Today’s BOOM! is from Staffordshire’s electronic prodigy XO. The 20 year old may be young but his talent is not going un-noticed – with agreeable nods from the likes of Annie Mac – amongst other media gods.
‘Night Time Solace’ is his electro-phunk new single and is set to bring the artist to a whole new audience. Having previously produced material for the likes of JONES and collaborated with big industry names, XO is now on track to make a name for himself in his own right.
XO (aka Sunil Heera) spoke to GIGsoup about how he came up with his artist name and the story about how the new single is a “love song written in darkness.”
XO is your stage name what were the thoughts behind the name and what is your real name?
The story of thinking up the name is quite boring to be honest! One of the A Levels I studied at college was Graphic Design and I was in class when I came up with the name. We were working with typography at the time and I was experimenting with different combinations of letters. “XO” appeared the most aesthetically pleasing and that was that! It bears no similarity to my real name whatsoever which is Sunil Heera by the way.
Electronic music has recently taken the music industry by storm. What made you get into the electronic genre and how did you get into the industry?
Well I started producing/writing in my early teens and everything just slowly progressed from there. I started the XO project in early 2013, still not fully knowing what I wanted to portray. Thankfully, after a lot of hard work, the sound came together through a few releases and I’m in a great place at the moment.
‘Night Time Solace’ is a really catchy tune and your new single! What can you tell us about the song? (Musical influence and story)
Thanks! Night Time Solace does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s essentially about finding peace during the night time and being somewhat of a nyctophiliac – undoubtedly something many producers/artists can relate to. I guess you could say it’s a love song written to the darkness.
You have been compared to big names such as Ben Khan! What are your thoughts on it? Does it add extra pressure to your goals?
I’m flattered for sure, I’m a big fan of Ben Khan so it’s nice to be seen in the same light. I don’t think it adds any pressure, if anything it motivates me to continue to work towards these goals
Aside from music are you currently doing anything else? Work, uni? Etc…
I’ve actually deferred my place at Uni twice now, it’s still an option but I feel my priorities lie elsewhere as you can imagine. I did recently quit a little shop job where I was helping my cousin out within the family business to focus on music further. Boy had to eat though.
Are you currently signed to a label? If not, is it something you are looking to?
I’m currently unsigned and it seems I’ll be remaining that way for the foreseeable future. A lot of things I’ve seen in recent times have been off putting with regards to labels, especially majors, however I’d never cancel the possibility of signing out. I’m not actively searching for a deal but if the right team comes along then who knows?
Do you have plans to tour this year or work with any notable artists/ producers?
I’m supporting Tourist on four of his UK dates from 9th-12th May this year. You can catch me in Glasgow, Manchester, London and Brighton!
This XO article was written by Sarah Ebockayuk, Track of the Day Editor