We're back again with our 19th mix and XOA takes us to much warmer places with his blend of disco and Afrobeat flavours. Read on to find out more about the man behind the decks.
Listen to more Podcast episodes.
If you've heard his track Aiye Le remixed at Dan Shake's Boiler Room session or you've had a listen to it via Gilles Peterson's channel, you know you're in for an Afrobeat fusion that's going to keep you warm no matter how cold it is outside. Fronted by multi-instrumentalist Nick Tyson, XOA has sold out a live show with a live band at the Jazz Café with vocals from Eva Lazarus and Dele Sosimi, Fela Kuti's musical director.
When and how did you first get into Afrobeat?
I was touring a lot on some session gigs and felt the need to start a new project and get back into writing and producing. The drummer who was also on those tours, Mr Marijus Aleksa, was instrumental in sparking back up an interest in Afrobeat as we were listening to a load of old Fela Kuti records, but also new afrobeat like Comet records 'afrobeat makers' series and 'Rocket Juice and The Moon'. I was, and have been for a long time into electronic music so it was a natural process. Marijus recorded a bunch of drum loops and I took them away to write and produce tracks around.
How did the collaboration with Dele Sosimi on Aiye Le come about?
When the tracks were coming together and we'd had a few recording sessions, I was looking to collaborate with some vocalists and approached my good friend and amazing singer Lea Lea (who features on 'Burn'). She suggested I get in touch with Dele, who at that time was on the same label as her (Wah Wah 45s) and we just chatted on the phone before I sent him the track.
Tell us a little about the mix.
As XOA, there's the original material, the live band, but also DJ shows, which is amazing for constantly checking out music new and old that relates to the project, and in turn influences the new material being developed. A lot of the music in this mix are recent finds, and new releases from the likes of Contours, Tala Am, Obas Nenore, 25 Places, Nachbreaker, 808 state, Philou Louzozo...It's definitely a club-tinged mix that keeps moving throughout with some afro-funk, disco, edits and deep house.
What can we expect from your upcoming projects?
We've got some exciting releases for 2017. New original material and some great remixes in the form of two EPs, plus a string of collaborative releases with other producers. We've also got some great shows lined up, starting with a support for Seun Kuti and Tony Allen at the Forum in March. All alongside DJ shows. Come autumn, I'll be focussing on a debut full-length album for 2018!
Author: Claudia Manca