What made you decide that music is a thing for you?

When it comes to art, the most powerful form of enjoying it is through music; it’s what brings art to life. Even the most state-of-the-art and action-packed blockbuster movie falls flat if there is no soundtrack and sound effects to go with it. Music provides the excitement, context, and fulfilment ipthat no other form of art can replace. Music motivates and inspires long after it is heard. You can listen to a song once, and if it’s catchy enough or has impactful lyrics, the legacy of that song can live forever and inspire the world- that is what I am after. I may never get there, but I think that journey of trying to create something new and unique brings me the most thrill in life.

Introduce us to you and your musical history?

My name is Miguel Mendez, but my artist name is XYQARIUS. I came up with the name back in 2016 while I was working as a Chief of Staff for a serial entrepreneur named Dr. Patrick Gentempo. Dr. Gentempo would run Mastermind groups out of his home in Park City. In these Mastermind’s, he’d mentor other successful entrepreneurs on how they can reach the next level of success in their business, personal life, and relationships. I was privileged to be a part of these conversations and was inspired daily by Dr. Gentempo’s guidance on how they could 10x their companies. It was here where I felt inspired to start my own entrepreneurial journey and create my brand: XYQARIUS. It initially started out as just a clothing brand, but over the years, I was fortunate to expand into jewellery, E-Bikes, entertainment, and now music. 

I’m a huge believer in ‘things happen for a reason’ so it is crazy for me to look back and see all of the opportunities that fell into place as soon as I made the decision to start as an entrepreneur. They say, “luck is when preparedness meets opportunity” and so I feel blessed to be in this position that I’m in right now.

The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in, How do you feel you are doing?

So far so good, I’d say. Since my business career has gone pretty successful, I’m not too worried about making a living with music or ‘getting signed’. I love music and I’m obsessed with writing lyrics, but this is more like a hobby for me so I’m not too worried about getting recognized or ‘making it big’. If it happens it happens, but I’m my biggest critic so at the end of the day, I make music for me and if others like it too, then it’s a win-win. That’s the mindset you got to have or else you’ll worry too much about what others think and it will affect your work and most importantly, your mind and well-being. 

How has your song writing skills developed over time?

Haha it’s night and day compared to when I first started writing in elementary school. Even over the past year, I think I’ve lapped myself when it comes to structuring a song and sharpening up my bars and punchlines so that there are no fillers or lazy lines or rhyme schemes. As futile as it may seem, I try my best to pattern my writing after Eminem, Drake and Joyner Lucas. In my opinion, they are the GOATs of their decades (Eminem: 2000s, Drake: 2010s, and Joyner Lucas: 2020s), so I look to them as the architypes to be successful. If I can emulate 1/10th of something they would compose, then I’m more than happy. 

Im seeing a lot of debate about women not feeling safe at music gigs, any thoughts on what we need to do to help?

Definitely agree. Safety should be the number one priority at every gig and concert. Security and well-trained facility and medical staff is essential at every venue. At the last few shows and festivals, I’ve attended, there has been great progress, but there is still much room for improvement, especially for women’s safety. 

As you develop as an artist and develop using socials what ways do you get new ears on your music? Any tips?

The most important thing is to be true and authentic to yourself. It’s critical to stay real and aligned with your own personal values, thoughts, and beliefs. As you do that and stand true to them, it will transmute through your music and the new ears will find you in due time. There’s no point in trying to please everyone and appeal to the masses if it means it’s going to change the way you are and the way you make music. Authenticity is my aim and I have no plans on changing that for a few extra plays or a retweet. 

Tell us Two truths and a lie about you?

  • I usually only eat 1 meal a day.
  • In 2016, I got 5th Place in Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Competition.
  • I have gone without eating for 72 hours.

Whats your thought on spotifys monopoly on the music industry?

I think a monopoly on anything can eventually lead to mediocrity, complacency, and in turn, lack of innovation and quality for the consumer. There should be multiple players in the industry to continue to drive new ideas and better solutions to today’s problems in the music industry. We should be empowering the artists with choices and opportunities. The more platforms the better in my opinion. 

Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories?

To say that no conspiracies are ever true and to quickly disregard them is a bad way of thinking in my opinion. 

Did you buy anything you don’t need in the pandemic?

Yes lol. What was it? 

Pokémon Complete 1st Edition Master Set 151 – (Pokemon Base, Jungle, Fossil Sets – All Holos & Non Holos 

Growing up, I was a HUGE fan of Pokémon and collected as many cards as I could. We were broke growing up and on every government assistance program you could think of, so we could never really afford them. I was never able to ‘Collect them all’ as a kid, so when the pandemic hit, I made it a goal to check that dream off of the bucket list. 

What was the worst experience on stage?

I did a special guest appearance at my good friend Justin Sane’s concert a few years back. I wrote a verse to remix his song ‘Oh My Dear’ and he invited me to jump on stage and surprise the audience with my verse an hour before the show. I wasn’t expecting to perform that night and we had never rehearsed the song live, so when I got on stage, he was playing his guitar at a tempo much faster than what I had recorded on. I went into rapping my verse and embarrassingly ran out of breath on the last line of my verse and clearly gasped for air mid performance. Haha luckily the crowd was very nice and overlooked it, but it was a reality check on the importance of rehearsing on how tough performing in front of an audience really is. 

Tell us something about you / each member that you think people would be surprised about? 

I’m actually a pretty simple person. I tend to be an introvert and would prefer to stay home all day if it were up to me. I love just hanging out in my room, listening to music, and surfing the web in my free time. 

I can be extroverted when I need to be, but my default is to be at home with my wife and lounging around with my 2 Persian cats. 

What makes you stand out as a band/artist?

I think my style and sound as an artist is pretty unique. I fell in love with the Hip-hop/Rap instrumental that was made by @Art.tour and immediately started writing to it. This instrumental beat ended up becoming the beat for my first single ‘Yin In The Yang’. After recording my vocals at the studio though, I felt like there was still something missing. I decided to find a drummer to record a Metal drum line over the beat to give it the demanding bass presence that I felt the track was missing. I was heavily influenced by all genres of music growing up, particularly by the greats of both Rap and Rock, so I wanted to emulate that type of sound into my own music. 

I hear you have a new music, what can you tell us about it.

Yes! I will be dropping my first official single called: ‘Yin In The Yang’ on Christmas, Sunday, December 25th, 2022. I’m incredibly excited for how this song turned out in such a short amount of time and couldn’t be happier that this will be my first single to release to the world. There is a lot of symbolism and double meaning to the lyrics, so I hope everyone enjoys piecing those puzzles together. This song also talks a lot about my upbringing, experiences, trials, but most importantly, how I was able to overcome them with a positive mindset, drive for a better life, and aligning myself with good role models and leaders in many different fields. 

Talk me through the thought process of the new tune/s.

The lyrics to this song just came to me soon after I heard the Instrumental. I probably finished 90% of the song in about a day or two. I then made several tweaks as I had the producer extend the original beat, he made to adjust to how I was going to deliver it. I was just in a very good headspace at the time so a lot of the lines that were coming to me were inspirational and motivating. I decided to keep that theme and try to sharpen up the bars and schemes so that they too had that positive message throughout the song. A few days before I was going to record, I needed to finish the last chorus and give a title to the song. I decided to call it ‘Yin In The Yang’ because I started doing research on the meaning behind that symbol. I’m very big on symbolism and finding meaning in all types of art. My clothing brand is a great example of this as I tried to make every design that I do have some sort of deeper meaning. So, as I was studying about Yin and Yang, the message just made sense to go through with that title. ‘Yin In The Yang’ is about finding the good in the bad, the dark in the light, the peace in the war, the joy in the pain. I think it’s a message that everyone can relate to and hope it can help them overcome whatever they may be growing through. I then decided to have my wife, Lindly Fernandez sing the last chorus to add a melodic touch and feel to the song. ‘Yin and Yang’ is about finding balance in all things so I thought having my wife, my better half, finish the song and really drive home the message. She is an amazing singer and songwriter herself, so it was an added bonus to have her feature on the song with me. 

What was the recording process like?

The recording process was all done in just under 2 hours at the Audio Inn in Salt Lake City, Utah. Rowan was my engineer who brought my song to life and was incredibly efficient to be able to get this all recorded in just 2 hours of studio time. My vocals took about an hour to record. My wife’s vocals were done in about 15 minutes. Rowan then took 45 minutes to add his finishing touches. That session was going to be the only session I was planning on using for the song, but after playing the song back several times over the next week, I felt like something was missing. I had just finished attending the ‘When We Were Young’ Emo/Rock festival in Las Vegas and was inspired to add some rock elements into my song. I decided to find a drummer (@jp_delicato) who could record a Metal drum line over my song, and he absolutely destroyed it! He surpassed my expectations and added some much-needed bass and uniqueness that the final version of the song desperately needed. I’m excited for everyone to hear it! 

What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?

My biggest learning curve was dealing with the urge to release it sooner. I had initially planned to drop the song on Thanksgiving, but had I gone through with that, I would not have been inspired to add the Metal Drums to the song. It’s so important to take your time with your art and make sure you’re 100% satisfied and gave it your all on each piece you release. As long as you do everything in my power, I can live with whatever the reception is afterwards knowing that I did my absolute best. So patience is very important throughout the creative process. 

Would you change anything now its finished?

I wouldn’t change or add a thing. Who knows if that will change after I release the song, but as of right now, I’m happy with what I came up with and can confidently live with the results. 

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
I’m just really happy to be alive and well. There is so much in this world to be grateful for and my hope is that this song can help people find that happiness and joy through music. If I can help just one person feel better or smile through my music, then it will have all been worth it. If you took the time to listen to my song when it drops, then I truly do appreciate you and hope I can continue to do the same moving forward on this journey in the music industry.