If you don’t know the name Alkii by now, you should.

USC student Alex Hein is raising eyebrows across campus as he gains recognition for producing and performing original music under the stage name “Alkii.”

Alkii was born in a small town south of Chicago and began experimenting with music at 12.

“I really started actually making songs when I was 12, not thinking much of it, but then gradually it just became something that I really enjoyed and started getting better at,” Hein recalls.

The Thorton student remembers fiddling around on Garageband, Apple’s music production application, leading him to experiment with sound and eventually produce basic hip-hop beats, creating his first track at age 13 about his eighth-grade basketball team.

When Hein discovered electronic dance music (EDM) in high school, he took this passion for creating music to the next level.

“When I first got into EDM it was definitely a lot of the ‘trap nation’ era of EDM and trap. But before that, I was really into the kind of R&B-influenced hip hop, and that stuff still comes through as an influence in my songwriting,” noted Hein. “Kind of that more melodic blend of hip hop and R&B.”

Since his high school days, Hein has started making a name for himself as an upcoming, innovative artist, blending genres like EDM, hip-hop, and R&B.

“So many listeners of electronic music...like both EDM and other genres like hip hop and R&B especially,” said Hein, “For some reason, there’s still this sharp divide between two genres. I just wanted to create a sound that I wanted to hear, that I feel like a lot of other people are looking for.”

While Alkii acknowledges the long road ahead, he still celebrates his recent triumphs.

“I actually just hit 500,000 streams, which is not a ton compared to some of these USC artists...but it’s a milestone for me,” shared Hein. “It just feels like a great progression because for a while no one really cared.”

Hein mainly performs to crowds of hundreds at fraternity parties and house shows but believes these performances are essential to building the loyal fanbase needed to realize his bigger dreams.

“I’m kind of hoping to keep building a following so I can start throwing my own shows when I’m actually headlining so I can do my own music and add my own twist to it,” said Hein.

Hein’s recent material has heavily focused on features and collaborations as he strives to build his reputation as Alkii.

“My last song that I put out, “Afterparty”, was with another USC artist, Hannah Abraham,” said Hein, “and actually on the song that has the most streams right now, I had my sister [singing] on it.”

Beyond his ambitious dreams of working with artists like The Weeknd and Louis The Child, the creative process is what Hein loves most.

When talking about his favorite part about being an artist, Hein reflected on “the initial spark of creativity, whenever I come up with an idea.”

Moving forward, Hein has high hopes for “Sunday Scaries”, his newly created music duo with fellow DJ “PER1METER”. The duo will begin touring in the upcoming months.

At such a young age, only time will tell if Alkii realizes his ambitious dreams. Though with his hard work and climbing success, the future is promising.