TORONTO ARTIST OF THE MONTH: XVVIXR
I had a chance to catch up with XVVIXR on the other side of Toronto in the middle of no where last week and get to know him a little deeper. After doing a sick photoshoot with XXIST FOREVER at U5 Studios and blasting some of XVVIXR's unreleased tracks, we rode the bus back downtown for about an hour or so talking about everything from being mixed to who's the king of the rap game.
As long as I’ve existed, music comes from everywhere for me, from nature to electricity, moving your chair or forgetting to turn off the tap; but I decided to make it a career back in 2007. I didn't grow up around music so it was never seen as a future for me, it was just a hobby at first but after performing at a work award show and the response I got, I knew it was something I could do seriously.
Growing up biracial, what was it like finding your identity.
It’s funny my first album was called Identity hahaha, but I am my Identity, so it’s not so much finding it as much as finding where it fits in. It's always hard because I was too white for the black kids and too black for the white kids but I was just enough to be that guy everyone knew but no one ever really knew.
What is your approach to songwriting
What happens is I’m usually watching some kind of obscure film, riding my bike or doing something totally random like bugging my dog (R.I.P). Then I get an idea and start to pick production with the sound that matches my vision. The best music comes from vulnerability, it’s a powerful thing on it’s own but coupled with the soundtrack of our lives, the effects are magical.
If you could perform at any festival, which would it be?
Tommorowland hands down!! This has been a goal of mine for the past couple of years but it’s only a matter of time. I also want to do a sick european show with like hundreds of thousands of fans just singing along, chanting, moshing, and being gnar as f*ck. Just like when Slipknot performed in London back in 2002. I haven’t had a crazy fan experience yet. I did have someone recognized me at the movies and I took a picture with em, but that’s not crazy.
Best rapper of all time in your books?
Busta Rhymes. The reason being is that he always has a presence to him no matter what he's doing be it performing, in a video, and even on a song there's always something that comes through and gets you. That is something I aim to do with my music. If you want to move while recording then do it because it's going to come out in the music, and believe it or not, when you perform the energy and emotions all come through the music. Busta stays true to himself as an artist, still remains relevant, and gives back to the up and coming generation.
How do people react when you tell them you're a rapper?
It's pretty funny. There's a couple of reactions. One is they either aspire to be one or know someone that is or wants to be one. Two, which is my favourite, 'spit something'. And third is the simple "oh". I realized early that there's a stigma attached to the tittle of rapper, and I'm not generalizing but most probably think of the guy or girl from high school always freestyling, or writing a new song but not being open to criticism to improve. As a result I referred to myself as an artist and people actually took what I was doing seriously, wanting to know where to find my music or if I have a website, if I need a manager etc. I am an artist. I will grow musically, and constantly find new ways to paint the pictures of my words for all to enjoy.
What's next for you?
I’m going to Nagasaki with Mr. 100 himself Frank Douglas, working with some Late Night Villians, got some shows coming up, and new music every week from my Orientation Mixtape starting with 'Unto Thee'.
Photography: XXIST FOREVER