Ian Alexander Jr. was King’s pride and joy. She was a major presence on his social media channels, which were replete with indications that his career as a music-making DJ, singer and producer was about to take off. Those social media posts eagerly looking toward the future stood in contrast to others that offered more cryptic messages.
Alexander Jr., who performed under the name Desduné, was three days removed from celebrating his 26th birthday when he died by suicide. That was right around when he took to his Instagram account to post an image bringing attention to an upcoming gig he had. Alexander Jr. invited people to attend a showcase for emerging artists in Los Angeles so they can “say you supported desduné before the blowup.”
The post had hundreds of likes, including one from King, who called Alexander Jr. “such a bright light who cared so deeply about the happiness of others” in a statement confirming his death. King responded to that Instagram post with a single vote of approval: “Swag.”
But a few days earlier, Alexander Jr. suggested via his Twitter account that Instagram was not the most “healthy” place for him. He did not expound on that thought.
That same day, Alexander Jr. also took to Twitter to compare himself to a SpongeBob Squarepants episode that featured a chaotic glimpse inside the main character’s brain. “[T]hat one really hits home,” Alexander Jr. tweeted.
Desduné’s had just released a single called “Green Eyes” on Jan. 7 and other music from him, including his debut single, “Work It Out,” that was released last April, is available on popular streaming services like Apple Music.
One day before “Green Eyes” was released, Alexander Jr. appealed to his followers to help the song reach 1 million streams. He said he would quit smoking if that happened. “My health is in your hands,” he wrote alongside an emoji of a clementine, the name of the project on which the song appears.
By all means, according to Alexander Jr.’s Instagram, Desduné was preparing to take the next step in his career and appeared to be very excited about those prospects; indications expressed through IG posts that showed him in various states of bliss.
Whether it was touting his own music or dedicating his love to his mother or bonding with his dog or sharing old family photos, Alexander used his Instagram page to share his own apparent joy.
Sadly, his suicide was the latest in a rising trend of Black people taking their own lives in the pandemic.