Alex Wiley has a sound that is not really expected from a Chicago native. When you think of the current Chicago rap scene, the hardcore drill sound made famous by Chief Keef and the animated sound of Chance the Rapper come to mind. Alex Wiley has a healthy appreciation for boom bap beats with an electronic twist. He began gaining attention in 2011. In 2012, he was featured on his soon to be label mate, Kemba X’s, “Don’t Quit” track. Wiley popped up on the scene as a solo talent a year later with his debut mixtape,Club Wiley. His debut mixtape featured other artists like Chance the Rapper, Action Bronson, Freddie Gibbs, and Vic Mensa, with production from Chuck Inglish, making it a circus of a tape. His next mixtape Village Party caught the ears of the internet, with it’s space age production and lyrics. Songs like “Yung San Diego” and “Vibrations” brought attention to Wiley’s lyrical ability.
Wiley is more in tuned with his fan base than most rappers are. He uses social media as a bridge to reach out to his supporters, by soliciting feedback on songs that he previews. This rapport he has built with his fans has turned him into one of the most listened to and sought after artist on the internet. His latest mixtape, Tangerine Dream, has garnered over 2 million downloads. He only has around 30,000 followers on Twitter, but Wiley is a true example of what can happen when you cultivate and invest in your social media presence.
You can expect Alex Wiley to bring all of his unique tunes to this year’s A3C Festival. With new a new track, “Automatic” featuring Mick Jenkins and Tangerine Dream still fresh on music platforms like Apple Music, Wiley’s performance is sure to be one to remember as he appeases his long time fans and gains new ones. While his Tangerine Dream project is only four months old, Wiley plans on following up with his debut album Synthia later this year. We may catch a new release from him at the It’s Lit showcase on Sunday October 9.