Greetings Soletron. Our next passport artist is coming to us from Ghana. Xamplify is a Hip Hop/Urban Dance artist with a huge following in Australia. His love for music started when he heard Dr. Dre’s 2001 album. With that type of initial influence, Xamplify has to put out some amazing music. Check him out.
Artist name: Xamplify
Real name: Kwabena John-Nigel Agyei
Hometown: Tema, Ghana
Genre: Hiphop/Urban Dance
Label affiliation: Universal Music Australia, Onelove/Sony, Ministry of Sound
Signature work/known for: Make It Rain
Collaborations: Redd (from X-Factor UK- done songs with Akon, Pittbull, Quote, Snoop), Rave Radio, Sgt Slick, Andy Murphy, The Noise, Miracle, Ron E Jones, Timomatic (Aus Got Talent), Nick Skitz amongst others.
Influences: Im musically influenced by Ludacris, Dr Dre, T Pain. Love the flow of ludacris, the productions of Dre and the vocal melodies and intensity of Tpain.
Favorite place to perform: EDM music festivals
Tell us how you got your start:
My dad bought the Dr 2001 CD around the turn of the century. I was 10 or 11 at the time. Instantly fell in love with the new brand of rap music, which involved synths and leads amongst others. I think the album was the turning point between old school hiphop and hiphop we have today.
How would you describe your style?
My style varies according to every track. Im a very percussive person so I deliver vocals according to the song’s drum pattern. Usually I like to come in heavy when I rap. Raise the intensity of tracks. In terms of flow I never keep it the same. Even within one rap ill chop and change my delivery according to the beat. When im doing more melodic based vocals I like to project the vocal like Tpain, particularly if it’s a party track.
What is your biggest inspiration?
Success is my only inspiration. Id be lying if I attributed inspiration to any one person. I’m a competitive person, and I believe practice makes perfect…and perfection is success.
If you could meet any artist in history, who would it be?
Michael Jackson. I don’t think any artist in the history of performing arts will ever attain is popularity or influence he has had on this world.
Where do you see the future of the music industry going?
The music industry is heading towards what we largely know as electronic dance music. It’s the bulk of what you hear on commercial radio. A lot of people complain that the music industry died with artists like Tupac, or Whitney etc. Yet those same people dance to this music in clubs and parties every weekend. Music is what it is and will always be criticized. 30 years ago in the 80s music moved towards electronic/retro style beats. Its evolved during then and it will evolve again.
Any beats you working on now?
Yeah, im always working on something, whether its for commercial release or just to home in on my craft. Commercially though, im working atm with UK superstar Redd whose hot of her latest tracks with Akon, Snoop, Pit-bull to say the least. Also working on another major release with a DJ Kurd Maverick from Germany whose massive in Europe and the EDM scene.
For production, what program do you use? (Pro Tools, Logic, Ableton, Fruity Loops, etc)
For vocal production I use Logic. I think logic has the best compressors, eq, reverb combos. For beat production I use Ableton Live. Its all just a matter of preference I guess. I do have a hate for Fruity Loops though. I just cant take any track made with that program seriously haha.
Who is your dream collaboration with?
Dream collaboration would be with Neyo. I think he’s one of the most talented male vocalists in the world.
When you have been on tour, what do you think has been your wildest show/tour experience?
Wildest show undoubtly was a country show in Queensland, Australia. It was a club show but we had drank quite a bit before the show. Anyway we rocked the show as usual, but with vodka bottles in hand. We basically partied with the crowd through drinking and entertaining them. At one stage we ripped the fire extinguisher of the wall and sprayed it into the crowd for shits and giggles. We paid for it on the next day with a hangover.
Any crazy groupies along the way? Let’s hear it.
Haha well I’ve always been a modest person at heart. I like the thrill of chasing girls and not having it given because of my musical talents so I generally stay away from groupies (especially those flashing whilst im on stage). Iv had shirts ripped of stage, belt buckles undone, bras thrown on stage etc etc. However, ill unlikely get with any girl who throws themselves onto me…pending my level of alcohol consumption haha. My mother raised me better than that
Where have you always wanted to perform?
I live for the day I can pack out a 50k stadium. That is on the horizon at the moment but im at a big turning point with my music so fingers crossed.
What do you think is the toughest thing about touring/performing that the public might not know about?
For me personally I hate flying. I hate the fact that I don’t have control haha. So travelling places really isnt my cup of tea but I manage.
Ok, let’s flip it around. What’s about the best thing about touring?
Although it conflicts with the previous quesiton, I love going to new places and seeing new faces. Women particularly are so different all around the world and I want to meet them all.
Since you are on the up and up, what’s your goal/plan for this year? What about career goals?
This year im trying to expand internationally. Word comes back to me that my music is being played in lots of places overseas so that’s a start. But im now more focussed on working with artists overseas or artists that have international appeal. Every business needs to expand eventually and that is what im going to do.
If you weren’t an artist what would you be doing?
I just recently finished my double degree in commerce and law. So realistically i’d be investing all my time into that. I’ve always been a blessed athlete though, so if it were up to me if music was not in the equation i’d either be playing basketball or beating Usain Bolt in the 100m.
When do you think you will retire from the game?
I think I have about 3 more years left in me to get where I need to get (international household name) musically. If not, I need to re-evaluate where my life is heading and use the degree it took me 5 years to get. The music industry is tough and more often than not talent doesn’t always determine everything. An artist must be able to network, communicate, ask for help, annoy and most of all be driven. Its more than just knowing how to rap and sing these days. Sometimes it even boils down to how the artist looks. Its nothing for this world to be ashamed about. It is what it is.
Final advice for new artists?
First, If you’re not ready to invest money into yourself do not step into the game. Iv invested thousands into buying production equipment just for my convenience and to help me better understand the musical dynamics. Second, music is full of letdowns. Broken promises. Heart breaks. If you cant cope save yourself the hassle. I’ve been bashed and played around and still feel like I am. Everybody seems to be in it for themselves and nobody will do anything for you unless its in their best interest. If you cant handle that don’t step into the game. And last, set goals and have timeframes. If you’re consistently not making these goals and timeframes it might be best to have a career change before you start basking to make a living. If you can adhere to these three rules by all means step into the game. Once you’re in its important to find who you are as an artist. It took me a while and I feel like ive wasted half my career to be perfectly honest. You need to find a niche and do that niche well. For example, T-Pain makes amazing choruses and his voice is synonymous to the auto-tune sound we all love deep down. Drake is usually emotional. Pitt-bull has simple raps that work because the majority of people listening to his music are usually drunk at clubs. So yeah. Basically find what you want to be as an artist early on in your career and deliver a performance that the audience to that niche will appreciate. Forget about those who don’t like that niche. So for example I largely make semi-complex to complex rap/electro fusion music for people to dance to and rock to in their cars. Im not going to care about what somebody who listens to Metalica everyday says because they’re not my target audience.
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Photo Cred: Xamplify