At 16 years old, I was slacking in school, spending my free time playing Halo and not knowing what I wanted to do with my life. Marcel Everett, who goes by the name XXYYXX, lives his life a little differently than most kids that are in high school- he makes slick, crisp electronic music and the first show he played in front of a live audience was in front of 2,000 people. For our New York readers, you can catch him tonight (08/30) alongside Sinjin Hawke, A$AP Mob, and many more. Check out the details for the event here, and if you don’t happen to live in NY, you can stream the whole show here, via NOISE212.
What is your real name, age, and hometown?
XXYYXX: Marcel Everett, 16, Orlando Florida.
At what age did you start producing music?
XXYYXX: I started seriously producing around like 15, I was messing around with electronic software when I was around 13.
Where did the alias of XXYYXX come from?
XXYYXX: There really isn’t anything behind it, I just have a blog called XXYYXX, I named it after that because I didn’t know people would listen to my music so I chose a whatever name.
What’s it like being 16 years old and ballin’ so hard?
XXYYXX: Hah ballin’? I wouldn’t call it that but I’m really happy with all the experiences I get to have and it’s also great to know that people like my music out there.
Your songs seem to all have a certain vibe to them, that personally calls to mind a rainy Sunday day. How do you get in the mood to create these kinds of tracks when you’re producing?
XXYYXX: Usually something like isolation, that can usually do it.
The video for “About You” features slow motion shots of blunts and blowing smoke, and takes a dark turn when the faces become covered by wolf masks. Do you think the video is a good encapsulation of the images you try and evoke with your music?
XXYYXX: Haha well I thought the video went incredibly well with the tune, especially with all the timed editing, it was similar to the song I think he did a great job in that department.
Your SoundCloud genre tags seem to mock the classification of music under a specific genre, with descriptions like “Overdose,” “Wine House,” and “Technical Deathcore.” How would you personally describe your music to someone who had never heard it before?
XXYYXX: Hmm experimental bass music or just something like that. I’m not very good with genres or classifying my music, I’d just say it was weird haha.
You have songs that are definitely trap influenced, like your “Hard In the Paint” remix. What are your thoughts on the genre quickly blowing up in the electronic world?
XXYYXX: Well that was more footwork inspired but I’ve heard trap used to describe some of my stuff. I think it’s okay, I mean people keep revising old genres that exist. Trap was a sacred south thing and people are using it to market their music but that’s okay.
Artists with similar styles like Clams Casino have gotten heavily in the rap game, getting people like A$AP Rocky to rap over their beats. Have you thought about sending instrumentals to/collaborating with hip-hop artists?
XXYYXX: Not really, I work with my friends though sometimes. I’m just not really much of a hip-hop producer I’m really bad at it.
You teamed up with San Fransisco’s Giraffage for the smooth “Even Though” on the Kitsune America compilation, how did that collaboration come about?
XXYYXX: Well we just networked over facebook, I think I was straight up and just told him I was a fan and dug his stuff and it just gradualy built up from there.
Your music is often compared to James Blake, would you cite him as a major influence to your music? Who are you most influenced by?
XXYYXX: He’s an influence, I can’t really think of who I’m influenced by the MOST. I guess I’d say Flying Lotus or Teebs.
You’ve made it known that your tracks are bedroom-produced, how does it feel going from that intimate setting and translating into a live performance in front of an audience?
XXYYXX: It’s actually very awkward, it’s kind of like being in your bedroom again with this personal project with the same emotions you had when you were making it, but doing it in front of a crowded room of strangers. It’s fun though when the crowd is receptive.
You release new tracks every few weeks (some even just a few days apart)- how much of your time is spent writing?
XXYYXX: I write a lot, even if it’s garbage I at least try haha. I could make an album every 2 weeks (It wouldn’t be very good though) but I hope that puts it into perspective.
What do you do with your free time when you aren’t making music?
XXYYXX: I like to just hang out with friends and enjoy myself. I graduated early so I start college soon, that may become a bit of a pain.
Any last words or shoutouts before you go?
XXYYXX: Yes a shoutout to the Relief In Abstract Records roster and all of my fans / supporters!