We had the good fortune of connecting with Zxire and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Zxire, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I think at this point when thinking about taking risks my only standpoint is that if things right now are not as I would have them to be in my ideal situation, then what is the risk that I’m taking? The biggest risk of them all for me is being unhappy and having regrets. I waited a long time to take what I felt at the time was the biggest risk which was moving from Boston, Massachusetts to Los Angeles, California on my own, with limited funds and resources. It actually took years for me to make that decision. I spent years being convinced that if I didn’t go about achieving the goal of moving in a very specific way that I wouldn’t be able to actually move successfully. At the end of it all even after 4 to 5 years of pondering the same decision and setting myself up the way I felt was best, I ended up moving by myself with only $2500 anyway. To this day it’s the best thing I’ve ever done for my music career. I learned within my first two months of being in Los Angeles that if you allow fear of failure to keep you from trying to create the change that you desire, you will only become the failure that you feared in the first place. In the words of track five on my latest EP, Same But What Else, “Take it from me. Might fall, the chance is off, but do it anyway.”
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’ve been writing songs since I was nine years old. I think what sets me apart the most has always been my instinct to create differently. Over the years I realized I have never been a fan of repetitiveness. I’ve always been one to make sure that even in the same song and there is variety. I do think it comes from my jazz influence because growing up singing jazz music you’re challenged to singing the same things that everyone else has sung, but in a way that no one has heard it before. I think as a more developed Songwriter I am proud of and most excited about my ability to awaken interest where people don’t usually find it, through my lyrics and musical choices. Becoming who I am today as a musician was not easy. Because I spent most of my life in school for music I always had a perception of needing to be “by the book” perfect. I would spend a lot of time harping over things in my creative process because I never wanted to settle for less than how it should be, amazing. I am still this way to an extent. The difference being that I am aware that anything that I create is already amazing. Every time I create a melody out of thin air or lyrics that connect in anyway I have created something that did not exist before. I did not always have this viewpoint because I spent the majority of my life around professional musicians and being one as well. Moving to California and getting to work with other artists, producers, and, songwriters allowed me to see the uniqueness in my creation process and also brought me to the realization that I needed to not take the process too seriously because I am already amazing at what I do. Releasing myself from this mental block got me to a place where I could make any kind of art and feel OK with that. It was not easy by far but because I believe in my purpose I soon learned to let go and just be the creator that I am. It is my hope that by listening to my music people are inspired to not conform to the standard in any aspect, whether they are the source of their constraint or not.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Due to Covid i unfortunately don’t know many places yet myself. We’d definitely have a couple of beach days starting with Santa Monica of course. Then to Venice and then Malibu because you have to save the best for last. I’m still very much so a tourist so even though I don’t eat meat anymore I’d definitely have to bring them to Dave’s Hot Chicken, Roscoes Chicken and Waffles and In and Out, just so they can have the experience. We would have to go and get the best Jamaican food in all of LA at Country Style in Inglewood and I would make sure to take them to Leimert Park where it’s Black people central. Then I’d make sure to hit up all of my favorite open mic and live music spots like Hot and Cool café.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Definitely shout out to @MixedBySkool of SkoolHouseEnterprise. Skool was one of the first people I met when I moved to Los Angeles and I don’t think I would have come in to success as easily as I did if I had not met him. I came to Los Angeles as a songwriter and artist who had limited recording experience and had never experienced writing with other song writers before. I was able to meet so many other people in my field without the awkwardness of being the new person in the room. The support and encouragement of SundaySkool helped me to be comfortable with who I was growing into as a Songwriter. Skool also executive produced my entire EP and mixed the whole project as well. Working with him on something that was as important to me as my sophomore project was very intense. We had a lot of roadblocks but we were able to create an impressive body of work that reminds me every day of what I am put on earth to do.
I’d also like to shout out @Natetheproducer, @juscamok, and my fam at The Production House, @daproductionhaus. I luckily met Nate while we were both working on a project for a mutual friend. He introduced me to the safe space of all safe spaces, The Production House. They’ve been very instrumental in helping me to not only create, but learn comfortably. Most of my Instagram content is created there as well as a lot of the content for my EP and I am extremely grateful to have been able to work with them.
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