San Diego based dancer and producer Xavage fuses trap and EDM to create his truly signature sound. With a self-described “unapologetic edginess,” his style pulls from early 2000’s hip hop, electronic synths and a range of influences, including Timbaland and an original Don Flosstradamus remix. Xavage’s most recent release, “Stay Savage 2″, has kept true to his roots with his latest single, “Get Down”. Next up, he’s focusing on some big upcoming collaborations. We’re here for it!
He sat down with SPIN to talk about his biggest influences, how he became a dancer, how dance inspires his music, and much more. Stream Stay Xavage 2 here and check out Xavage’s electrifying SET below! Want more SETS? Head over to SPIN TV to keep up with all the latest and greatest DJ/producers breaking through the electronic sphere.
Who is Xavage and what do you stand for?
XAVAGE describes a person who has cross characteristics between timeless class and unapologetic edginess. I stand for music that puts dance back into EDM.
Tell us about your sound – where does your style originate from and what have been your biggest visual, social, and sonic influences?
My style originates from early 2000’s hip hop because of the bounce and groove. Once the EDM space started trap by incorporating the drum rhythms of hip hop and adding electronic synths I fell in love. My biggest influencer is Timbaland because of the bounce and rhythm he is able to achieve. Most of my favorite songs from that era were produced by Timbaland.
Was there a definitive turning point to your success? When did you realize the magnitude of your impact within the industry/community?
My biggest turning point was graduating Icon Collective and signing my first EP to Circus Records. At that point I felt that I had all the tools and connections to succeed. I just had to stay humble, put in the work everyday, and enjoy every step of the process along the way.
What made you mix trap music and electronic music?
Original Don Flosstradamus remix is what introduced me to the world of trap music. Once I heard that song it was game over, I was absolutely hooked!
Why is bringing dance back to EDM so important to you?
Before I got into music production I was on a competitive hip hop dance team. As mentioned prior, my goal is to put dance back into EDM. I would like to see the trap scene go back to its roots of bounce and groove. The goal of my music is to get people dancing. I hope my music influences listeners to appreciate trap music that isn’t focused on a “open up the pit” style of music.
How did you get started as a dancer?
If anyone is familiar with the show America’s Best Dance Crew there was a team called Team Millenia. The founder of the team taught dance at my highschool and I fell head over heels for dancing. Once I felt I was at a skilled level I tried out for a team called Underground in Irvine, Ca and was offered a position on the team. We went on to win and place in many competitions such as World of Dance and The Bridge.
How does dance inspire your music and vice versa?
Since I have roots as a dancer I’m able to view my music production through the lens of a dancer and judge it based on its “danceability”. It honestly blows my mind that so many electronic music producers don’t know how to dance and lack rhythm. Some producers have a unique “sound” but for me it’s a groove across all my tracks.
In what ways have you pushed yourself beyond existing self-imposed limitations?
Time is by far my biggest enemy. While I have other time obligations outside of music that I fully commit and devout to, I overcome this limitation by being strict and consistent with my time. I don’t play video games, binge watch tv, or sleep in. I have a strict schedule that I adhere to everyday to accomplish all my goals and obligations. My head doesn’t touch the pillow until everything is checked off at the end of the day.
What’s next for Xavage?
In 2022 you can expect some BIG collabs. My music is getting bouncier and groovier and I am excited to share it with the world. Lastly, I am working on a BIG sample pack with Zenhiser that will be available on many platforms later this year.
What do you wish for the future of electronic music? In what ways would you like to see it evolve?
I wish electronic music, specifically the sub genre of electronic trap would go back to its roots. In my opinion trap music in the past 5 years was hijacked by dubstep and bass and now are almost interchangeable. Personally, my music is evolving by creating trap music that is focused on bounce and groove and isn’t concerned about your typical “EDM format” song.
Any last words for the SPIN-verse?