Alluxe wields power. To send you to emotional depths, standing onstage over her controller, unleashing hard-hitting beats, loops and grooves that cut through on impact. To send your head into a tailspin via her fine-tuned studio concoctions — a mélange of vocal swirls, avant-garde affects and manipulated melodies. There’s even a high chance she’s already affected without your knowledge: the supremely talented artist, producer, DJ, controllerist, violinist and live show designer has programmed and designed groundbreaking shows for some of the biggest names in music from Kanye West to Drake, The Weeknd to Bon Iver. “The lines are vey blurred,” the musician, born Laura Escude, says of a much-heralded award-winning career that connects the artistic and the professional, and thrives on her innate knack for technological innovation and ingenuity.
At her core, however, Alluxe is principally an intense creative mind — a fact evidenced with precision on her new Contrast EP, a sweeping demonstration of the multi-talented woman’s ability to craft moody, emotionally jarring music, equal parts cinematic and four-on-the-floor dance riot. “It’s a bit outside the box and that’s what I’m going for,” Alluxe says of the five-track collection that finds her experimenting with vocal effects like never before (“It took me outside my comfort zone”), using brash sound and massive movement on the full-bore “Work My Body,” and utilizing angst and aggression as her ally via the explosive “On My Own.” “It’s about flying and soaring and standing on your own two feet,” she says of the Tatiana-assisted cut. “It’s about being recognized as an artist.”
With a wealth of experience as wide-ranging and impressive as hers, artistic recognition, not surprisingly, comes fast and furious for Alluxe. In her capacity as a controllerist, she’s nearly unparalleled. An Ableton Certified Trainer, Alluxe is a wizard behind the boards -- a widely recognized pioneer in the utilization of technology for musical creation: yes, when not creating her own music, opening shows behind the decks for the likes of Miguel and Garbage or performing alongside Kiesza and Iggy Azalea, she’s dreaming up ever-expanding sonic concepts with her company, Electronic Creatives, for a diverse array of the most iconic artists on the planet including Jay Z, Herbie Hancock and Cat Power.
Still, like any talented creative, her artistic worlds bleed into one another. “My work as an artist has influenced what I do with those artists,” Alluxe offers, “but what they do has also influenced me. I feel like I’ve become a much better performer because of working with these artists: seeing what they do and taking cues from the way they perform no matter the genre. I’m constantly taking certain elements and using them in my show.”
It’s all part of a natural artistic growth cycle for a lifelong musician. Alluxe took up violin at age five, was the concertmaster of the Rhode Island Youth Philharmonic a few years later, and will casually mention how when studying violin performance at Florida State University she learned to produce electronic music at George Clinton’s studio in Tallahassee, Florida. After moving to LA in 2004, Alluxe quickly established herself as a superb violinist and boundary-breaking inventor, equally able to incorporate her classical instrument into her own futuristic-style electronic performances (“There’s that emotional component for me with the violin”) as well as on other artists records: her violin playing can be heard on projects by Kanye West, Hit-Boy and Big Grams. “There’s just so much energy going on,” she says of her creative process.
Working out of her studio when not on the road, Alluxe is constantly experimenting with new sounds and styles. Her new EP, she says, is her most cohesive musical expression yet. “I feel like I’ve finally gotten together this collection of songs that really expresses where I’m at in my life accurately,” she says of an aural collage she describes as “more feminine” than her 2013 Nomad EP. “I have a ton of music but I’m very selective about what I want to put out there in the world. In the past I felt I had to put on a more masculine front to be taken seriously as a producer but now I am past that and embracing what comes naturally to me.”
And while some artists are eager to slot their music into a specific genre, Alluxe embraces the ambiguity and open-ended possibilities of her tracks dance, hip-hop and groove-indebted songs. “I’m owning that a bit more,” she says of her genre-bending inclinations. “When someone comes to see my live shows they see it’s different and unique. I feel like people are moving forward from the whole EDM craze. I never felt like I fit in with that world anyway. Where I’m at right now is right for me.”
“The goal has always been to be an artist,” she says reflecting on an innovative and imaginative journey that’s in many ways just getting started. “That’s my passion.”