X: Influences, Developing a Sound, & New Single "All I"
By: Orchee Sorker
X is a rising Queens-based Rapper, DJ, and producer whose work has been featured in blogs including Raver Magazine, VENTS Magazine, and Buzz Music. He has shared the stage with artists such as The Chainsmokers, Borgore, Meek Mill, French Montana, Adventure Club, Ansolo, and more. Read more about his upcoming release “All I” on December 24.
Q: How did you get started with music?
So, I started DJing around the age of 12. I got this little plastic controller as a Christmas gift. I started playing around with it and I was like this is pretty cool. So, I got to a point where I was good enough where I would start playing. At that time, I was 13. I would be playing bar mitzvahs, smaller corporate events, birthday parties, and things of that nature.
I was 15 in 2015 and started playing in more clubs and venues. I know it didn't feel like enough. I was like, “All right, music’s cool, but I'd like to be able to play my stuff out to a crowd”. You know what I mean? So I started producing. I like producing because it's more of a creative outlet. It's different when it's somebody else's music because it's not really your creativity behind it. When you're able to play a song that you made to a crowd and it gets a good reception, it's a good feeling. When I started producing, everything I was making at first was terrible, but that's all right. Cause growth. When I was 17 or 18, I had been writing more seriously. I've been writing lyrics for rap since I was like 10. Obviously, they were bad, but as time went on, they got better. In 2017, I was in a session with an engineer because I didn't know how to engineer at that time either. We were mixing and mastering a dance track of mine and I dropped some bars. I dropped a freestyle. He's like, yo, you should record that. So I hopped in the booth, I recorded and I liked it. I spent the next like year or two, I would put out some tracks, but I was really just kind of defining my sound, um, you know, getting comfortable with my voice, figuring out how I wanted to present my voice. Um, And just getting a feel of the mic and being in the booth. At that time, I started learning how to mix more seriously, and now I got my first actual engineering job this year a couple of months ago. Thanks to Ro!
I signed back in January 2020. 2020 was kind of a cluster. We got some cool radio placements, but not too many live shows. We weren't really able to get anything done. 2021 has been cool. I got my track used by the LA Dodgers, which is sick. We're working on another track with them for the spring. I’m doing more DJ sets.
Musically, I'm just kind of trying to develop a sound that can be applied to any genre. I love all genres except Country. I like the versatility of jumping from one place to the other. Like my last track called “Bleach” was very, very aggressive, but then I also have smoother stuff like my next track “All I”. In regards to influences, Drake, Kanye, Timbaland, Travis, and Porter Robinson have always influenced me. I like New Wave. In regards to lyricism, Wu-Tang Clan influenced my rap. I try to play like a Snoop Dogg or Warren G kind of flow. I have a wide net of musical influences. Any Nintendo soundtrack is fire…especially like in the Mario games.
Q: What is your creative process for your upcoming “All I”?
It started as its own individual track. I watched this song called “Sentimental Sentimental Lady” by Bob Welch, an obscure singer in the 70s. It was very slow and almost had a yacht rock kind of vibe to it. The music video was smooth too. I was like ‘how can I modernize this?’ That's kind of where I got the instrumental to “All I”. Koi is a very frequent collaborator of mine. He’s a good friend, a great singer, and a rapper. Originally, I was just going to have him take the entire thing, but I wrote a little bit about it. I'm still very self-conscious about my voice. I recorded a little demo. He was like ‘oh bro, this is, yeah, this is fire’. So, I went with it. People will be able to see December 24th and hopefully will like it.
Q: Who is someone you would like to open for or collaborate with in the future?
Drake. He’s my idol. His stuff from 2010 to 2018 was the best. Even though I don't like his music as much now, that would be cool. If I could work with Farrah production-wise, he's a genius. If I could work with Tyler, that'd be cool. Ski Mask the Slump God flows are ridiculous.
Q: What are your goals for 2022
In 2022, be social media-oriented. Social media is my biggest pitfall. If I wasn't an artist, I wouldn't have social media. So, that gets my social members. This year, I hit over 100K overall plays on Spotify. Last year, I ended up in 5K plays. It was a nice little jump. I'd like to double that up next year. I would like to do some more collaborations. Do more DJ sets. I'd love to stay in the city. I feed off the energy. I want to move into my place by the time I'm 23, which is August. So that's like a personal goal.
Q: If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring musicians, what would it be?
All it takes is one song. All it takes is one song. That's something that's kept me going. Granted what you do with it afterward if you’re able to sustain that success is a different story. To get where you want to be, all it takes is one song. You just have to keep releasing more music. Cause the more music you release, the more fishing lines you have in the water. If you got the talent, one of them is going to hit at some point. That's kinda my mindset, the advice I would give to upcoming artists.