“If the love don’t feel like 90s R&B, then I don’t want it,” -“90s R&B and chill,” – “Nothing compares to 90s R&B”
These are just some of the few things you’ll see as you scroll through any social media platform these days. There’s no denying the demand from us Millennials to have the nostalgic sounds of our childhood in the music we consume now. It’s also fair to say that artists are hearing it and giving us what we want. People like Drake, Chris Brown, and Ty Dolla $ign have all taken some classic 90s R&B hits and created new hits from them via samples. While other upcoming artists like Majid Jordan, Snoh Aalegra, Khalid, and Bryson Tiller have almost built their entire persona from this moment in time.
Another artist to do so? 24 year old up-and-comer, WithLoveXavier (Matthew Xavier Hunter). Hailing from Brooklyn, NY, Xavier’s sound has been influenced by artists like Freddie Mercury, Drake, The Weeknd, and Frank Ocean. His SoundCloud has over 2 million streams while his latest release, an EP entitled With Love EP, has racked up over 18K streams.
Thanks to the Worldwide Web, we were able to connect with him and talk about music, NY, and what the world can expect next from WithLoveXavier.
The Artist Interview
WithLoveXavier on a personal level…
CM: What got you into music in the first place?
WLX: Realizing my dream of making it to the NBA wasn’t going to come true. You spend years practicing on your game – for me it was the only reason I actually did good in school. Bad grades meant no basketball, once that was gone, I had to think about my future and what I wanted to do with my life. A lot of my peers and friends pushed me to work on music seriously, so I did.
CM: Any other musical talents?
WLX: I sing, but I’ve also played the tenor, alto, baritone, and saxophone from elementary to high school.
CM: In what ways has your music changed since you first started?
WLX: It’s a lot more business related now then before. Before I strictly did it for fun. But, once you take something professionally there will be a lot of people trying to use you for monetary gain. It made me smarter in that sense. Also, I’ve learned to mix and master my music better for a more higher quality sound.
CM: How do you separate yourself from other artists out there?
WLX: I’m always at the bigger picture and the next goal, I never get caught in the moment, I want to become the biggest artist out there. My personality is also very different than other artist, I think I’m very unique when it comes to the diversity my music has as well
CM: Do you have a songwriting process or is everything different?
WLX: I freestyle the first few lines on whatever beat I’m using, then whatever I dig I keep and make a story out of it based on my life experiences.
CM: Dream collabs?
WLX: Drake, The Weeknd, PARTYNEXTDOOR, Justin Bieber, Zayn, Frank Ocean, and my favorite artist Gucci Mane.
CM: Who is 1 producer you would kill to work with?
WLX: DJ Mustard, I truly believe we could make a #1 record.
CM: Favorite quotes or mantras?
WLX: Friends come and go,but banners stay forever – Kobe Bryant
WithLoveXavier on the music industry…
CM: What do you think of the current landscape of hip-hop?
WLX: Hip-Hop is in dire need of help these days. The emergence of meme rappers has taken the talent out of music. The music industry is more focused towards popularity than actual talent. However, there are still pioneers of the game pushing the genre more with good content.
CM: How do you think you could impact the current state of hip-hop?
WLX: My music has a purpose. With my platform I look to bring awareness to many issues like suicide awareness and depression Also, I’m very different from many artist because I am super diverse with my music – I can do a dance hall track one day then switch it up to deep R&B.
CM: Who do you think is the best rapper to ever come out of NY?
WLX: Biggie Smalls by far, Jay-Z is definitely a close runner up.
CM: NY used to be the “Mecca of Hip-Hop”, but it’s widely known that ATL is leading hip-hop today. Being an artist from NY, what do you think NY needs to do to reclaim the throne?
WLX: Less hating on each other and more supporting each other. NY is NY’s worst enemy. Our talent is greater than any other place in the world, NY always has the song of the summer whether it be “Bodack Yellow,” or “OOOUUU.” We are truly talented people and deserve more media buzz and respect from other places.
CM: Finally, when can we expect the next project?
WLX: End of this month!