contest, EMI. Funny how life can be so full circle sometimes, huh?
What would follow would be the beginning of her come up, where she would go on to create many remixes that would get her noticed as well as touring with a local music festival. She put out her first official single “Get Ready” featuring Fishing followed by a debut 5 track EP, “Calm Down”. The EP featured award-nominated tracks such as “I Want U” which took over the charts and can still be heard in her sets today. She paved the way for her next body of work, her debut album “Run”, to be the genre-defying heater that it is, still to this day. It also features my personal favorite Alison Wonderland tune, “Naked”.
She took her time with each release pouring her heart and soul not only into the production but into the lyrics and music videos, each one as unique as the next. She would take the next few years to write her most recent and most moving album, Awake. Although the album came out in 2018, I’ve heard a couple of tracks such as “Happy Place” and “Good Enough” in her sets dating all the way back to 2016. The years between were not wasted though, Alison Wonderland was still sorting through the life lesson she would learn that became the themes and messages that would make Awake the emotional powerhouse that it is. She used music as therapy to help her through the trenches of mental health and toxic relationships. This album lead her to decide her self-worth for herself and choosing to make decisions to put herself in a better place in life. This album, as a body of work, would become the comfort and inspiration for many others like myself crawling through some of the same trenches. The album features structure-defying and genre cross-pollinating tracks such as the stoners love ballad and my personal favorite, “High”, featuring Trippie Redd and a beat-break feature from Chief Keef.
Every release is a part of her personal narrative and can be seen as time capsules of her life at the time. If you want to get to know her, dive into her discography or listen to an episode of Radio Wonderland. If you want to experience her, catch a live set where she will surely leave nothing left to be said. If the past is any indicator of what will be next for this extraordinary artist, what’s to come will be deeply personal, raw, and explosive. We can’t wait, but it will be worth it. In the meantime, dive into her personal selects below!
*Featured photo of Alison Wonderland at EDC Orlando 2019 via Weird Problems*