XL Syndicate consisting of MP.XL and Rio.XL opened up about their recent release “Long Way.” We had a lovely chat with the talented duo on their thoughts and ideas about emerging industry trends, New Year’s Resolutions, and how their upbringing shaped their sound.
“Music is a vibe, it’s felt even more than it’s heard, that will never change. When you play the 7th or 9th chord you feel it. No matter what you are playing it on.” ― XL Syndicate
The year’s almost over and you’re closing it with your latest release “Long Way.” How has this past year been for you? Are you satisfied with what you have achieved so far?
It’s been a ride. We started off the year with a vision to put out quality music and launch our brand and it feels good to have been able to do that. It’s been fun at times and busy at the same time. We are glad we were able to launch and gain the amount of press, support and streams that we have been able to achieve in a short period of time, setting up the platform for future releases in the future.
Do you have any New Year’s resolutions? What are your plans for 2023? Are there any surprises we should know about? New releases? New album? New collaborations?
No official resolutions like going to the gym 6 times a week or eating healthier. Even though those things are things we will probably do. Our overall goal is to continue to put out quality music and work with like-minded upcoming and established people. We have new releases coming up in early 2023 and some cool album /EPs that we are contributing too that we think people will love and all with new artists that we haven’t worked with before.
How has “Long Way” been perceived by the public? What kind of feedback have you received from other artists or friends?
Feedback has been great so far. We wanted to create something unique that overlapped into multiple genres and that’s what People have been saying so far about the song so Mission accomplished. People have mentioned the song having great energy and something they can relate to.
Do you remember when you first started making music? How has your sound evolved over the years? How has your artistic identity changed or developed?
Rio.XL: I remember getting that first burned copy of fl studio sitting in my mom’s basement making what I thought was the most fire beats of all time. I think it was MP.XL that got me that first burn (sorry imageline lol) . I grew up on a lot of different music and have always been curious so at some point down the line I’ve tried all genres, Rnb, edm, house, trap etc. that helps now because we can work with so many different types of artists.
MP.XL: for me it was a mix of playing around with programs like fl studio, acid as well as playing around with turntables my dad had in the house. Early on my trend was sampling a lot and making a mix of east coast hip hop and trap. Over the years I expanded and moved away from sampling and did more Rnb, edm and Pop and even some rock. From all that experience working with different types of music it definitely has played a role in the type of music that I want to put out into the world.
How has your upbringing influenced your music? What kind of genres do you listen to and which ones would you like to explore more in the future?
Both of us have a Caribbean background so coming up as a kid from our parents was the sounds of reggae, and soca that resonated in our houses but also music from al green, Whitney Houston, prince, smokey Robinson and some of the old school greats that were influences on our parents that they passed down from playing music throughout the house especially on a Saturday or Sunday morning as we were forced to clean the house lol.
To be honest we listen to everything, there’s been so much fusion and derivatives of other genres that it’s hard not to touch on a mix of genres, cultures and influences. We wouldn’t rule anything out creativity wise when it comes to genres, if the energy, collaboration and vibe is there and makes sense we would be open to it.
Do you follow the latest industry trends? Which of the new emerging technologies and softwares have made your music better and which have been a complete waste of time?
There’s a balance of keeping up to date with trends and trying to set them. The tools now compared to when we first started are definitely way better, more Powerful and easy to use. No doubt there’s a lot of garbage tech out there like Vsts plugins that can’t do what they say they can. The rise of sample databases has helped make licensing samples easier if you want to sample something as part of a beat but of course they do come with their own problems from a sync and copyright perspective if someone else has already used that existing sample so you have to be careful.
Everything’s changing so fast! Music and sound are slowly taking a new form! How do you adapt to all these next-generation tech? How can artists make use of them without losing the human essence and sensitivity?
Everything evolves, for us we try to stay locked in to what’s happening in the industry and evolve in our own way with it is the short answer. To expand on it…the piano isn’t played the same way it was 500 years ago..it has evolved. New tools and technology can make Creativity easier or add another dimension that might not have been there before and that’s exciting.
Music is a vibe, it’s felt even more than it’s heard, that will never change. When you play the 7th or 9th chord you feel it. No matter what you are playing it on. So as long as artists continue to make music that can evoke emotions and represent the human experience in its many shapes and forms they will be doing what they are supposed to do.
Listen to “Long Way” here: