THE fantastic Xav A. has been talking with me…
about the video for his single, All In (Summer Song), and what it was like filming it. I ask what the scene is like in New York (where he is based) and when music came into his life – Xav A. talks about touring and whether he’ll come to the U.K.
I ask the R&B singer about his early life and the music that compelled him; if there are three albums that mean a lot to him; which new artist he is responding to – he gives some useful advice to upcoming artists.
Hi, Xav A. How are you? How has your week been?
This week has been awesome! Fans have really loved my latest release so getting the feedback from them - feels great. I'm also so thankful for you all connecting with me!
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
Yes! I'm Xav A. and I'm a retro R&B singer all about bringing wholesome, positive vibes to the world.
All In (Summer Song) is out. What is the inspiration behind the song?
The inspiration behind the song was making sure that we still have music that talks about celebrating true love and making people want to strive for that. I just felt like love songs have been taking a backseat to cheating songs for too long!
Was it fun shooting the video? Where was it filmed?
It was so fun shooting! It was shot in Fort Tryon Park in N.Y.C. and also in the 191st Street 1 train subway stop. Being surrounded by all of my friends made for an extremely enjoyable day. Thanks to Phe Philms for shooting!
Is there more material coming later in the year? What are you working on?
Yes! Later in the year, I will be putting out some '80s-inspired Synthwave songs. I am usually more of a '90s guy, but I just wanted to show a different side of myself.
Do you recall when music came into your life? Was there an artist or album that struck your ear?
Music has always been in my life since I was little thanks to my parents. I think the song that really changed my life was Milkshake by Kelis. I know that probably sounds crazy but I think it showed me that you can make music that is different, but it can be just as cool as whatever the flavor of the month is. It made me feel like being different didn't have to be something bad. Kelis definitely changed my life.
How important is the scene in New York? Do you draw inspiration from the people and sounds around you?
I draw so much inspiration from my friends in the video, Chris Gallerani and Uliya! Knowing that we are all doing our best to become the truest versions of ourselves makes me feel empowered. I swear they are the coolest - and I'm just always trying to keep up!
If you had to select three albums that mean the most to you; which would they be and why?
B’Day by Beyoncé. The energetic, cacophonous sound on that record is something I aspire to end up with on a later record!
Like I was saying before; Tasty by Kelis was also a major favorite.
Thirdly; I would say The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (Lauryn Hill) because even though she hasn’t put out a ton of music since then: I feel like it's still relevant and still a classic. I want that too for my projects!
What do you hope to achieve by the end of 2018?
By the end of the year, I will have released two Synthwave tracks, two more videos; prepped my really cool band, start dance lessons and get a trainer too. I have so much to do!
Will there be any tour dates? Might you head to the U.K. at all?
Not at this time but I love to perform on Facebook Live and LiveMe - so my U.K. fans can connect with me there!
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
I think my favorite moment was performing at SOB’s to open up their showcase that night. It was a huge undertaking to organize the dancers, the band and the filming. It made me tell myself: ‘You know what? I really can do this’. I'm extremely proud of that.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
I would love to open for the rapper Kyle! I feel like that would be a good match.
In terms of a rider; I just need as much space as possible. I don't care about anything else as long as we have enough space for everybody to mentally prepare!
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Build up your following on the Internet, don't compare yourself to other people and constantly check in on your progress. Look to see what's working and what's not and, if it's not, change it!
IN THIS PHOTO: Ella Mai
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
Well. I think Ella Mai’s new song, Boo’d Up, is really great - so anyone who hasn't heard that yet should definitely give it a listen!
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
I unwind with video games! I bought a PS4 this year which is definitely hijacking my productivity. If anyone plays Smite or Street Fighter 5, let me know!
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Sure! To get an idea of my new sound for the second half of the year, check out True Survivor by David Hasselhoff! So '80s!
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