As you may know, HighClouds made a statement with its mix series entirely dedicated to female and genderqueer DJs and producers. Following up on the release of their debut track “Fade 2”, VXO is unveiling today an exclusive mix that won’t disappoint you.
We introduced you to VXO some weeks ago only, when they released their debut track “Fade 2“. Today, we’re more than happy to unveil these 30 minutes of pure pleasure in company with a lot of female artists. Listen to the mix via SoundCloud and Mixcloud, download it for free, and check our little chat with VXO below.
HighClouds: Hello there, could you introduce yourself to all our readers who don’t know you yet? Also, what is the meaning of your moniker and what is its correct spelling?
I go by VXO. I was born and raised in Norwalk, Connecticut. I’m an experimental vocalist and lyricist. I chose VXO as a moniker originally because of the license plate of my car, which was ZXO, and I thought if I ever start making electronic music I would go by that name. Then people started calling me V so I replaced the Z with that. I also think that VXO are strong roman numerals, or numbers in general that have special meaning. If you’re reading this right now, look into numerology, angel numbers, and meaning of numbers. You won’t regret it.
Your debut single “Fade 2” sounds both strange and familiar. It’s a mix of a lot of influences and genres and we can hear artists like Jessy Lanza and Grimes while playing it. Are we wrong? By the way, how do you craft your songs?
I never knew who Jessy Lanza was until you guys compared this track to her music, honestly. Grimes, on the other hand, i’ve been listening to for years. I would say she’s had some influence on my sound in the past but I really don’t like comparing myself to other artists. Recently, I craft my songs by having Color Plus (the producer i’m currently working with) send me beats or we sit down in the studio and listen to some and I just start freestyling or I jot a few lines or words on my phone or work out a melody. From there we build on harmonies and decide what stays or goes. I’m really lucky to have found a producer that really understands what works for me. We’ve made magic together from the beginning so now we’re working on a full length album that will be released by Vanity Press Records in Detroit next year.
“Fade 2” sounds quite abstract and from outside, it is maybe a bit difficult to imagine what it’s all about. Can you enlighten us?
I wrote “Fade 2” when I was living in Brooklyn last year. My time in New York was coming to a bittersweet end, I had just started a new relationship and I was still letting go of toxic behaviors from a previous relationship. I was growing a lot. My job at the time had me driving all over New York and I would always go over this one bridge that had a Cinema off to one side. I remember seeing this gorgeous sunset once and it was never the same for me after that. I wrote in my notes “sunset over the bridge aint the same over the cineplex”. I guess that could be a metaphor for a lot of things. As in- things and viewpoints change all the time. Anyway, Color Plus sent me the beat before I headed to his studio and I wrote the rest of the song as I drove over there. It took 10 minutes. When I write it comes out really naturally, almost subconsciously. The song is about me taking control over my life and how I feel about myself and about love. I “fade to black while you fade to grey”, is me telling myself and others that I know now that when something is supposed to end I have to let it. I’m the only one that can control my fate. In the past I let others do that for me and these lyrics were my liberation from that.
“I never understood gender fully until maybe this year, and I still have a lot of work to do and a lot to unlearn.” VXO
Have you ever felt considered in a different way because of your gender? It seems like a topic you care about, is there a particular reason?
I felt different all my life because I could never pinpoint my gender identity. I never understood gender fully until maybe this year, and I still have a lot of work to do and a lot to unlearn. I care about gender identity because it’s fucking important. Cis people don’t really see it that way because they’ve never had to question who they were when it came to their gender identity, that’s why they’re cis. For myself, and other trans, non-binary, or genderfluid folx it’s a continuing struggle to not only come to terms with our true selves but also to have the courage to be open about it to the rest of the world or even our friends, family, and partners. I have a lot of trouble telling people that I prefer gender-neutral pronouns because some people just don’t get it and then ask a bunch of invasive questions. Trans people, especially black trans women, are dying every day. It’s not safe and cis people need to understand that and allow us space and opportunity. Sometimes it’s a lot easier to just go with the perceived gender that people give me out of fear. I’m working on it every day and I’m grateful to have a strong community of trans and non-binary people on social media that help me get my shit in check.
Can you tell us a bit more about the mixtape you made for HighClouds?
I’m so excited to share this mix. So I made it on this DJ app off of my Iphone and it features a bunch of femmes, some friends, that I deeply admire. I think these tracks are really cool and they tell their own stories. You have to listen to their music if you haven’t already. The mix includes Nicolette, Snake Eyes, Bearcat, Embaci, Girl Pusher, Frankie Consent, Mal Devisa, Princess Nokia, Evy Jane, and myself. I’m super happy with this mixtape so I hope everyone enjoys it!
What is coming next for you?
I’m releasing an album with my sis/producer/collaborator Color Plus next year with Vanity Press Records. Color Plus is also releasing his EP with Vanity Press in December and we’re having a release party at Elsewhere in Brooklyn on December 15th, the day after our birthdays (yes, me and Color Plus have the same birthday!) ((super sister twin powers)) So I hope everyone in New York comes out to that! I’ll be performing new music there. Tickets can be purchased here.
VXO‘s mixtape tracklist:
Nightmare – nicolette
Shoulda – snake eyes
P.G demo – bearcat
My pussy is expensive – princess nokia
Fade 2 – VXO
Rave angel – evy jane
Freak in me – embaci
Thanks bitch – girl pusher
Do i look like a cis girl – frankie consent
Crowd pleaser – mal devisa