Entertainment, Interview

XamVolo: “A messy mind over raw, dark jazz grooves”

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XamVolo talks to Humanity Hallow ahead of his new EP, Chirality.

By Daniel Broadley

The 22 year old singer-songwriter and producer XamVolo is an up and coming musical wunderkind, bursting at the seams with talent. The Merseyside producer describes his sound as “a messy mind over raw, dark jazz grooves” and has already won the support of the likes of Annie Mac, Huw Stephens, Mistajam and DJ Target as well as widespread plays on BBC 1Xtra, Radio X and 6 Music for his recent track ‘Runners High’.

Humanity Hallows caught up with him to ask a few questions ahead of the launch of his new EP, Chirality.

You have a pretty unique sound; obviously very jazzy and soulful but with some darker electronic tendencies. Who or what has influenced you?

I guess one of my main influences vocally is Bilal. When I discovered his music a while back I was drawn toward how raucous yet controlled his delivery was – there’s a lot of freedom there.

I tend not to have any direct influences when it comes to the production side of things.  I draw a lot of influence from Hip-Hop and RnB, particularly when it comes to programming drums. Drums are one of the most important parts of any record in my opinion, so I make them loud. I’m a fan of big brass and sax parts so I like to use it whenever I can. I never leave it clean though.

Who are some of your favourite current bands and artists?

I really like Laura Mvula’s latest album. Hiatus Kaiyote is still a favourite of mine, same with Kendrick Lamar.  Been listening to Bon Iver’s new album 22, A Million – definitely want to make some stuff as weird as that pretty soon.

Are you happy with how you’re music has been received so far?

I am. It’s a great feeling when your efforts are acknowledged. I think there’s more I need to do though – I guess there always is.  I’m glad there’s been support for every style I’ve explored, it’s good to know that there’s ample room to experiment within the same sound.

You’ve got a UK tour coming up. Do you think you’ll try break into the UK festival scene next summer?

Definitely. I’d love to play some interesting festivals. This tour has been great experience so far, learning a lot about what’s expected on a larger scale.

What are your plans for the future? Will you take a slightly different direction musically?

I think I’ve almost finished establishing the range of genres which I’m looking to explore, but I’m always open to new sources of inspiration.  There’s always a certain something that holds it all together anyway.

Ok, now for some quick fire round questions…

Favourite films?

Di Caprio Films, Psych Thriller Films, Dark Superhero Films, Clever Animated Films and Horror Films.

Favourite books or poems?

Anything from Dr Seuss.

Dream holiday?

Maybe Canada?  I hear it’s nice there.

If there is a heaven, who would you want to be greeted at the gates by?

Whoever has the WiFi password – not too picky otherwise.

You can listen to XamVolo’s new four track EP here on SoundCloud.

Daniel Broadley is a final year English and Creative Writing student. When not studying, he enjoys a role as editor and writer at Humanity Hallows.

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