One of the Chicago area’s up and coming bright young entertainment talents is Armand Alex Chestang, who is starting to take the local music scene by storm.
Chestang, whose stage name is Anonymous Alex, performs Sunday, April 28 at The Forge, a trendy club in Joliet, Illinois.
The Anonymous Alex show at The Forge on Sunday, April 28 at 6:30 p.m. is an Afton Shows production. To purchase tickets and for more info, click here. Tickets are $12.
The Forge is located at 22 West Cass Street in Joliet, Illinois. It’s an intimate venue hosting live bands and other acts for all ages, with drinks and pub grub available.
N’DIGO caught up with the entertainer who calls the south suburbs home to find out what’s propelling his current success.
N’DIGO: What’s the background of Anonymous Alex? What’s your act and how did you get started?
Armand Alex Chestang: Anonymous Alex is a young, go-getting overachiever from the South Side of Chicago with a story to tell. I am a hip hop/rapper, singer/songwriter, and male model. I got started with music at a really young age. My father was a DJ in Chicago. My grandfather was a bass player in a band. So I was always around great music and took a liking to a very broad range of music, a lot of different genres.
My first time doing anything with music myself was singing in the chorus in fourth grade. Honestly, from there on it was history. I started rapping just playing around in high school and now I am trying to reach higher heights in my career.
What kind of audience do you appeal to?
I appeal to more of the youth. I really hope me telling my story will put them on the path to success. I also hope they listen and can have that guidance I didn’t have, by telling them my trials and tribulations.
Any particular projects you’re working on?
Yes there is. I have an EP coming out with about eight songs. It’s called I Was Born Lost. I’m calling it this because I feel that title explains my life. My parents tried to be the best they could, but I was trying to find my own way at an early age. I’m not saying I was on the street, but I lived with my dad and he didn’t pay attention. So I strayed from everyone and found my own way and did it through music.
How long have you been interested in performing music?
I would say it was about 2004 when I first realized I could sing and I started rapping in 2012.
What is it like trying to break into the music industry?
It is a long and fruitful road if you take it correctly. It is a lot of hard work and when you get there that is just the tip of the iceberg.
Who are your musical inspirations?
Michael Jackson, The Weeknd, Tupac, Notorious B.I.G, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Nas, Jay-Z, Run-DMC, Eric B. & Rakim, Nipsey Hussle, XXXTentacion, and also Lil Peep, Drake, and Freddie Mercury.
Who’s on your playlist currently?
Nipsey Hussle, DaBaby, Billie Eilish, Valee, Lgado, XXXTentacion, Migos, Tory Lanez, Gunna, Lil Baby, Project Pat, Drake.
You’re scheduled at the trendy club The Forge in Joliet on April 7 and April 28. What kind of venue is The Forge?
This venue is actually a stage and mosh pit, with a bar behind the mosh pit. It is a great place to start your performing career.
If you weren’t into music, what other thing(s) would you be pursuing?
I would be creating my own clothes and opening a restaurant chain and a clothing store.
What’s something people would be surprised to know about you?
That I wasn’t always the coolest kid my whole life. I was bullied in school all the way to senior year. I was that quiet kid in the corner with barely any friends and I think that is the reason I am so comfortable in my alter ego (Anonymous Alex). I knew he was there all along. I just couldn’t get him out, but now he is free from my mind.
Do you have any words of advice or affirmations that you live by?
Make sure you always stay positive. It gets really dark sometimes, but we have to keep that light ourselves because no one else will keep it for you. I live by the fact that no one will ever give it to you, so you have reach for it and take it.
What’s next for Anonymous Alex?
Right now the show at The Forge in Joliet on the 28th. The EP will be out soon, and I also have a lot more music coming to all music-streaming services.
How can people reach you for more information?
Anything else you’d like to add?
I would like to say R.I.P. to Nipsey Hussle and XXXTentacion, and thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to excel in my career.