Posted On 01 May 2018
Get to know the electro-pop artist named Simon XO! On March 30th, he released his latest single called “There’s A Way Out.” It is a follow up to his double single debut, “How Do I Fight” and “Waiting For Me To Break.” These distinctive electro pop tracks garnered the attention of Ground Sounds, EQ Music, EDM Sauce and many others! Combining synths, tape-loops, electric guitars and more, his singles show just a taste of what to expect from his upcoming EP, Covering.
Connect With Simon XO Here:
Learn more about Simon XO in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! So where does this interview find you? What’s on tap for the rest of your day?
Definitely, thanks for having me! My “day job” is making library music for TV and Film so I have some of that later on.
Overall, how do you think 2017 was for you and your career? What are you most excited about for this year? What is one big goal you have for 2018?
2017 was… a good developing year. Haha. There were very good things because I recorded all these songs and started this project, but mostly challenging — confronting graduating college and starting a career as a freelancer, all the anxieties that come with releasing new music, etc. But it’s definitely prepared me for 2018! My goal for this year is to push this project as much as I can and so far, I feel pretty good about that so far.
Growing up, did you ever think that this would be the kind of life that you would have? Has music always been a big part of your life? Can you recall your first ever musical experience?
Music has always been a big part of my life. I started taking it seriously when I was around 13, as a trombone player of all things. When I was around that age I became obsessed with Stevie Wonder too, I remember I had a playlist of around 8 of his albums that I would shuffle in with 10 copies of “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz (so that it would play every 5 songs or so) and fall asleep to that every night for months haha.
How did you first come up with your artist name? What does the XO mean to you?
Simon is my middle name, and XO is my favorite Elliott Smith album. To me, “XO” in the context of that album was very sarcastic. Almost like “everything’s a mess, but love ya!” and I think that’s a pretty good description of the songs I write.
How do you think that your hometown in San Diego has influenced the kind of artist that you today?
Not much honestly. The San Diego music scene is a little starved unfortunately, not too much public interest. The musician community there is nice though, if anything the people I developed significant relationships with there influenced me more than anything.
What was the inspiration for your newest single called “There’s A Way Out”? How would you say that it compares to your previous tracks “How Do I Fight” and “Waiting For Me To Break”?
I was going through a band and relationship break up at the time I wrote this single, and I was forced to ask myself why I would consistently put myself in situations that were unhealthy for me, emotionally. My previous single “How Do I Fight It” embodies my exploration of that question, but I think “There’s A Way Out” is my attempt to resolve it. It’s all about embracing your doubts and holding onto the people you care about through the ups and downs.
What was it like putting together your upcoming EP, “Covering”? Did anything about the recording process surprise you at all?
The songs kind of all came at once, and then the records took months and months haha. This was the first project I worked on pretty much entirely alone, and there were definitely some surprises about that process. When you’re about 80% done you start to wonder what you’re doing.
After years of playing in bands, what does it feel being on your own as a solo artist? Do you find that you enjoy one over the other?
There are definitely ups and downs to both. I think ultimately, I prefer the solo project. I’m a bit of a control freak, musically, and this setting lets me embrace that.
Do you have any upcoming spring or summer shows?
Got a couple yeah! I’m playing The Mint on May 6th for the Small Wonders foundation, and currently working on a Sofar Sounds show as well. More to come!
We are living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious how you think being a musician gives you the most joy in life today? How do you think that music is going to reflect these challenging times?
Love this question! I think overall, music has done a pretty poor job of reflecting our current environment. It really bums me out most of the time. Most of the reason I pursued music was my inspiration from artists like Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Nirvana, Kendrick Lamar, etc., whose purpose it is/was to create change through their music. And while these singles don’t necessarily reflect our current political environment, they were written before the election and all the music I’m working on now definitely addresses our current political tides.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? What musicians would you absolutely still love to work with in the future?
Besides the above artists, I love Jack Garratt, Chance the Rapper, Son Lux, Sufjan Stevens, Kanye, the list goes on. In terms of contemporary artists, it would be my dream to work with Jack Garratt, I really love his music.
At the end of the day, what do you hope your fans take away from your music?
Mostly, hope. I think ultimately that’s what this EP is about. But not surface-level hope. Hope that acknowledges how difficult life is. Everyone is flawed, but that’s actually the side of ourselves we should embrace. And the more we can do that, the happier and more hopeful our lives will be.
Would you like to share anything else about yourself or your music with our readers?
Not that I can think of, thanks so much for having me! You can follow my Spotify or Instagram or Facebook for all the updates!