Artist Spotlight: Xadi
West London artist, producer and engineer Xadi has recently released his latest tale ‘It’s Alright' - an introspective timestamp in his blooming discography of dark Alternative Rap. Xadi speaks honestly on his own story whilst being a voice for the people, touching on heated subjects such as institutionalisation, the black experience in a whitewashed society and the dark shadow of the puppet master that ever looms over the music industry.
The comforting mantra that repeats through the chorus, painted as Xadi’s inner voice, is a stark reminder that with all negativity we face, it’s alright. We all face demons and the rough pull of society but if we accept the truth we can always rise to the surface again a better person. Xadi showcases his sharp wordplay in a series of face paced narratives over demonic swelling production, crafted by the man himself, with the simple drum pattern allowing the rapper to flex in and out of different flows.
We caught up with Xadi to get an in-depth review of his latest release, his humble beginings and what is in store for the second half of 2019.
Tramell: You’re at the budding stage of you musical journey - when and where did it all begin?
Xadi: I think in year 8 actually. I saw someone playing the guitar in assembly and was really taken away by it, I think I asked for a guitar from Argos for my birthday, and then learnt to play using Youtube videos. When I was about 15, me and a couple of my friends started a rock band which is where I learnt how to write songs. We used to gig a lot around Camden, mainly because if we had be on stage they didn’t ask us for ID!
How would you best describe your sound?
Passionate - that’s the first thing that comes to mind really. I produce all of the tracks and I put a lot of time into each of the instrumentals, I want them to be able to artistically compliment whatever is said on the track. On the flip-side, the lyrics are often quite meaningful, I used to struggle to write about stuff I didn’t really really want to say. My tracks vary quite a lot though, on the whole I think the stuff is quite chilled out, but recently I’ve been making some tracks that you can turn up to.
‘On Est’ is an incredibly strong body of music as debut projects go by. How has the support been since the drop?
Thank you so much! It loved making it. Yeah the support has been really nice, I had some radio play with BBC introducing, and across Soundcloud and Spotify it’s gotten over 20,000 streams which is way more than what I’d expected. I think the biggest thing for me was that my friends and family enjoyed what I made.
What were some of the themes that you explored in the EP that we might have not picked up on?
A lot of it was about kind of being pulled in different directions by different pressures, like I don’t think people get to take the time to figure out what will actually make them happy in life before going down a path that may not be the right one. Aside from that, I talk about the way the police behave towards black people, and a number of negative experiences I’ve had with them based on my ethnicity.
On your socials, you come across as a very radiant person. On the flip side, your music projects a very dark character - Do you use music as a platform to let off some steam or is it a side of you that you keep guarded?
Ah thank you, I think generally I’m quite a happy person. I’ve always struggled to write about things I don’t really care about and I think that comes across in the music. I have always found it difficult to talk about my emotions in normal conversation, as I think a lot of men do. When I’m writing lyrics, it all seems easier, I am able to properly express myself.
You stated that your latest single, ‘It’s Alright’, is your favourite song you’ve made so far. What makes it different from the rest?
I just really like the content of the track, writing it came naturally and it felt more like I was writing poetry. I made the hook quite short so I could focus the track on the lyrical content. I made the instrumental with real instruments that I had put through a bunch of effects and I really like the vibe that they built.
Will there be any visuals to accompany it?
Potentially, we’re thinking up some concepts at the moment.
We’re always interested to find out what artists are listening to when they’re taking a break from the studio. Who are some artists on your playlists that we need to know about?
Daniel Adé is a great rapper and producer who is also a good friend of mine, if you haven’t checked his stuff, it is a must! He has a new EP dropping this Sunday which I’m really looking forward to hearing. Another dope up-and-coming artist is ‘Jude the Obscure’, he’s a singer with an unbelievable voice with really smooth production.
When you hit international celebrity status, what will you name your fanbase?
I have literally no idea hahah, Xadi isn’t that adaptable for a play on words.
We’re already halfway through 2019 and you’ve come through with some strong releases! What’s next for the rest of the year?
Thank you so much, I’m going to be releasing a song at least every month over the next few months and then will put together another EP before the end of the year. I really liked the creative process of putting a project together so I’m looking forward to doing that again!