Xander Rawlins

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Alexander Rawlins
Born London
Nationality British
Education Bedford School
Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
Occupation Singer-songwriter, Musician, Record Producer, British Army Officer
Military career
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  British Army
Years of service 2006–2011
Rank UK Army OF2.png
Unit Grenadier Guards

Alexander Rawlins is an English singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and record producer. He is the lead vocalist and one half of the Indie Electronic duo LAIKIPIA, who in March 2017 released their first single "Hello Dreamer". His career started while he was a British army officer serving in Afghanistan. He was a 2014 BBC Introducing Artist and is well known for his songs "We See You" and "1000 Miles Apart".


Xander Rawlins, also known as Alex Rawlins (full first name Alexander), attended Bedford School,[1] Bedford, England and Oxford Brookes University. After graduation from University, he attended The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst commissioning into the Grenadier Guards in 2007. In 2009, he deployed to Afghanistan as an Infantry platoon commander with 30 men under his command.

BBC Three television broadcast a documentary series entitled Our War: 10 years in Afghanistan. The second episode of the 3-episode series contained coverage of Captain Alex Rawlins filming and interviewing his men from 1st Battalion, the Grenadier Guards about their experiences, and captures events surrounding the loss of Guardsman Jamie Janes, a soldier from his platoon, who had died on 5 October 2009 stepping on a IED .[2] Janes' death became a turning point in the British public's awareness of the human cost of Improvised explosive devices (IEDs).[3] The documentary Our War won "Best Documentary Series" and "Best Multichannel Programme" at the Broadcast Awards 2012, and a BAFTA for "Best Factual Series" .[4]

Rawlins began writing and recording music as a teenager. He co-created music with lifelong friend and fellow Devon inhabitant, Sam Phillips, under the name "The RawLips". In 2005, whilst at University in Oxford, Rawlins formed the band "Pulling Claudia" (later changed to "The Rawlins") with Phillips on lead, brother Digby on keys, Henry Latham on drums and Ben Dimond on bass. In 2009, Rawlins, while still in Afghanistan started singing in his platoon made band "The Renegade Irritations", also lovingly nicknamed "The Helmand Philharmonic"[5] as lead vocalist and guitarist to entertain the soldiers. He played songs on his guitar, ukulele and a cornet to a "captured audience" of soldiers. "Helmand Philharmonic" was reference to Helmand Province in Afghanistan, where he was serving. Although he sang some cover versions of known songs requested, he would include in his repertoire original self-authored songs like "The City", "Oh Staff Sergeant", "1000 Miles Apart" and others he would pen during free hours during military service. He has played all over Europe and the US and is currently based in Los Angeles preparing for the release of a new EP.

"1000 Miles Apart"[edit]

"1000 Miles Apart"
Single by Xander Rawlins
Released 13 December 2010 (2010-12-13) (on iTunes)
Format Digital download, CD single, EP, promo
Songwriter(s) Xander Rawlins
Xander Rawlins singles chronology
"1000 Miles Apart"
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"1000 Miles Apart" "We See You"

Rawlins started writing 1000 Miles Apart in England and finished it while on the front in Helmand Province, Afghanistan in Christmas 2009. A tribute to Jamie Janes, it was about a soldier being far away in the battlefield and longing to be home for Christmas.[6] The recording with extra footage from the battalion soldiers themselves was meant to be sent by them to their families and friends. British Forces Broadcasting Service radio and television, the British Forces News and mainstream news networks and newspapers promoted the release of 1000 Miles Apart as a contender to the aspired #1 on Christmas. All proceeds were pledged to Army Benevolent Fund The Soldiers' Charity (ABF)[7] and to the Combat Stress charity for serving men and women suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other mental health issues.

After release[edit]

Rawlins was stationed back in his home country and performed public duties at Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace and The Tower of London.

He has now left the Army and[8] in Los Angeles and is set to be released in the near future.He was a featured BBC Introducing artist in 2014 and is currently in Los Angeles preparing for the release of a new EP.

Soldier in Blue[edit]

In 2012 Rawlins co-founded Soldier in Blue, a consultancy firm specialising in providing serving and ex-service personnel and their dependents to the entertainment industry as extras and advisors. They have worked on such productions as Les Miserables, Monuments Men, Our World War, Fury, Testament of Youth, Suffragette and the Star Wars saga.



  • 2013: TBA


  • 2010: "1000 Miles Apart" - Xander Rawlins
  • 2011: "The City" - Xander Rawlins
  • 2013: "We See You" - Xander Rawlins
  • 2017: "Hello Dreamer" - LAIKIPIA[9]
  • 2017: "Down Down" (feat Thurz) - LAIKIPIA[10]
  • 2017: "Living Outside" - LAIKIPIA
  • 2017: "I Know Love" - LAIKIPIA


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 December 2010. Retrieved 16 December 2010. 
  2. ^ "Guardsman Jamie Janes killed in Afghanistan". Communique. Ministry of Defence. 7 October 2009. Retrieved 2 January 2011. 
  3. ^ Part of BBC3 documentary Our War: 10 years in Afghanistan featuring footage from Captain Alex Rawlins work on YouTube
  4. ^ BroadcastNow Awards 2012 shortlist revealed
  5. ^ "The Grenadier Guitar man: Xander Rawlins fought the Taliban, now he's battling to be the new James Blunt". Sarah Oliver. London: The Daily Mail. 15 November 2010. Retrieved 2 January 2012. 
  6. ^ "Video: Xander Rawlins - 1000 Miles Apart". Daily Telegraph. London: Telegraph Media Group. 1 December 2010. Retrieved 4 December 2010. 
  7. ^ ABF Soldiers Charity
  8. ^ "UK Soldier Takes On X Factor For Xmas No1". Sky News. Sky Television. 2 December 2010. Archived from the original on 21 February 2012. Retrieved 2 January 2011. 
  9. ^ "LAIKIPIA - "Hello Dreamer"". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2017-04-01. 
  10. ^ "LAIKIPIA". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2017-05-07. 

External links[edit]