Introducing Xylo Aria and her first of a few singles-with-a-message, Pig
A haunting slice of downtempo electronica dealing with some heady issues.
There's been plenty of talk lately about artists combining music and politics, with a lot suggesting the two should be mutually exclusive. To that we say, if we had always have kept social/political issues, we'd have robbed ourselves of some brilliant music over the years. And probably just be left with sappy love songs. Enter Xylo Aria, an emerging producer with a lot on her mind. Fiercely environmentally conscious, she's kicking off a year-long project using her productions to highlight a variety of pressing social/environmental issues, and she's not pulling any punches with the first salvo, Pig.
You may be able to guess from the title what she's tackling with the track, but we'll let her go into things a little further in the interview below - and remember, just because you don't agree with the message, doesn't mean you can't listen to people who care enough to talk about it.
Tell us about about yourself?
In one word I guess I'd call myself a dreamer. If I were to be less abstract I would say a singer/songwriter and producer. Very recently I left my career in accounting and decided to take the plunge into fulltime music, definitely the scariest decision I've made thus far! Worth it though, life's too short not to give what you love a proper shot. The "producer" part of my role was added quite recently when I really started to crave making music completely on my terms. This transition into self production has been exciting and loads of fun for me.
I've been lucky enough to learn a few things from some talented producers I've worked with and other musicians in my circle. My absolute dream would be for my music to spark some conversations about social and environmental topics which impact all of us but tend to fall by the way side, and also to empower other individuals to be true to themselves and know that their individual efforts can hugely impact wider change.
What kinda tunes we talkin’?
The all time artis's favourite question! I think the three words that come to mind to describe my music would be downtempo, ambient and electronic. I also have an Indian Carnatic background which I think I unintentionally draw from when I write as some of the scales I use tend to be slightly unconventional. Some of my influences include James Blake, FKA Twigs, Massive Attack and A.R. Rahman.
I guess it's different every time. Sometimes I will start with a beat of some sort and jam over that. With Pig though, I wrote most the song with just a pen and a writing pad. It's funny how your vision for a track can change completely once you open it in a production session and start adding sounds and samples. For me that morphed what was on the writing pad into the unusually structured finished song it is, largely stemming from the sound design type section at the end which I had loads of fun making.
Lately though I've been teeing up some writing/jam session with other local artists which has been really great. Exposing yourself to the writing styles of others can really help increase your creativity. It was something I wasn't open to doing for a long time and I understand can make some people feel uncomfortable but I'd highly recommend giving it a shot!
Can you tell us about your new single, Pig?
I initially wrote Pig as a part of a project where I wanted to give voice to things or groups (e.g. the homeless, oceans, animals etc.) who either do not have a voice of their own or whose voices are seldom heard. The track itself describes industrial meat farming from the perspective of a pig and describes its journey and emotions during its artificially manufactured life. Although the track is about animal welfare, it is also largely about the huge disconnect in society between the resources and energy required to cultivate our food and the end
product that ends up on our plates. Raising this awareness may impact our choice of food but could also impact issues such as food wastage.
Any shows coming up?
Actually just had the single launch in Melbourne on the 28th of January which I enjoyed playing so much! Nothing else announced at the moment but a few things are on the horizon so keep tabs on my website for details!
What’s the rest of the year have in store?
There's quite a bit of music in the works at the moment. The plan is to release three more singles this year (potentially as part of an EP) and also a move to London. Something is drawing me there, potentially the fact that three of my biggest influences are from the UK...who knows?
Where can we hear more of your music?