The Alchemist: Alex Osuch aka DJAO

“The lit scene in Seattle is extremely vibrant and active—and you can navigate it the same way you can the music scene.”

Alex Osuch should know: As one of the founders of Old Growth Northwest, he hosts bimonthly readings at the Rendezvous, and as a confederate of the Hush Hush Records crew, he’s a local luminary of electronic music.

“I patterned so much of what I’m doing with Old Growth off of the lessons I learned with music: how to do a show, book performers, market a show, structure it,” he says.

This is a freewheeling artistic mind in action. Osuch, a Seattle native and graduate of Johns Hopkins’ creative writing program, says he hews to electronic music because of its experimental nature.

“I don’t sit down and think, like, I’m so futuristic right now! But that’s where I gravitate,” he says. “Every musical genre has people pushing boundaries, but electronic music is as crazy as it gets.”

Unhurried, spacious and nonlinear, Osuch’s music exists in an incandescent netherworld between jazz, classical, soul and downtempo. For his DJ sets, he performs live vocals over his own productions and mixes in a grab bag of offbeat sounds, from slowed-down ’90s hip-hop to soundtrack music to obscure covers.

“I’m looking for that golden hour—like that window when you’re shooting a movie—where I can do basically anything without ruining the vibe.”

In early 2014, Osuch will release his eponymous, debut album on Portland-based label Dropping Gems and start a regular DJ gig at Q alongside Reed Juenger of Beat Connection. He’ll also continue to oversee Old Growth’s poetry and prose publication, Poplorish, and host its readings.

Age 27
Hometown Seattle
Greatest inspiration Virginia Woolf’s 
The Waves
Achilles’ heel 
Fear of success
Current obsession Meditation

Photo by Mike Hipple

Return the the complete 2014 Future List.