After performing at handfuls of large scale festivals, sold out shows and having his face grace more than a few sites, it was nice to see Alex Botwin – Paper Diamond – playing at the Lizard Lounge here in Dallas. Formally known as the ‘World Famous Lizard Lounge’, the venue is one of Dallas’ sweet spots when it comes to catering Dfw’s EDM scene.
With fellow Pretty Lights Music label mate SuperVision as an opener, the show had been buzzing with excitement since the day the first flier dropped. It doesn’t hurt that SuperVision – Blake Hansen – happens to be a Dallas native, bringing a special hometown vibe to the show. The entire venue was packed out before the first opener went on stage; a surefire sign of a good night ahead.
After picking up our press credentials and entering the venue, we were escorted into the green lounge to wait for Paper Diamond. We took a few minutes sifting through notes, checking our equipment and had just cracked a Redbull open when we looked up to see him standing in the doorway, asking permission to take a seat. With that, our chill sesh with Paper Diamond began.
A man of many titles, Alex B isn’t one to remain idle. Like a diamond, all of his artistic endeavors have their own way to shine as unlimited as his personality; from running Elm & Oak (his record label/design firm/art gallery/community of entrepreneurs) to producing, designing and playing a variety of instruments, he has paved the ultimate pathway to success through these talents. Fortunately, we got him to sit still for our interview before he threw it down.
CYM: You’re very musically inclined, and play a ton of instruments. Were you surrounded by music throughout your childhood?
PD: I was extremely fortunate to grow up in a household where everyone played instruments. By the time I was 12 years old, I was going between the guitar, piano, violin, the drums… everything. I’ve always related myself to a sponge, and every adult figure in my life had a strong relationship with music; I always knew it was something I was born to do.
CYM: You have a lot of passion when it comes to music and art culture, is there anything specific you’re doing to bring that to your audience?
PD: Elm & Oak is exactly that. I thrive on creating different projects and giving people something to really get into; I love being able to spotlight individual talents. It’s in downtown Boulder as of right now, but we’ll be moving locations here soon. We have a design firm, record label and art gallery – all under the Elm & Oak name. It’s a community of painters, athletes, musicians and basically anyone and everyone willing to discover their potential. We’ve even brought in some motivational speakers for Q&A and all that. We’ve had such an amazing response, for our first class we had over 450 people sign up. To me, that’s a pretty big deal. Being able to inspire people to do what they love is the greatest.
PD: I love that question! You guys should implement that into every interview you do… Anyway, I guess I would say motivation. Drive. Belief in yourself and your abilities. Anything is possible as long as you put your mind to it, with enough motivation you can make your wildest dreams come true. A lot of people downplay that as a ‘surefire’ answer sort of thing, but I’ve found nothing to be more true.
Photo gallery by Brooke Stalker and Tai Carpenter