Photo courtesy of Monogamy.
Though he’s a teenager wrapping up his senior year in high school, tooling around and making music in his bedroom at night, Monogamy’s already sparking the attention of DJs, fellow artists, and music lovers alike for his grungy, organic rock music. In real life, he’s D. Alfred, and he couldn’t tell you why he chose he stage name. He approaches life on a whim, grasping into his mind fleeting moments and ideas, and where one captures his fancy, he’ll try it out. Unlike his pseudonym, he remains detached, slightly frivolous, and more willing to experiment with many narratives than bind himself tightly to one.
Be it a sign of brilliance or the vacillating character of a youthful mind, Monogamy carries his capriciousness proudly.
“Between all my attempts at making music, I was usually at the pace of a new name every two weeks,” recalls D. Alfred. “I put a record out on SoundCloud in the summer of 2011, and Monogamy kind of resonated with me. I’m still not sure where it came from, but it stuck. I liked the vibe. It has a singular relationship between me and recording.”
A relationship that’s fresh and young, like a new romance with endless possibilities. In fact, the budding musician only took a loving to the craft recently, when, after experimenting with some novelty computer programs, he realized he might just have a thing. After toying a bit with his crush, D. Alfred purchased a guitar and rummaged his friends’ basements for sound equipment. Before he knew it, there was music. It went from bad to better to good, and now he’s shooting for greatness. Sort of.
In truth, D. Alfred has no grand expectations for Monogamy, or any at all really. Currently based in small-town Michigan, he’s heading to college in the fall to study social sciences and keeps active in extracurricular activities including jazz band and drama club. He’s Student Body President, and into philosophical thinking. Music, thus, exemplifies the crossroads between introspection and tangential extraction, a life vehicle for “pulling everything together and kind of pushing it away.” He’s still playing around with it, but right now Monogamy falls somewhere in between indie acoustic rock and it’s pop crossover twin.
“I usually describe it as ‘bedroom pop,’” the rocker explains. “It’s a term I hear thrown around a lot that seems to work for it. I’m definitely interested in the pop format and making things catchy, but I also recently started getting into noisy stuff. Part of what I like to do is mix things up. I have a record coming out soon with one track that’s punk, another is an acoustic ballad, and the third is this weird Leonard Cohen “Death of a Ladie’s Man” mix-up. My music is not one real genre just because I’m always impulsive with what I want to do in a day.”
A typical day for D. Alfred begins at 6:10am (he confirmed with his alarm clock), but it stalls for thirty minutes or so. He does the school thing then comes home, eats, does some work and gets to the music. Abstraction leads him to undertake varying themes in his sound and style, sometimes this involves rotating colors on his website, sometimes mismatching his shoes. He says he’s “too fickle to be famous,” and he values both the timeless tributes to sound that forever embed themselves in musical psyche, as much as he does advancements in technology that have allowed him a part in the story. The last record he purchased was on cassette, an LP called If You’re So Depressed How Come You’re Eating Pizza by the Haves & Thirds, which is not even available on iTunes; his personal is demeanor similarly a cross between apathy and inquisition.
The best way to enjoy Monogamy, says the hopefully indifferent singer, is in the backseat of your friend’s car, driving away from a party that began as promising, but proved otherwise.
“A lot of my songs are about disillusionment or confusion, being impulsive or disappointment,” D. Alfred comments. “That reflects me and a lot of people at the same point in life. We’re exposed to so much, it’s hard to figure out what’s good or bad or worth keeping in your life.”
And on the idea of worldwide eminence, D. Alfred prefers a few dedicated fans to a crowd of subtly attentive passersby. “I’m not very interested in huge numbers of people listening to my music, but I am interested in individuals. I haven’t sold a lot of records, but I’ve gotten responses from musicians who I’ve looked up to for a really long time, which means a lot to me. I’m much more interested in a guy from the band I’ve been listening to or even my friend Avery liking my music than 20 people who don’t know what’s going on…That’s how it’s been for most of my life…I’m interested in individuals as opposed to the group.
Here, at last, we find the essence of Monogamy.