Xamvolos’ A Damn Fine Spectacle is an inventive concept EP and serves as a teasing distillation of what is to be explored on his forthcoming debut album, All The Sweetness on the Surface. A testament to XamVolo’s cinematic method of creating worlds within his music, across four songs, it tells a neo-noir story of a young girl who finds herself confronted with a hive containing a black honey substance that can grant her every desire. New single ‘Cathedrals’ completes the story with the lead character consumed by desire.
SO, WHAT WAS THE FIRST GIG YOU EVER WENT TO?
The first one I can remember was Kendrick Lamar at the O2 Academy in Leeds – around when GKMC came out – it was just him and a DJ, which is mad because one of the most recent shows I attended was Kendrick at the Wembley Arena for the DAMN. Tour – a much, much bigger show, but still just him on the stage for most of it. Both times were a vibe.
WHO ARE YOUR MAIN MUSICAL INFLUENCES?
I don’t have any specific influences, I tend to take elements from different sources. Sometimes I look to Prog and Jazz artists for the musicality, sometimes I look to eccentric figures for the way they deal with concepts, other times it might be late 90s hip-hop for the drums, rock for the energy or Neo-Soul for the chord progressions. It’s like a collage of every part of every piece I’ve ever been inspired by.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR SOUND TO SOMEONE WHO HAD NEVER HEARD YOU BEFORE?
Easiest way would be ‘Electronic Soul’, which I guess is the core of it. If you like that kind of stuff you might like what I do, but sometimes it goes in a slightly different direction. There’s always an underlying Jazz influence.
WHAT HAVE YOU GOT IN STORE ON THE FORTHCOMING EP, ‘A DAMN FINE SPECTACLE’?
‘A Damn Fine Spectacle’ is based on a fictional character, following the rise and fall of the persona she builds around herself. It’s the first look at a world I’ve built around the theme of desire. Acting as a side story of sorts, it details how her ambition corrupts her identity as she pursues an unattainable dream.
HOW IS THIS EP, INCLUDING THE RECENT SINGLE ‘ADORED’, DIFFERENT FROM 2016’S ‘CHIRALITY’ EP?
I think it’s a lot more cohesive, because there’s a concept running through. The vibe is a little more relaxed, but they’re different approaches.
WHAT HAVE YOU GOT PLANNED FOR THE REST OF 2018?
Hopefully a bunch of shows, some more music too. I’m looking forward to an interesting 2018.
XamVolo’s new EP is available on Spotify
PHOTOS BY JAKE TURNEY | @JAKETURNEYPHOTO