What made you decide to start a band / become an artist?
I became an artist because music is something I fell in love with instantly from when I was a child. Music is one of the things that can consistently make me happy. Becoming an artist has also really allowed me to channel my creativity. I remember watching music videos on the music channels on TV and sitting there and thinking to myself I really want this as well! The song “welcome to heartbreak” by Kanye West and Kid Cudi was the one song that really inspired me to make music. That song is still my favourite by Kanye West till this day! I was actually a DJ before I became an artist and I did enjoy that for a few years but I soon realised I got more of a thrill of making and playing my own music.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is YXL Ayo I am UK artist of Nigerian decent who grew up in the seaside town of Skegness. I make music depending on how I’m feeling. One thing about me is that I love all genres of music! I used to be a massive house head because of the rave scene that was in Skegness. We had events like Après and Pleasure Dome which were very popular in the area. I even managed to get DJ slots at both. However I soon realised that Hip-Hop and RnB is where my heart truly lies. Another thing about me is that I am a massive nerd when it comes to Anime and Comic book heroes. Once you meet me you’ll soon realise I am a big kid.
So tell me a little bit about you and what you like doing for fun?
I honestly just like making music and doing music related things for fun. I work as a full time Healthcare Scientist so making music allows me to escape from my responsibilities and relax. I also like to watch different series and watch anime and read up on anime fan theories. I know you’re probably thinking what a geek… but it is what it is, that’s just who I am.
How do you think the government have looked after the the night time economy / live gig circuit?
I honestly don’t think the government really cares about the night time economy. The pandemic has really affected the industry but not a lot seems to have been done about it.
Whats one question you’re sick of being asked when interviewed?
I don’t like it when people ask me about Drill music. I don’t even make drill so it’s not something I really want to speak on. People seem to assume because I’m black I make drill music.
What is the unsigned scene in Skegness like at the minute?
The unsigned scene isn’t great in Skegness as there is not a lot of artists. I also don’t think people look to Skegness when it comes to searching for talent which unfortunate because I know some really talented people in the area!
What good bands are coming out of Skegness at the minute?
Kain Marshall and P45 are good artists in Skegness. People should definitely check them out.
What’s your favourite song right now from another band?
My favourite song at the moment has to be Respect It by Big Sean. The beat switch up at the end of the song is cold!
What support is out there for new artists in Skegness ?
There aren’t many platforms for artists, especially in Skegness. I would say BBC Introducing Lincolnshire is a good outlet for artists in the area. Other than that there isn’t much. I myself had to look elsewhere to get my music plugged and supported.
How easy or difficult do you find picking up new fans to come to your gigs?
It is very difficult at the moment because of the of the current pandemic. I think in general as an emerging unsigned artists it’s difficult because people don’t really know what to expect when they come to your gigs. There is a big difference to the song that comes out of the studio to the song that is performed live. Also if you’re not necessarily a big name people tend to look past you and only really show love when you have a bit more buzz to your name.
What was the most fun you have had on stage?
The most fun I’ve had on stage was when I performed my track Grantham and everyone in the crowd was screaming the lyrics. I even got a wheel up. That is definitely a top 10 moment of my life. The show was actually in Skegness which made the feeling so much more powerful because when I was in school I used to get bullied for making music but now people are screaming my lyrics at my shows. That feeling of achievement was insane!
What was the worst experience on stage?
My worst experience was my first performance at my university. I was so nervous and I had not long broken up with my ex-girlfriend so my head was already all over the place. My voice that day was terrible and the quality of the mic didn’t help at all. Since then I have learnt how to get my head right before a show so I can give my best performance.
Tell us something that you think people would be surprised about?
One thing you would surprise you about me is that I have fear of slugs and snails. I honestly hate them so much. I have a tendency to cross the road if I see a snail on the path. I don’t get how people can eat them. I would never let those things touch my lips.
What advice would you give someone going into the music industry?
Expect a lot of rejections before someone decides to support your music. It’s one of those things that can cripple an artist’s mentality and in some cases cause them to give up. You also need to understand everyone may have an opinion but not everyone’s opinion matters when it comes to your music because to put it bluntly not everyone is going to like your music. This is something I had to get me head around.
What advise would you give your younger self ?
Some advice I would give to my younger self would be to stop showing love to people who slander you behind your back and also stop wasting your time on girls who don’t take you seriously and focus on yourself and building yourself up.
Tell us about a time when you had a proper reyt laugh?
The last time I had a reyt laugh was when my friends and I went out in London for my friends birthday and we were just screaming “I LIKE DAT” and “MUY BIEN” completely unprovoked in the middle of London. We did get some weird looks but we were too drunk to care
Whats your favourite song to play live?
My favourite song to play live is definitely “Grantham” however I am looking forward to performing my nee single “Bad Guy” live
I hear you have a new single brewing, what can you tell us about it?
All I can say is that the production quality is insane and the music video which is coming with it needs a cinema release! The video does all the talking for the song. I would just like to thank Will Ainsworth for producing such a great video for this song! I’m just going to let the video do the talking so make sure you go and watch that!
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
I would like to say to the people out there stop moving stoosh it’s annoying and it’s not a good look! Also stop getting so angry about BLM. Why does a black person have a life that matters offend you? No one is saying your life doesn’t matter… lastly for those of you who are screaming “All lives matter” you need to remember that black lives need to matter as well for all lives to matter. I’ve heard people say that they’re going to stop shopping at Sainsbury’s because the supermarket condemned racism… what sort of nonsense is that. Anyway, let me not even get mad. It’s good vibes only over here.