We caught up with haze pop trio XY&O aka Skip, Tudor and Nick to chat musical inspo, guilty pleasure tracks and their new EP ‘Powder Rooms.’
Tell us about yourself…
We’re a haze pop band from Cardiff called XY&O. Our names are Skip (vocals), Tudor (synth and beats) and Nick (guitar). Our favourite colour is purple and our favourite plant is the foxglove.
When did you first realise you wanted to make music?
I think childhood is when a lot of musicians realise (consciously or not) that they want to start making music. It’s also when a lot of us started making music as well actually. School bands, home recordings etc. Collectively though, me (Skip) and Tudor met a few years back and decided pretty much straight away to start trying to write some songs together. Nick came on board soon after, I was already recording and making music with him and the band he was in at the time.
How would you describe your sound?
Our sound is pop. But our individual influences have led to our sound being slightly darker and hazier that traditional commercial electro pop. We use a lot of electric and bass guitar in our sound too so we gave elements of more rock, psychedelic sounds as well. We define our sound as Haze Pop.
What’s the best gig you’ve ever played?
Glastonbury 2016 was incredible. We played on the BBC Introducing Stage. We also played another show for the BBC at the Phoenix in Exeter last summer which was definitely one of our favourites. We love that city.
If you could collaborate with anyone who would it be and why?
Skip – Louis Theroux. Icon.
Nick – Luther Vandross. We could make something hot and heavy. The steam would be rising for sure.
Tudor – Chris Martin from Coldplay. Because he’s a song writing genius.
Who did you listen to growing up?
Skip – Like most kids, I was brought up listening to what my parents were listening to until I found artists myself. My parents (particularly my Dad) has a VERY diverse taste in music. So I listened to artists like The Cure, Bowie, John Martyn, Michael Jackson. Then I discovered pop punk and spent my teens listening to Blink 182, Alkaline Trio and Green day. Whatever people think or say about Blink I don’t care. I love them.
Nick – I grew up listening to a weird combination of music, my mum forced me to listen to the Carpenters, whilst my dad made me listen to anything from the Clash to Counting Crows. I’m definitely glad my parents were into that sort of thing, opened my eyes to a lot of different music styles.
Tudor – A mix between Motown, Soul & R’n’B (mum), The Police & Leonard Cohen (dad) and really heavy rap music (brother).
Who’s your biggest musical inspiration?
Skip – Prince is probably the biggest inspiration for the way I make music.
Nick – I think Jack Steadman was the person who initially got me into writing and producing, so initially one of my biggest inspirations.
Tudor – Marshall Mathers. To become so talented and successful coming from such a deprived background is super inspiring.
What’s your guilty pleasure track?
Skip – Life is a Highway by Rascal Flats. Great song, great solo.
Nick – I Can’t Go For That by Hall and Oates
Tudor – XY&O – Low Tide
What’s the last album you listened to all the way through?
Skip – The new Kings of Leon album. Walls. Incredible band.
Nick – Anderson .Paak – Malibu
What’s been your career highlight/proudest moment?
I guess Glastonbury would unanimously be the career highlight and proudest moment for us. Playing the worlds biggest music festival for our 10th gig as a band was pretty insane.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
Skip – I’ve fallen back in love with Kings of Leon recently. It happens like every 6 months or so.
Nick – I’ve been listening to a lot of FKJ, he’s playing in London on Friday so I’m going to head down to check him out, it should be cool!
Tudor – RY X. The most epic music I’ve heard for a while.
What advice do you have for aspiring artists trying to break into the industry?
I think unrelenting passion is key. Also, don’t chase the idea and focus all your efforts on getting some sort of deal. Focus on building and engaging with fans and people who express and interest in you. Getting a record deal or something similar is irrelevant if you don’t have an engaged audience. And if anyone tells you that you need a deal in order to reach an audience in the first place, they’re lying.
You can only listen to one album for the rest of your life, what is it?
Skip – Aha Shake Heartbreak – Kings of Leon
Nick – Counting Crows – August and Everything After
Tudor – Coldplay – Parachutes
Where can we see you perform next?
We’re playing at the Seabright Arms in London on July 11th. Come down! Bring clothes!
What’s on the agenda for the rest of 2017?
We’re going to be releasing our second EP ‘Powder Rooms’ later this year as well as playing a load of dates around the UK hopefully.