BiRTHPLACE: Chicago, IL
Q: What makes music unique from other art forms in your opinion?
A: Like many art forms, music has always been a timestamp of sorts to me. I can listen to music and remember where I was during certain points of my life or even, resurrect old feelings that were once felt when listening to said songs. However, the thing that makes music different is how it is almost all forms of expression in one. I truly believe, if done correctly, music is the only art form that could be consumed audibly and visually. For me, good music takes that of a cinematic approach. Giving the listener the ability to listen and paint pictures in their head is a quality that only music has.
Q: When did you know you wanted to pursue your growth in music?
A: My approach to music had come about in a manner that would either have you believe I stumbled into this world of music by what would seem to be the most coincidental domino, or that my road to becoming YOUNG XAV was simply aligned in the stars and destined to be. I can look back and list out the series of events that turned into this snowball-like effect which led me here, dating all the way back to my childhood. However, for the sake of being concise, I woke up on April 29th, 2017 with no desire other than to pursue film and other creative endeavors. Yet, I found myself in a studio located in Milwaukee, leaving me with no other want in the world than to pursue a career in music by day’s end. The rest is history.
Q: Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
A: Like many artists, I’m sure I’m not the first to say that I draw inspiration from everywhere. I think my diverse interest in all things music has allowed me to try to take my favorite pieces of anything I hear, throw it into a pot of my own, and attempt to create my own musical “soup” that is YOUNG XAV.
Q: How have you grown in music in your recent years?
A: Although my debut record as an artist was April 2017, I didn’t own up to my identity as an artist until 2018. Since then, I have dropped an EP, 6 singles, a full-length album, and I have been featured on a handful of songs with other artists. I have accumulated 100,000+ streams across all streaming platforms and have continued to watch these numbers grow.
Q: How much weight do you put on perception of audience?
A: Intention versus perception is imperative when it comes to making art, especially music. In a game where everything is so subjective, the only real variable I have influence over as an artist is my own authenticity. I learned very early on that I can’t determine or control how an audience will perceive or react to anything I do. Instead, all I can do is tell my narrative as accurately and “true to me” as possible. It is no exaggeration to say that the power truly does lie in the hands of the consumer.
Q: What specific culture or period of time do you identify with most in your music?
A: I think this relates back to the previous question about inspiration. I notice I pull a lot of inspiration from the 50’s and 60’s with my songs like “Darling” and “Chasing Dreams“. However, I do think I touch on all decades of music while adding a modern twist or spin on things.
Q: Where do you feel most comfortable creating?
A: I don’t think there is a particular place I feel most comfortable creating. In fact, I think it is important to always change your surroundings when creating. If you channel that unfamiliarity and change in environment, something very special could come of it both lyrically and production/direction wise.
Q: What do you think is most important to an artist’s progression?
A: I think drive is the most important. The “why” of an artist. I think the “why” is the most important when it comes to anything human related. Just look at the statistics of the amount of people who pursue this dream versus the percentage of those who actually “make it.” That alone may present itself as a death sentence and a road leading to disappointment. However, that “why” really is everything when it comes to staying focused, patient, and resilient.
Q: Is it important for artists to explain their art?
A: It definitely depends on the artist. I know in regards to myself, I create worlds and stories within my records that I hope the listener chooses to explore and live in. Sometimes it is important to add context to enhance that experience, but sometimes it is also best to leave room for interpretation. Creating music is a selfish act, but sharing it is a selfless one.
Q: What can be the biggest hindrance to your creativity?
A: I think complacent moments in life are the biggest hindrance in creativity for me. My music is my truth, and as a result, my music ties in very closely with my experiences and life lived. When life is complacent my ideas and inspiration follow suit and vice versa.
Q: What are some of your favorites out of the projects you’ve completed?
A: I think it is safe to say that every new record or project instantly becomes my favorite. With that being said, the answer would be my most recent project and debut album “After Dark”. The process it took to create and bring this experience to life is one that I will carry with me forever. This was the biggest story I have orchestrated, the most life I have lived, and the most hardship to follow. This album is literally me in that point of my life; almost like a snapshot of myself encapsulated, packaged, and for the world to take as they please.
Q: If your journey had a movie, what would it be called?
A: Definitely the easiest question to answer – Road To Legend. The 15th and closing song on my debut album shares the same title as my answer. The song encompasses my journey as an artist from start to present.
Q: Do you feel energy has an impact on your creativity and your music how?
A: Absolutely. Not to sound like a broken record, but everything has an impact on my music. Everything from climate season, my mood, to where I am at both physically and mentally, all play a role in what I create. Even subconsciously, I’m always internalizing everything and re-channeling it into what it is I create.
YOUNG XAV is on all streaming platform from Apple Music to Spotify.