By: Rob Brayl
ROB BRAYL: Lock and Load! Obviously taken from your song ‘Getaway’ (which I love BTW) — Was it an intention from the start to make such fun infectious pop music?
XOE: Yes! I have always been a huge fan of straight up pop music that gets stuck in my head all day. I wanted to make music that was fun, upbeat, and catchy. That’s the kind of music that puts me in a good mood, so I wanted to create something that would make people happy.
RB: Let’s backup. How would you describe yourself + your sound. I’m getting a Ke$ha vibe! But not trashy. So maybe a Taylor Swift/Ke$ha hybrid, perhaps? [Laughs]
X: [Laughs] I would agree that I am very influenced by Ke$ha’s style of music, with my own flair! I wanted to combine classic pop with a dance edge, and a bit of humor. I also took inspiration from Britney Spears, especially on my song ‘Getaway’ and ‘Stuck On Repeat’. So, yes, a sweeter version of Ke$ha!
RB: You moved to LA two years ago to work on music. Most of us creative folk tend to target NYC or LA. Why LA?
X: I am originally from San Diego, so growing up, my mom and I visited LA all the time. I was able to get a glimpse of the culture and vibe of the city, so when I graduated high school I instantly knew I wanted to be in LA. But I would love to explore New York in the future!
RB: What has been the driving force that has pushed you into creating music?
X: I grew up doing tons of musical theater, and I was always obsessed with Broadway musicals. As a kid, I attempted to write my own mini-musicals just so I could perform them for whoever would listen. I knew that entertaining was my passion, and I transitioned my passion from show tunes into pop music. I also come from a very creative family; my mother is a photographer/painter and my father welds sculptures out of old car parts. Based on my upbringing, I had no choice but to choose a career in music.
RB: Just curious… What was the last song you listened to on your iPod?
X: The last song I listened to was Cinema by Benny Benassi Featuring Gary Go. It is such a genius pop song!
RB: BTB is all about spotlighting independent artists. Do you feel technology has made it somewhat easier for unsigned artists to be heard or do you feel the industry as a whole is still frustrating?
X: I think the internet has given unsigned and independent artists a bigger platform to get their music heard- which is a wonderful thing. Technology has created new outlets to share music, but only for the artists who are really thinking outside of the box. There is so much new music online, that in order to be heard, you have to stand out now more than ever. The industry is frustrating, but if the music is good, people will listen. That part of the industry will never change.
RB: And finally, give us something entertaining to end this interview on.
X: I am obsessed with cats! I also collect salt and pepper shakers.