INTERVIEW: TORONTO MUSIC - XOLISA
[Stumbled upon ackaorn and raised Torontonian Xolisa's soundcloud a couple weeks ago and haven't stopped listening to her EP since then. But then I realized that the EP was from almost 1 year ago, so I requested to sit with her and see what has been going on and when her next release is.]It's been a while since your last body of work, what have you been up to?
Yeah november will be a year since the last project. I am preparing to do a headline show celebrating the one year anniversary of that EP. It was titled Rhyme Until My Spirit Needs No Words To Fly. The event is to celebrate what I do, and for however long I have the breath to do so, I will.
This is an interesting time cause it is a transition for me. I am leaving the two bodies of work that I have finished and working on new songs and a new album. But I am still trying to give love and energy to the old stuff.
What is the new album going to be called?
It's called And Gaps Do Lead To Bridges. I like to take lyrics from my other songs and use them as titles.
When you get rich and famous, how you gonna handle all the feels?
I ask myself that all the time. I have what I have and what I need and I been raised to take what I need and just what I need. I want to say that in this state right now, I feel like no one would really know that I was rich. I would still be wearing sweat pants and stuff lol if I am surrounded by that life, I will make sure that all my responsibilities are taken care of. Make sure my base and foundation is good. I'm still trying to learn how to manage the money that I have lol.
Aren't we allll.
Rent or Beer? lol
That's awesome lol.
What are you trying to achieve as a musician in this city?
I want to make sure that I am spreading the messages that are natural to me. The last two project were me sharing the things that I was learning as I was going along. This new project is me sharing the messages of people around me and not so much from me.
What are some of the messages?
A lot of politics and what is going on in the black community, but I will be telling the stories of other people. So I been talking to different people and learning their story. Like what is going on in my city and what battles are other people trying to figure out.
What would you like to forget?
But you will learn that again lol.
Maybe not forget it but just...it's like a scar right. I have to let certain things go, if I want to evolve and be able to give love to my different relationships I have to let certain things go. It does eat at you. It's like a scar and I want to forget the pain but keep the lesson..
Do you keep a diary?
No I feel like my writing has become that. I used to when I was young. I have a journal but I don't write in it. My diary has become my rhyme book. In a way all of my secrets and stories are already out there.
How important is the concept of storytelling in your music?
Very big but still changing. With this new project, because it isn't about just me, I want tell the stories of other people's perspectives. The song that is coming out this month is called The Fallen. It is about someone who has lost a really close friend. I have never gone through that. I had to do a lot of touch-and-base with people who were willing to share their stories. So I am challenging myself as a lyricist to get away from just my perspective and learn how to be believable in my writing even though the situation has not happened to me.
Top 5 vocalist of all time.
Old school Mariah Carey
Do you love strippers?
I have never been to a strip club lol.
I know I am 26 and I have never been to a strip club. I live vicariously through my friends lol I will answer that question again later lol.
Isn't toronto awesome?
It is awesome. But it is also frustrating. It is this beautiful city, but I know that if I want to reach the goals I want to reach I can't stay here. Doesn't mean I have to move, but I have to push other markets. Which is ok.
There is so much opportunity here, and no opportunity at the same time. As a creative this city will either make you or break you. A lot of artist here give up on Toronto and move to New York or L.A., not realizing that they had the opportunity to build a solid root here before moving anywhere, and didn't.
With the right team and push I believe that I can have a strong root here, but also have roots everywhere with time .
What is your favourite cereal?
Ugh it changes every monthhh. Umm right now it's frosted flakes.
What!! Fruit Loops is where it's at.
You know I havent been back to fruit loops in so long but that may be my go-to in November...
You know you don't really think fruit loops cause it's kinda goofy as an adult but when you taste it, your like Oh.My.God. I have not lived.
I'm still on the flakes.
You need to get off the flakes.
Urban Evolution Enterprise, Jemelle Williams, S-Quire, all my fans, anyone and everyone who has taken the time to invest in my music.
Xolisa's new single The Fallen will be released on October 28th.