Posted On 30 Oct 2018
“One Sided Love” is the newest single from the artist, MkX. The video for the song was directed by Matt Alonso (Pitbul, Odd Future, The Game, Justin Timberlake)
With this track, he wanted to create a song that reflected what he was going though. He wrote about the emotional roller-coaster of being immersed in unrequited love, as heard in lyrics like, “Slam the brakes, so my heart don’t break…” Yet only hope is to “play hard to get to be your lover/thought I was close but I overshot.”
Before emerging as a solo artist, MkX was on tour opening for Ariana Grande after hitting the road in the past with Christina Perri. A popular live performer since the age of 9, he laid the foundation for his current releases with over 300 shows nationwide, many as an opening act for Top 40 artists. The venues he’s played include the Whisky A Go Go and The Roxy in West Hollywood, CMJ Music Festival, El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles, Times Square and Lincoln Center in New York City and House of Blues and Hard Rock cafes nationwide. MkX has built a strong following in Las Vegas by performing at Mandalay Bay, and he was also on the production crew of Britney Spears’ Vegas residency, apprenticing under the musical director.
Although he is always creating music, MkX is also studying electronic production and sound design at the famed Berklee College of Music.
Connect with MkX Here:
Learn more about MkX in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today! Where does this interview find you now? Is there music playing in the background?
Of course!! I’m actually in class right now HAHAHAHA but you gotta do what you gotta do.
Now that we are on the back end of the year, how do you think 2018 has treated you and your career? What has been one goal that you have had this year and how close are you to reaching it? Or did you already reach it?
2018 has been great so far. My main goal was the creative execution for my first music video which I’m super proud of. I had a lot of artistic concepts I wanted to incorporate and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. The song is gaining some traction on the radio charts which is incredible, I’m super grateful.
Growing up, was music always a big part of your life? Can you recall your first ever musical experience? Can you see yourself ever doing anything else?
I’ve always had an extremely strong passion for music every since I popped out of the womb. I grew up writing songs on my Fisher-Price tape recorder with a toy beat machine. I wrote my first few songs when I was 3. They were trash of course, but that was when I discovered how much of a thrill I got from expressing myself through songwriting. I eventually started gigging around when I was 7 which lead to performing around the country throughout my pre/early teens.
What has been the biggest surprise so far about making music your career? What has been an unexpected or welcome challenge to it all?
I’d say the biggest surprise is how much you have to juggle at once. I write/record/produce all my songs, along with creating the visuals and technology for my show. Doing that along with creating visuals/content for social media is definitely a lot. I have such a specific creative vision so I don’t wanna half-ass anything. It’s always a thrill though, making it all happen. It gets stressful but it’s part of the job.
How do you think you and your music have been influenced by your hometown and where you live today?
I grew up in a small town and went to high school in the middle of nowhere. There were literally signs on the road that said “share the road with the horses.” I always wanted to live in the city, but I had no idea how much of an impact it would have on me. Everyone is so free and unapologetically expressive. It liberated me so much not only as person, but as an artist. I’m inspired by Boston so much, from its architecture and community, to intangible things like my experience and growth because of the city. It’s definitely had a heavy impact on my music and overall creative process.
What was the inspiration for your latest single, “One Sided Love”? How do you think it compares to anything else that you have released before?
Unfortunately it’s based on not just one but TWO real life experiences. I actually started the song a couple years ago after I experiencing unrequited love. It was more of a pop/ballad at the time. I finished it and kinda forgot about it. A little over a year later, I experienced unrequited love again, and I couldn’t stop thinking about the song. I really reconnected with it, and I was like “this is exactly why I made this track, for people to connect with it that are going through the same thing.” I ended up completely redoing it with more of an R&B vibe. Compared to my other tracks It’s definitely the most “pop” record I’ve put out, but I’m a sucker for a good pop record. I’m heavily inspired by Max Martin, Darkchild, that late 90s/early 00s sound that I grew up on. You can always hear it a little bit in my music, but this song especially.
How creatively involved were you with the making of the music video for the track? How did the idea for all the visual effects come from?
I did all of the creative direction and a heavy portion of the editing. I wanted this video to be less about the concept of the song and more of an introduction to who I am as an artist. I had all of these crazy concepts since I was 11 years old, and the producer for the video was like “we can’t physically do all of this.” But after a lot of planning I figured out ways to get all of my ideas in the video. I’ve always had a strong passion for video editing, so I wanted to go very extreme with all the visual effects.
How did it feel the first time you heard “One Sided Love” out and about? Have you heard it at H&M or other stores yet yourself?
I haven’t heard it in H&M yet, but my friend texted me a couple days ago saying Best Buy was blasting it in their store which is insane. It’s so surreal that this song I made on my laptop is being played in so many different places. They aired a little promo clip on a few radio stations around the release date, I was just chilling in my bedroom with the radio on and all of a sudden I heard my song. My jaw just dropped and stayed frozen for a good 15 seconds.
When do you hope to release more new music and a full album of new songs?
I have a bunch of songs I’m ready to release, and a handful of songs I’m still finishing. I’m just waiting for the right moment. I think I’m going to release a few more singles before I drop a full album, but there’s lots of new music coming soon.
We are currently living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious to know how your own music is reflecting this time period or is your music more of an escape from all that?
The music itself is meant to help people get through whatever they’re dealing with. Music is what helped me get through obstacles growing up, so I want to make the music that helps people. From a political standpoint, I want to make a statement with who I am as an artist. I want to show the world, especially the LGBT community, how freeing it is to be who you are without the fear of being judged. I express myself through my art, but everyone should have a way to fearlessly express themselves.
What has it been like keeping up with your social media accounts and all of the different platforms? Is it hard to stay up to date on it all? What would you say is your favorite way to connect with your fans now?
I talked a little about this before, but yes it’s very hard. Living in 2018, you can’t just be an artist, you also have to have a social media personality. It’s pretty hard to balance the two, but I’m definitely getting the hang of it. Even though I’m a musician, I’m a very visual based artist. I think Instagram is my favorite platform at the moment because I can connect with my listeners and also post/share my visual art.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? Who would you absolutely still love to work with in the future?
I’m definitely heavily inspired by Lady GaGa. Not only by her music, but as an artist. She has a full 360 concept from her music, her stage performances, her fashion, everything is executed with a purpose. She showed me all of the different aspects you can incorporate to express an artistic vision. I’d love to work on a track with her one day.
From a production standpoint I’m very inspired by Cashmere Cat. His sound design is insane. His music definitely opened my brain to look at sound design in a completely different way. He creates incredible sounds out of things I’ve never thought of being musical. The way he samples vocals and different foley sounds definitely inspires how I produce.
If you were going to be stranded on a deserted island forever, what musical item would you take with you and why?
I’d probably take my laptop. Some people may consider that “cheating” or “not a real instrument”, so let me explain why. It took me a while to realize how much power a computer has to make music. Growing up I got so frustrated while learning guitar and piano because I had such over the top, fully-produced ideas in my head and I didn’t know how to get them out. Once I discovered production I felt like a kid in a candy store. There’s endless possibilities.
If your music was going to be featured on any TV show that is currently on right now, which would you love it to be on? Or if you prefer, what is a movie that you love that you wish your music was featured in?
I’ve been a big fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race for a while. I’d love to see a “Lip Sync For Your Life” to one of my songs, or one day even be a guest judge on the show.
Do you have any tour dates you would like to tell our readers about? What has been a favorite performance of yours? What do you think makes an idea show for you? What’s next on your musical agenda?
I’m actually have a show tonight that I’m really excited for. It’s part of a live arts event called “Into Your Art” that showcases sound, motion, and design.
One of my favorite performances was at the Lorna Jane Fashion Show on the Las Vegas Strip. I didn’t know what to expect, and I was so shocked once I got there for soundcheck. They had these huge screens to display all of my visuals, and I got to rise up from the ground with lights and fog. It was such an amazing experience.
At the end of the day, what do you hope your fans take away from your music? I’d like to know more about how you want your music to be timeless?
I want to inspire people with not just my music, but my full artistic vision. When people see my show it’s not just about the songs, I want them to have an experience. I think that separates me from a lot of artists. I love making pop music, and I hope the world receives it well, but that’s not the only impact I want to have. I want to help people be themselves, giving them inspiration and confidence to overcome their fears. Music is what helped me, so now it’s my turn to make the music that helps others.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
I just released the first two episodes of a web series I’m doing called “MkX: Thru the Lens”. It’s about my everyday life and how I make my art. It also shows how I view the world through an artistic lens, so I edit all of the visuals to simulate how I imagine my surroundings. I’m trying to post a new episode every week so keep a look out for those.