XYLØ Is Writing Her Own Musical Destiny
The singer talks her debut album, "unamerican beauty", and her musical and thematic inspirations.
Firstly, congrats on the release of “unamerican beauty”! The album was incredible. How did you feel once it was put out into the world?
It feels like a great accomplishment to have put out my debut album. I've worked for so long exploring different sounds and finally felt confident enough in my artistry to make a full length project. I'm just grateful I get to call this my job.
What was it that inspired you to start writing and creating music? Was it a particular life event or was it something that has always been there percolating under the surface?
I grew up in a really musical family and always knew I had a creative side but didn't start exploring it with music until I graduated high school. Even though I enjoyed singing, never in a million years did I think I would become a recording artist. Once I started recording and writing I never looked back and I'm so fortunate that my music has connected with people and allowed me to keep doing this for so long.
In February, you released the single “Aliens” – you recently explained that the song details the “commonality of feeling lost” among you and your friends. Which in this post-pandemic period of uncertainty and doubt is certainly a relatable sentiment. Can you tell us how COVID-19 has affected you as an artist?
In some ways the pandemic was really productive for me because I spent a lot of time at home focusing on writing, being creative, watching films that inspired me and overall working on my album, but it also became really difficult to stay inspired when there wasn't much we could do outside of our homes. Not having human interaction and experiencing new things was difficult mentally.
Who are your main musical and creative inspirations as of right now?
Lana Del Rey has always been a big influence on me. I'm listening to a lot of rock / alternative music lately and I love Fontaines D.C., Sam Fender, Arctic Monkeys and I’m also currently reading Oscar Wilde.
One of the most poignant songs in the record is the crooning, brooding “don’t let them change you babygirl.” Part ballad and part lullaby, it feels deeply personal but also greatly relatable. Was the song written for anyone in particular?
I wrote this song to my younger self. I went through a big identity crisis when I was signed to a major label and felt like I was pretending to be something I wasn't. The song is just a reminder to not change for anyone.
Check out the video for "unamerican beauty" below: