What You Need To Know Now: Xavier E On “Pain Of Another Day”
Grammy-nominated artist, Xavier E is known for excelling as a performer and songwriter. His most recent success in the world’s biggest talent record pool on Spinnin’ Records has gained him a solid #1 position in the Top 10!
In this interesting interview, you can learn more about his life, music career, and the upcoming Sweet Rains remix of “Pain Of Another Day” to be released on July 22nd.
1 — At what point did music become so important to you?
Music has always been part of my life. My father used to play the guitar, and my dad growing up was in a band with his family. My father had other children and they all were in bands and since and play music. I was too shy growing up to even try to sing because people use to make fun of me. But I learned in high school that music gave me a “feeling “, it just made me feel certain ways… Sometimes I cry, laugh, and just feel good. That was the power of music for me. It wasn’t until I moved to NYC for college is when I really delved into my true passion for music and where I learned that I actually had a good voice. Music got me out of some of my darkest times. Now I can write a song about it and use those emotions in the power of the song. Just like my new single “Pain of Another Day”. It is a song about heartbreak, betrayal, and self-doubt that comes along with it. Even recording this song, it was hard for me to get through it you can hear the raw emotion in these vocals. I hope that other people can relate and that this song can give others a “feeling”.
2 — When did you start your artistic career professionally?
I grew up in a small town, my family was the only ethnic family in my town and a few towns over. I grew up with adversities and racism, so as soon as I could I moved to the biggest city in the world, New York City. I had big dreams to become an actor. I auditioned at one of the hardest schools to get into for theater and I got in. I was dead set to be an actor. While In school though I noticed I was only getting these “Suppoting Actor” roles. I mean, I was good, all my teachers told me so. So one day one of my teachers Jackie pulled me aside and asked me why I thought I wasn’t getting any lead roles. She wanted to know if I was self-aware. I was 17 at the time, and I did not know. She told me it was because I was too “fat” and I would never get any roles but fat homosexual roles. (I was also not out of the closet at this time and I was 500lbs.) I was crushed. So this is when I started to embrace my voice. I had a great vocal teacher John Balis. He showed me how to use my voice properly. And there it took off, from one record label to independent record labels to self-releasing to where I am now today.
3 — Which are the artists who inspire you?
I was an odd child, to say the least. I was 500 lbs, a closeted gay boy trying to fit into a heterosexual world. I use to dress in bright colors and baggy clothes and comb my hair in punk style, just trying to stand out and fit in. I was trying to be cool, but I was just weird. I started listening to Cyndi Lauper and saw how odd she was. She was kind of like me. Oh my god! It is okay to be different. She inspired me to be myself, and show people my true colors. Now I am not ashamed of who or what I am. I am who I am, accept me for who I am if not, I don’t need you in my life. Madonna as well for the same reasons, Boy George, and all the boy bands, Janet Jackson. Justin Timberlake of course. I had to say that, and I’ve met many times. The list goes on.
4 — Is your new song “Pain Of Another Day” a personal statement?
I believe music that comes from a “true” place is good music. People can relate to that. If you go through a struggle other people can release and if it comes from a real place it makes it real to other people. “Pain of Another Day” is about a relationship I was in, and I was cheated on. I got in my head and was so insecure back to my fat days. Why is this person cheating on me? Am I not good enough? What is wrong with me? It was a rough time in my life. My father was dying, I was home with my mother, and my boyfriend at the time was running around with other people. There was a lot going on. I was hurt. When writing this song, I was so emotional, and when trying to prepare to go into the studio to record the vocals It was hard for me to get through just a dry run. Even now I can listen to it and it will bring back what I was feeling at the time. I have another song called “Proud”. I wrote this song about the death of my dad. And I needed his approval, and I wanted to know if I made him proud and if he would be happy with my choices in my sexuality, my work, goals. When people hear this song they get other meanings from it, it’s their mother, their aunt, or their mother who they lost. But the song comes from a true play. People can relate.
5 — Did you ever expect to top the dance music charts?
I am working with some of the best people in the industry – Sweet Rains Productions. I am familiar with their work and I knew that this would be a hit. It is still trending up, people are loving it. I am not going to lie, I was shocked and excited at the same time to see I was #1 on Spinning Records, and that over 6k people have listened to and are still listening to this track. I am happy and excited and I can’t wait to get more people to hear it and like this song. I did have a few songs that did very well on Digital tracker radio, I was in the top 100s for the major and independent artist for 14 weeks. I was in the Top 3 on the independent charts for a song my old record label hated. So, during Covid, I decided we needed a feel-good song, so I released a song called “Cruel Like That”. This song went wild! I knew “Pain of Another Day” had a better production so deep down in my soul I knew and I know this song is going to be hitting the top of a lot of charts.
6 — Are you psyched to get out there and play this music?
I am excited. I am not going to lie, the first time I heard any of my music on XM radio, I had to pull over in my car and just sit there. I didn’t say anything but I just sat there and listened to it. I got teary-eyed and was just shocked but excited… I can not explain it just a bunch of emotions. And when I heard one of my songs played in a big club and people dancing to it, that was just exciting. I wanted to say: “That is my song, that is my song!”. The first time I saw my music video on MTV and VH1, I was calling my friends to take a video off the screen of my TV. I was so happy, I cried. Then to see the millions of listening crowd I was getting by my radio play tracked by Digital Tracker radio gave me more of a rush. This song “Pain Of Another Day”, when a few DJs played it at Los Angeles Pride, I could just feel it in my soul, the energy and the reaction from the people, it gave me LIFE! I am more psyched, I am f*n excited. Like all artists, I just want my music to be heard and I want it to mean something to people, I want it to move people and make people feel a certain way. Again, the power of music. I can not wait to start promoting this song and the rest of my EP I am working on. I feel this is the start of my music career, I call this music career 2.0. After my father’s death, I took time off from music and went back to school got a degree, and started working in the Emergency room. I was one of those RN who was in the middle of the first wave of Covid and seeing how precious life was. I started to get back into music. You only live once and I can inspire people and help people in different ways, through song.
7 — How was making this tune different? Who produced it?
This tune started out as a ballad. I loved the song, loved the ballad. It was also produced by the same team – Sweet Rains (back then it was Iggy Kisil and Johan Brunkvist, who was also a keyboard guy for the majority of Todd Terry’s records). I really wanted to have a dance version of this song. After years had gone by, I approached the Sweet Rains team again to take another look at these vocals. When they told me that these vocals inspired them and they were on board to make this a big ’80s retro throwback song, I was stoked! I couldn’t wait. I was like a child waiting for Christmas, waiting to hear this song. When I heard it WOW! Blew me away. Thank you – Sweet Rains Productions out of NYC for this amazing production. Just a great group of people who just gets it. They know what I am looking for, know what I want and they know music and the trends.
8 — What’s your favorite part of the Sweet Rains remix?
One of my friends who heard “Pain Of Another Day” stated the song is hypnotic. I love how the track builds it and gets huge then. I love the groovy beat and the vocal production… Even down to the mastering of the song. It sounds amazing in my Porsche’s speakers, and in clubs. The bass is out of this world and it keeps you in that grove to dance or even to work out.
9 — How was this collaboration possible?
I’ve known Sweet Rains productions for many years now, they have worked on a few songs for me… We’ve always kept in touch. When I had the idea to record another song, I had many people out here in Los Angeles who wanted to be part of this, but I already had a team I trusted. I reached out and here we are today. They are not just a production company they made me feel as If I was part of their family. Just the way they have treated me and my music is just amazing. I am truly blessed person to have great people in my life.
10 — What advice would you give to other vocalists that are just starting out?
Make music you love! Make music for yourself and other people will love it! Here is advice that an A-list artist gave me a long time ago. I mean over 10 years ago and I live by this even today. She said, “Don’t worry about what other people are doing or how they sound, we are all unique.” I am paraphrasing but it was along this line. I tell other artists this all the time. Do you boo! We are all different, your music is an art, and my music is an art. Not everyone is going to like your art, I am okay with that. Do not let other people tell you anything about your art, it is yours, you made it, so own it!
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Exclusive Interview: VE/RA Discusses Techno Hit “Love & Peace”
I had the opportunity to have a one-on-one conversation with VE/RA, an up-and-coming Techno musician, to talk about her recent popular single, “Love & Peace” in collaboration with The Rocketman. During the interview, she talks about the process of creating her unique and powerful sound, juggling her music career alongside other responsibilities, her aspirations as an artist in the long run, and various other topics.
1 — How did the idea of mixing elements of Rap and Techno come about in your new track “Love & Peace”?
The Rocketman and I, both being Techno artists, decided to create a track in our genre. However, we wanted to make it unique and distinct. Upon discovering a Rap vocal, we immediately started building music around it.
2 — What was your reaction to receiving support from industry heavyweights like Charlotte De Witte, Nicky Romero, and Maddix?
After finishing the track, we sent it to Charlotte de Witte. Over the weekend, while scrolling through my Instagram stories, I came across a post where she was playing “Love & Peace.” Overwhelmed with excitement, I immediately called The Rocketman. Getting support from Charlotte de Witte is a huge deal within the Techno scene. Soon after, Maddix also supported us multiple times, which was great since I’ve always enjoyed his productions. A little while later, I received a video of Nicky Romero playing our track on the main stage at EDC Mexico. It was surreal to see the huge audience react so positively to our track. In short, it was a very cool experience!
3 — Did you face any challenges in achieving the hard-hitting sound?
No, not really. The track was there within 5 hours. After finding the vocals, a hard-hitting kick, psy bass, acid line, and trance synth were built around it. The result was not overly complicated, as simplicity was key.
4 — What do you think sets “Love & Peace” apart from other Techno tracks?
“Love & Peace” is a highly accessible Techno track that appeals to a wide audience. While Nicky Romero and Avao are not necessarily Techno artists, they still play the genre. Additionally, the Rap vocal adds a unique touch to the whole sound.
5 — Can you share any details about your upcoming collaborations in 2023?
No, unfortunately, I can’t say anything about that this time.
6 — How do you balance your music production career with other commitments?
I still live at home with my parents, so my expenses are not that high. I do this on purpose, to put my full focus on my music career.
7 — What’s the most unforgettable experience you’ve had while performing on stage?
That was when I was playing at Dutchweek in Saalbach, Austria, on top of the mountain. My sister, father, and his girlfriend were with me. After finishing my performance, my father stood with tears in his eyes and said, “I’m so proud.” My sister also wrote me a message expressing her pride. The warmth and positive energy from both my family and fans always stay with me the longest.
8 — How has your music evolved since you first started producing?
I made a lot of strides in the field of producing. I took private lessons producing in Den Bosch, and took a lot of online courses, including those from Alex Stein, ANNA & Wehbba, Amazingblaze, and UMEK. I also took a course at the Herman Brood Academy and learned a lot from other producers.
9 — What are your long-term goals as an artist, and where do you see yourself in the future?
I would love to set up my own label and event. Besides that, I would love to travel the world and share my music with as many people as possible. There are too many events to list where I would love to play, but one of my biggest dreams is Tomorrowland, Awakenings, Ultra, Time Warp, EDC, and Soundstorm.
10 — Finally, is there something else you would like to share with your fans?
I want to thank my fans very much for all the support I have received. I get so much positive energy from them all the time. You can expect new tracks from me this year and I will be debuting at a lot of cool events. Keep an eye on my socials and hopefully, I will see you soon!
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Unpacking The Meaning: T@NE Talks His New “Autumn” Remix
T@NE is a multi-talented artist who wears many hats – musician, saxophonist, composer, producer, rapper, vocalist, and director. His recent collaboration with Dronez resulted in an epic remix of a new track called “Autumn.”
In this interview, he shares his inspiration for the remix, how the collaboration with Dronez came about, what sets this remix apart from the original version, and much more…
1 — What inspired the decision to remix “Autumn”?
I felt the composition really lends itself to being remixed. I mean you can remix anything, so yeah it’s great to hear what someone else can do with the work. And, it’s a great way to collaborate with people and build each other’s brands.
2 — How did the collaboration with Dronez come about?
I was studying (and still studying) the genre Future Riddim and I was listening to a track Dronez released called “Quest;” I was thinking to myself, man Dronez is gonna rock a remix of “Autumn.” We should work together, let’s collaborate.
3 — What sets this remix apart from the original version?
One of the main things was to give Dronez the freedom to do whatever he wanted with the track. When discussing what to do, I said to Dronez, “go in and do your thing” and yeah he demolished it; Dronez absolutely rocked it.
4 — What kind of emotions do you hope to evoke in listeners through this remix?
You know, the beautiful thing about putting out work is that everybody can get something different out of it.
For me, it’s hey, just keep believing in yourself, keep believing in your dreams, and put in the hard work. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned from my experiences it’s that not only do you have to be the hardest worker and smartest worker in the room, but you also have to be up working before everybody else. I try to set my alarm for 3:30 am/4:00 am because those extra hours of correct practice really add up in helping you to be prepared for when opportunities arise.
Whatever it is you do, your career, romantic relationships, or friendships, it’s about really trying to bring your A-game all the time, and that comes in the preparation and putting in the hard work. So yeah, keep working and always try and be a better version of yourself.
But, like I said what people get from our work, I really believe depends on the individual.
5 — How did you go about selecting the beats and harmonies for “Autumn”?
For the original, I had been talking to my friend Be Steadwell about working on a song together, so I went to her place and we pretty much wrote the whole composition and lyrics in like three days, I remember working on a few chords when I got back to my place.
And for the remix, I sent Dronez some stems from the original; the vocals stems, guitar stems, keyboard stems and some synth and pad stems. Stems are exports of the individual tracks out of a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), that you can then import into your production/mixing session in another (same or different companies) DAW.
The vocals already had production on them (i.e. EQ, Compression, Reverb, Delay, Etc.) by my guy Johannes Raassina, and then Dronez added more of his own production to the vocals.
So yeah, once Dronez had the stems from the original, he used some of what Be and I composed, and then he came up with his own incredible composition.
6 — Can you elaborate on the concept that the lyrics convey?
Be Steadwell wrote the lyrics, I just remember her composing all these lyrics on the spot, I was thinking to myself this is incredible.
7 — The artwork looks very striking! What was the idea behind it?
Thank you, yeah the album artwork is by my guy Fishman Art 89, he’s amazing. Fishman has done a lot of our album covers, I love working with him.
This artwork is a variation of the original. The lady on the cover isn’t anyone in particular, that was just my idea that I had for the cover; usually, when I think of a song there’s also a visual that comes into my head that goes along with it. So I’ll sketch out the concept and send it to Fishman, then Fishman will send me a few of his sketches, and we’ll pick one and take it from there. But yeah, I really just let Fishman go in and do his thing.
8 — Do you have any plans for future collaborations?
I would love to collaborate with Dronez again, and whoever is down to collaborate. I love collaborating with people whether it’s for an original, remix, or anything else.
9 — Are you already working on your next release?
Yeah working on more music projects with my bandmates, and also working on my Nightwing script. I really believe I’m the guy to play Nightwing and direct the film. It’s coming along great, at the moment I have around 106 pages of script. I’m not gonna say too much about the script at the moment but I will say Batman/Bruce Wayne is in the screenplay and I’m writing those parts with Ben Affleck in mind. So yeah just working on that.
10 — How do you see your artistry evolving over the next 10 years?
Just taking it one day at a time, trying to make sure I put the correct hard work in and keep moving forward.
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A Look Inside Moon And Aries’ ‘Break The Matrix (Episode Three)’
Jordana Moon, who is a member of the musical duo Moon And Aries, talks about the new EP ‘Break The Matrix (Episode Three).’ This material draws inspiration from the idea of breaking away from the old world and building a new, healthier paradigm. Learn more via this exclusive interview.
1 — What was the inspiration behind the concept for your new EP, ‘Break the Matrix (Episode Three)’?
Hello! This is Jordana Moon speaking with you today. Thanks so much for your time and inquiry about our latest “Moon And Aries: Break The Matrix Episode 3”
That’s definitely a loaded question that leans into a loaded answer, but I’ll do my best to give the cliff notes. Tom (Aries ) and I have a deep fascination with how reality works in this realm or matrix. Concepts of laws of physics, the law of attraction, laws of nature… things like that. Exploring the illusion, the limitations, the potentials, the infinite perspectives of truth …the ultimate truth. Why we are here? Who are we now and where are we going. These are the questions we explore in the full trilogy of “Break The Matrix”. Basically, challenging and breaking free from the old World to help create a new, healthier, paradigm.
2 — How would you describe the creative process of this project?
Tom and I talk about the concept of each song for a few months before Tom begins his initial ideas for the composition. We flush out the idea, see how it’s resonating through our lives, and then Tom captures the essence of our thoughts and feelings and puts them into his incredible compositions. So, we talk about each song individually and explore the concept of the album in full, simultaneously. We sort of live the concepts during the making of each song. Then I write the lyrics once the composition is near to complete, and it unfolds from there.
3 — What was your favorite song to work on from the EP and why?
Illumination Society. Tom and I love this concept a lot. It’s like, the whole trilogy leads up to this song. It’s a song about winning! The instrumental is so dynamic and I loved writing the lyrics in sort of a rap song type of way! This song has become our calling card.
4 — Is there a formula to create such futuristic sounds?
Yes and no. I feel like if you are in a state of creative channeling, almost like meditation, you’ll become a very clear channel of what the World possibly needs to hear. Indie music has the potential to be at the very tip of the music industry because we don’t need to play by the same trending rules. So, we have creative freedom. But from the conception of a song to its release, is usually a 9-month period for us. So, we need to always be hanging in the future and bringing that into the now in order to be at the forefront of the industry. Like the musical Marty McFly!
But, on the flip side, we are just doing what comes naturally to us. Some people think our sound is very nostalgic! Some think it’s current. Some think it’s futuristic because of the Sci-Fi type of concept. Tom and I are just acting on impulse and intuition. Creating the music, we want to hear.
5 — Did you face any challenges while working on this material?
This project was actually pretty smooth. We just had finished writing a 9-song album and a 5-song EP and we worked out a lot of kinks with those songs. Sometimes my lyrics are not in full alignment with my emotions if that makes sense. So, I have to get all of me to surrender to the song so that my vocal performance is on par with Tom’s instrumentals and my lyrics. My voice has to really sell the song. And I’m not going to lie, sometimes it takes me 8 to 10hrs to record a song, especially if I need to transmit a deep level of vulnerability.
6 — How does ‘Break the Matrix (Episode Three)’ differ from your previous works?
It’s definitely the episode with the most energetic songs. All dance floor vibes, a little more playful, a little more fun.
7 — What is your message to your listeners with your latest release?
Honestly, we just try to create music that activates and puts people into a higher state as they listen. If you feel better during and after, that means the most to us. If you’ve had a few existential moments, even better 🙏🙌
8 — Can you talk about the music video for your recent single “From Another Dimension”?
The music video was created by our friend Lissete Real from Ecuador. She’s actually made around 10 of our videos, I believe. We love animation and simple videos that don’t overcomplicate the song’s meaning. This video highlights a lone astronaut who is both on land and in water. Now, it doesn’t exactly go into which planet he’s on, but water is consciousness and rebirth… so he’s on his existential journey of self-discovery, no matter which dimension he’s in. There are infinite versions of ourselves, and you could say there is a version of ourselves “watching and waiting” as we look upon the version of ourselves that is exploring and discovering.
9 — As a duo, how has your collaboration evolved throughout the years?
Tom and I have now known each other for 3 years! But have still not met in person! We are 9 hrs apart lol We will be meeting in person soon tho. And as we get to know each other better, our music becomes more cohesive. Even tho we clicked right off the bat, like anything, you grow and evolve and naturally get better if that’s what you desire. So now when we go to work on a song, our vision, and our truth is much more aligned.
10 — What can we expect from Moon And Aries in the upcoming months?
We will be re-releasing all 3 episodes as one full concept album. That will happen very soon! And after that, more music, and new concepts. We’ve got a lot we are working on right now. And we also have big plans (currently a secret) but that also revolve around meeting in person and performing live on stage together. So, stay tuned for those updates!! Thanks so much for chatting, it’s been a pleasure.