XXYYXX | Marcel Everett

The latest thing to come out of Orlando, Florida is not your average Disney-pop teen dream, but none other than the experimental production, XXYYXX. Marcel Everett is the 17-year old maestro that has orchestrated a mish-mash of layered, down-tempo, bass inspired sounds that boys and girls just wanna frolic to. Marcel is well known for creating music out of self-made synthesizers in his very own bedroom, reflecting the personal and emotive tones in his music. Before a sold out show at Fortune Sound Club in Vancouver, Marcel discusses his music, his experiences so far, and R. Kelly.

It all began just a few years ago, after Marcel had finished some stints in other bands. “I was producing music, messing around with it, when I was like, 14. I started seriously producing when I was 15 and I just kept doing it,” he says.

Marcel’s creative process stems from a natural desire for self-expression. He states, “It’s about whatever is on my mind. Whatever happens happens. I’ll have an idea, or just go with the flow and pretty much just build off of it, piece by piece, until I have exactly what I imagine in my head. It’s my own personal trek that I have just for me.”

I ask Marcel if his process is influenced by a particular state of mind. “Generally I’m just really in the mood to do something. I sometimes have this strange craving to make a track. I don’t even need to necessarily have ideas in my head; it’s just a feeling,” he explains.

Marcel learned that his music was gaining momentum during his first tour in Europe. He says, “We pretty much sold out every show, except for three of them. I had no idea that I even had a fan base at the time. Since then, I’ve realized how many people actually listen and dig my stuff. It’s really cool.”

While XXYYXX has swiftly garnered the attention of music snobs and loyal fans around the world, Marcel has yet to let it get to his head. In fact, when he enters the room, I sense a humble modesty modeled by his hunched shoulders and shy movements. He admits, “At first, it’s really strange to get used to because I’m just a kid you know, making random noises. But people catch on and it’s really nice. I’m grateful for it, it’s my dream come true.”

Marcel is contemplative and sharp as he demonstrates his musical knowledge. With sampling from artists from Amy Winehouse to The Brothers Johnson, it comes as no surprise that a broad range of artists influence him. He lists off producers such as Flying Lotus, Lapalux, Tokimonsta and DJ Nate as inspiration. “Anything that’s kind of different, I can get into with experimenting with sounds. I listen to a lot of weird stuff and I’m all over the map,” Marcel says.

If you listen carefully, you can hear traces of R. Kelly in Marcel’s music. “It’s in [the song] ‘Alone’ with Keri Hilson, and the sample track is called ‘Number One.’ The whole song is about sex being number one, of course,” Marcel exclaims, “Gotta love the R. Kelly, how could you not love him? He’s crazy. It’s perfect music.”

I ask Marcel what it’s like to play his own music live. He discusses the transition from his bedroom to the stage, saying, “It’s really weird at first because it’s something personal. You just do it in your room and now you have to showcase it in front of all these people, and they need to be impressed and all that. Initially, you don’t make music to impress people. I mean, some people do, but I don’t really do that. Playing live, you never know if they’re gonna dig it. Now I’m totally aware that people just wanna have a good time, so its really fun especially when the crowd is active. The energy just bounces back and forth when you’re on stage.”

Marcel goes on to discuss his favourite parts about touring and being a musician. “Whenever I’m touring I meet the coolest people. You meet the most amazing people from all these different places and you have crazy nights with them,” he continues, “The best part of being a musician is being able to do what you want and make music. People accept it, that’s what you do. People can listen and connect, and that’s a really awesome feeling.”

And the down side? “The negative part is people having expectations because you have to live up to it. That’s not always fun, people almost forcing you, or pressuring you to sound like something,” Marcel admits.

When I finally ask Marcel about his moniker, he admits, “I had this blog. That’s it basically, and I didn’t think anyone would have a name like that.”

Just don’t confuse XXYYXX with those other guys. Marcel says, “It’s funny, because as soon as I started the project, everyone was like, ‘Xxxy is better,’ then there’s The XX. That was weird.”



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