2019 looks set to be a year of artistic growth and critical success for forward-thinking producer and vocalist XamVolo. The Decca recording artist will release his debut full length, All The Sweetness On The Surface this month, building upon the success of his preexisting EPs and singles – which have led to praise from from DJs Mistajam and Gilles Peterson, sync with ITV drama Cleaning Up, and his status as a Vevo Discover artist.
The new record follows his accomplished, four track EP, A Damn Fine Spectacle, which XamVolo told us in the Spring of 2018 was: ‘intended to work as a side story of sorts; to ease people into a world I was building around the theme of desire’. It established the contemporary RnB artist as a conceptual creative – an artist giving thought to the details of his tracks as well as their place within a watertight musical narrative. With its fifteen tracks — recently released single Sins of A Soldier amongst them — the new record is an extension of his musical vision, drawing us into the hive of desire and ambition that lies at the centre of the album’s construction.
Outlining the concept on Facebook, XamVolo explained: ‘The whole project is based around the idea of a hive filled with black honey (Slaize), which when eaten has the ability to grant any desire you wish for – albeit with some intense side effects’. He continues, ‘Conceptually, my intention was to explore the idea of desire and ambition: “if you could immediately have all the things you’ve ever wanted – a Bentley, freedom, respect, anonymity, a lost loved one or anything in between – without having to work for them, could you still appreciate them in the same way?” I realised the idea may have been too abstract if left to the music, so I really wanted to make sure the surrealist, fauvist beehive aesthetic came through visually – from the colour scheme to the symbolism’.
In addition to his creative vision, XamVolo’s well-rounded skill set makes him the consummate contemporary artist. A talented vocalist, producer and even designer, he oversaw every element of the creation of early singles, such as Money Store and Old Soul. While that hasn’t necessarily changed, he has begun working with other producers too, such as Paul Phamous and A.V., who co-produced Sins of A Soldier. Influenced by the likes of D’Angelo, Hiatus Kaiyote, Janelle Monáe and Childish Gambino, XamVolo has crafted a sound that both reflects the greatness of their work, while possessing its own unique production and vocal characteristics. If you dig the work of Anderson .Paak, Labrinth, Jarreau Vandal or any of the aforementioned influencers, you’d be well advised to check XamVolo out!
Watch his awesome Colors session below and pick up tickets for his headline show at YES on 10th February, here.