PHOTO ESSAY: Abraham Alexander @ DC9, 11/9

Words and photos by Nancy Kiner

The lights dimmed as Abraham Alexander walked on stage with three vocalists and his keyboardist; the audience fell silent in excitement. “I’ve seen him three times, I love him,” a mother told me as her daughter made space for me to move with my camera. Alexander, who was named one of “NPR’s Favorite New Artists of 2023” originally came from Dallas, Texas but shows immense love for DC. 

For one of the final stops on his headlining tour, Alexander brought incredible energy to the nightclub. A red electric guitar and black leather cowboy boots took over the stage as the singer opened with “Tears Run Dry,” one of the singles from his 2023 debut album SEA/SONS. Immediately a groove filled the intimate space, allowing a collective sway to roll through the audience as Alexander sang, “Darling let me love you and let me hold you. You will see those tears run dry.” 

“I love this City!” Alexander shouted; The residents of DC cheered back. Silence fell over the audience once more as Alexander began singing Déjà Vu.” The lights switched to red and flooded my vision as the opening guitar riff started to play. 

The singer stated that the piece was dedicated to a young man named Kaleif Browder. Sixteen year old Browder was picked up by the New York City Police Department for allegedly stealing a backpack in May of 2019. He was then placed in one of America’s most brutal prisons. As Abraham Alexander described, Browder spent a majority of his three years at Rikers Island in solitary confinement. While the case was dropped, Kaleif ended up taking his own life in his hometown of The Bronx, New York. “Same Lie. Another body in Glory. Déjà Vu.” The singer who had shown his smile many times during his short time on stage, stood somber, letting his lyrics speak for him. Residents of DC listened intently as Alexander described the “killing of a legacy” in “bittersweet poetry.”

SEA/SONS is available to stream everywhere.

One response

  1. rachel katz Avatar
    rachel katz

    this is beautiful. great photographer as well!

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