XXYYXX’s Marcel Everett has nothing to do with chromosomes (or fellow producer xxxy); his area of expertise is sensual slow jams, ethereal vocal samples, bass-heavy future beats and trippy minimal electronica. The 17 year-old Florida producer’s self-proclaimed “fro-fi” style and recent self-titled album has made waves in the music press, as has his DIY approach, including rejecting offers from major record labels in favor of his underground home at Relief in Abstract. We caught up with him on his Euro-tour at an off-schedule (though still sold out) show in Budapest for our 10 x 4 Q&A series.
1. Your most memorable show?
A television show club-night called BEDLAM in Dublin was probably the memorable show. People were going crazy, on like MDMA or stuff like that. People were licking the speakers as I played. I have never seen anything like that in my life. It was fun.
2. What does underground and mainstream mean to you?
Mainstream means pop to me. Pop-rock and like pop alternatives like pop-rap, but not real hip-hop. Like pop music. And underground… I still like underground pop, it’s still good, but it kind of kept secret, not even all the time on purpose, just really underexposed and I don’t know why. I think the thing is because the same shit collective of artists are swelling around in the mainstream, over and over again all day long and leaving no chance for exposure for anyone else. Mainstream is people who are connected to other people, I guess. Major labels have a lot of money to be on the radio and to be in the public eye, but for a small label it’s hard to be everywhere.
3. Is any aspect of fame important?
Not really. Actually, whenever I think about fame and being famous I get annoyed because now I have to deal with a lot of people, all of the time, and I have a lot of anxiety. But I’d like to support myself doing what I want to do in music, so I’d like the option of not being super famous, but being able to sustain a living.
4. Name three essential artists.
Beach House, Teebs, This Town Needs Guns.
5. One thing you can’t live without??
Music. It’s really generic, but I’m trying to imagine without music my life would be impossible.
6. What defines your creative process?
My creative process is really scattered; there’s no actual concretes. It’s more like “Oh this sounds nice!” or I’ve got a sample and then I work with it and I build off of it. It’s more like a building process, I guess.
7. Do you believe in the paranormal?
Not necessarily. I read up on stuff like that, a lot of like alchemy, witchcraft, magick. It’s cool, but I don’t know if it’s real.
8. Should music be free?
Music should have the option of being free. I don’t want to say all music should be free and only free. I think it’s fair for someone who doesn’t have the money to get it for free, but those who have the money for it should donate or support the artist.
9. Your current favorite song?
10. Together, or alone?
Published October 13, 2012. Words by Andras G. Varga.