Ahhhh! New month, new Fresh Music Friday! This week we're featuring XamVolo's Feels Good Feels Good (Freddie Joachim Remix) ft. Jaylien! This smooth, jazzy single has gotten us through this long week. Drawing upon R&B, old-school Soul and Jazz into his music, the Liverpool-based crooner has garnered notable attention across the internet and airwaves. Drawing comparisons with D'Angelo, Anderson Paak & Thundercat, he oversees every element of his music, while taking a conceptual approach to his debut album, live shows and artwork. He’s been championed by a wealth of tastemakers – from Annie Mac, Gilles Peterson, Huw Stephens and MistaJam, and sought after by a number of notable producers, including Robert Glasper (Kendrick Lamar, Common and The Robert Glasper Experiment), KidBrother (Frank Ocean) and J-Roc (Beyoncé, Jay-Z and Timbaland).
In our interview he discusses his love for Jazz and what he's learned about the music business.
MUSIK ID TV: Feels Good (Freddie Joachim Remix) ft. Jaylien is so wavy and smooth! Share with us your thoughts on the remix and what Freddie and Jaylien have done with it artistically?
XAMVOLO: Love what Freddie did with the song. I didn't fully know what to expect, but the remix definitely shone a new light on the arrangement. Glad everyone loves the vibe.
MIDTV: There are a number of varied remixes of Feels Good. Why do you think remixers are drawn to the song?
XAMVOLO: The original song draws from an array of genres – everyone seems to have caught on to a different element, elaborating on the core idea with a bit of their own flavour. I guess it’s like holding a prism up to the light – contrasting, vivid interpretations stemming from the genre-defying source.
MIDTV: In your music, you have a tremendous appreciation for Jazz. Tell us how you were introduced to Jazz and the importance of infusing it in your music?
XAMVOLO: I think the music I grew up listening to pointed towards Jazz. I'm a fan of expensive chords – love when people experiment with rhythm and melody. The musicality in Jazz is intense. The culture around it resonates with me, too – music flows free at the centre of it all. The weirder the better.
MIDTV: What would you like people to take away from your music when listening to it?
XAMVOLO: I hope they like it. I hope they appreciate the difference. I hope they find more jazz influenced artists through my stuff and the community grows. I also hope it resonates with those people like me, who may not feel they 'exist' in the way society wants them to. I hope they take away a Vinyl too, when they come out.
MIDTV: As a young artist, what is your biggest misconception about the music industry?
XAMVOLO: The biggest one was so-called 'accolades'. I had always equated accolades, numbers and titles with skill and experience, which in hindsight was naïve.
MIDTV: On your journey have you met people who were in your ideal position and did that change your idea of success?
XAMVOLO: In some ways, but not many. I've been inspired by meetings with several great musicians and producers, but I definitely wouldn't shift my goals to match any of theirs. My idea of success is built around identity and community. All I need's a space where I belong and can thrive and I'm good.
MIDTV: What made you feel like perusing a career in music was a tangible dream?
XAMVOLO: People are doing it – I'm a person – I could probably do it too. Gotta respect yourself enough to try; that applies to everything.
MIDTV: What career or life advice/tips do you have for upcoming musicians?
XAMVOLO: Work smart not 'hard'; spend time on your live show; be aware of the business side; be human.
MIDTV: You have an album coming out in 2018, tell us about the project.
XAMVOLO: There's a concept based around desire. I believe ambition is the most important defining trait between humanity and other creatures. Everybody wants something – material or otherwise – and if there was a way to acquire the object of your desires with little to no work, most people would take it. Without anything to aspire to however, what do we become? This whole scenario plays out over the album, with the main character discovering such a 'fix' in the shape of a beehive dripping with pitch-black honey...
There will also be an EP earlier in the year, comprised of songs from the album – a side story of sorts