Without a doubt, 2020 has been a year filled with a bunch of changes and uncertainty, forcing us all to adapt in more ways than one.
One creative mind forging ahead during these unprecedented times and expressing themselves through their work, is an artist by the name of XANDE.
Since our first interaction with the artist this past April, we have been following his moves and getting to know more about his journey.
After chatting with XANDE, you immediately get the vibe of a very kind and gentle giant who is extremely passionate about his art.
Then once you get to know him more, it’s very hard not to get entranced with his music, especially where his new releases are concerned.
Drawing on a wide range of influences and collaborating with some very talented artists, has allowed XANDE to put together a very cohesive and memorable project.
We were lucky enough to get a sneak peak at XANDE’s upcoming debut album “Maybe Different Is Not So Bad” and also got to learn more about the artist himself.
We hope you enjoy the interview and you can catch the release of XANDE’s Debut Album “Maybe Different Is Not So Bad” on June 12th, 2020, on your favourite streaming platforms.
Follow the link to PRE-SAVE: https://ffm.to/maybe_different_is_not_so_bad
Tell me a little bit about yourself and how you ended up getting into music?
First I’d like to thank Music With Flavor for giving me this chance!
My name is XANDE, I’m a Dark Alternative Pop singer, songwriter & music producer.
I was born in Setúbal, a small fisherman town by the coast of Portugal. I’m a son of a schizophrenic father with PTSD caused by war and of an amazing mother that never left.
I grew up in a house with no music at all, so the only music I used to listen to was from movies. Composer’s like James Horner (I didn’t know his name at the time) but his melodies were everything to me, I don’t know why!
Like “Braveheart”, I recorded the sound of the TV on tape so I could listen to the musical parts of that movie because I didn’t have money to buy cd’s!
Then when I was 14, a friend of mine showed me a band and I was like “WHAT IS THIS!? I LOVE THIS! I WANNNTTT THIS” ahahaha it was the Sacramento band “Deftones” of course 🙂 so Deftones are the reason that I started writing music.
Tell us more about your upcoming release and the inspiration behind it?
“Maybe Different Is Not So Bad” is a genre bending album with influences ranging from Sigur Rós to Deftones to James Blake and orchestral music composers like Thomas Newman and even Kanye West.
Nothing is off the table and everything is acceptable if it feels right to me and my producer Filipe Survival.
Not fitting in genres and trends was a big inspiration behind the title and one of the main subjects to the songs.
For the first time I went deeper, I wrote about Anxiety, self-doubt, living around mental-illness and toxic-relationships.
Who did you collaborate with on this project? Have you worked with them before or was this the first time?
The person that has always been with me since I was a kid is my friend/producer Filipe Survival, he is the main reason I’m able to put all my influences together in one song. This is a guy that if, one day I make it big, I’m dragging this mtf with me for life <3
Then came my friend Miguel Amorim, he plays keys with me live, so he’s the person that really knows what kind of chords and melodies I like.
I was feeling down for a while, not wanting to write and then FKA TWIGS released “Cellophane” and I listened to it on repeat for hours.
I got inspired and asked Miguel to help me out on a piano vibe in that world. He sent me an idea and me and Fil loved it!
I wanted another artist singing some sad emo so, I called my brother “LETSBENØTHING”.
Byron is super underrated.
I really believe in this guy!! As an unsigned underground artists, he is my favourite no doubt!
He brought his magic on that song which is now called “All For You” which is one of my fav’s!
The last person collaborating on the album was the Portuguese alternative artist “Isaura”. Dude, I was super grateful to have her in the studio listening to the demos because I’ve been a fan for a while!
I’m so stoked to have her on my album! Bro, if you like alternative pop artists…make sure you go listen to her!! Also super underrated in my opinion!! She brought her crazy falsettos and genius melodies to our song “Feels”.
The writing on this project is very vivid and relatable. Tell us more about your creative process while creating this project?
Truth is I was thinking about quitting the music world, felt I wasn’t good enough you know…But Filipe never quit on me, he called me for months, again and again always saying come down, lets write something!
My girlfriend was also a huge part of this, she was positive everyday, always pulling me up and saying the right things. I was just somewhere else in my head but thank god for family & friends right 🙂 ?!
After a few months I started writing “Maybe Different Is Not So Bad”, I focused on just being me like I never did before. No radio thinking, no genre, no anything. Just me and Filipe creating my art with no intentions of being commercial or popular.
So that took me to places… I started to get stuff off my chest. I spoke of my life for the first time, raw, like growing up with my father’s mental-Illness.
How “off” I feel sometimes when people compare me to others. I feel I don’t belong anywhere and that feeling and those thoughts bring you down you know… Not being part of something…So to me it’s hard to write about superficial/material things when I don’t care about those subjects at all. To me what matters is Kindness, Family & Friends.
What's your favorite song of the project and why?
That’s hard, they’re all very special to me… but maybe “Highs and Lows” & “The Quiet One” cause they make me think about what I’ve been through and they re-mind me that I’m a fighter!
But then, “No Man” has one of my fav parts of the record the (outro).
“Pyscho” is a banger!!
“Underwater” is something different and fresh — I love it!
And “Ignore” too, these maybe bring out my brighter side, which I love!
Given the unprecedented times going on in the world, How have you stayed connected with your fans? Have you had to adjust how you promote yourself and this new release?
I got a lot of tips from you guys at Music With Flavor and the “Food for Thought blog”!
I found you guys in March when everything with COVID19 hit. I was trying to find tips for unsigned artists and subscribed to you guys right away. So many good tips on how to run your artists pages and more.
Aside from this, I’m always supporting others online, I try to reply to every comment that people post on my socials and I try to reply to every message I get but I’m not the type of artist that goes “live” on socials or posts a lot cause I just don’t want to annoy people you know.
I rather post when I got something of value to my fans and friends! I’m a music and film fan, if artists/actors post random stuff every single day with no value I get a bit tired. I just don’t pay that much attention if they post a lot.
For the promotion of “Maybe Different Is Not So Bad” my main tool is the “Pre-Save” option People don’t need to pay for anything, just click on my link and Pre-Save my tracks to their Spotify´s, etc.
This is amazing for me because most times you love an artist but the algorithm simply doesn’t show him on your feed. So I got in touch with my close friends first and then asked my fans to save it too. I’m trying to learn about Google Adwords now too.
What advice would you have for a younger you just starting out in music?
I will always say this, don’t be afraid of asking for help! Start with your friends, ask them! They’re YOUR friends!!
I know some times our biggest supporters are strangers and the haters are in our circle of friends BUT still ask them anyway!
The “No” is always certain so you’ve got nothing to loose if you know what I mean. Be nice and respect everyone even when they’re not into your music. Always remember that right now, somewhere around the world, there’s a person that feels dumb as shit for saying “NO” to Drake, The Weeknd, Beyonce, Metallica, you name it!
They all heard a cold heartless “NO” before the fame, so keep going and when you have a down day, please allow yourself to be down for the day, there’s no problem with that! We’re humans!
What’s next for you?
I got a new single “Highs and Lows” coming out May 29th on YouTube and all digital platforms.
After that, my debut album “Maybe Different Is Not So Bad” is coming out on June 12th, 2020.
Follow the link to PRE-SAVE: https://ffm.to/maybe_different_is_not_so_bad
I got a bunch of songs already lined up to record after the album comes out. Also, I’d love to collab with other artists, so feel free to hit me up at my socials!
Shout out again to Kevin and “Music with Flavor” for giving FREE, amazing tips, insights and ideas that any artist can use.
Love you guys!