Since being crowned the winner of Hugo Urban Rules at Cargo last year, XO Man has been on a mission to change the game. His infectious sound blends hip-hop, funky house, reggae and garage, resulting in some of the freshest music you will hear this year.
His debut double A-side single Microwave / Ladydog (out 13 April) caused a furore on YouTube this year when it received more hits than Coldplay! We caught up with the big, friendly giant to talk fashion, food and his, er, dodgy microwave!
How’s life been treating you since winning Hugo Urban Rules?
XO Man: It’s been nice so far, I can’t complain. I’ve been getting good feedback on the music and a lot of support from people and obviously it was nice to support the Sugababes.
Tell me about your single Microwave.
XO Man: It’s a true story about my microwave which doesn’t spin properly. It’s still in my house; I’m just random like that. I was just looking at the microwave and thinking that’s how life rotates. I’ve had the bailiffs come for me but that’s how life goes sometimes - you have highs and lows. Sometimes it’s nice to be broke; money shouldn’t form your character. I think a lot of people make that mistake when they aspire to have money in life.
You have quite an eccentric fashion sense - have you always been like that?
XO Man: (Laughs) Well it depends on the occasion. Obviously if I go to the gym I don’t wear a suit. I just think that your clothes are an extension of yourself; women do it all the time, so why can’t men? Look at Earth, Wind and Fire they used to really dress up for their performances, I like that idea.
I hear you’re quite the chef. Is it true that you are working on your own cookery show?
XO Man: I’ve written an idea for a cookery show and I’ve got plans to open my own West Indian shop but yeah I can cook - I cook better than my parents! I was greedy growing up and I was always looking for ways to speed up recipes, so I would create my own recipes and they would taste good.
So what’s next for XO Man?
XO Man: Global takeover! I wonna be a germ in the system and spread everywhere (laughs). I just take each day as it comes really. So far things are moving in the right direction, the single’s coming out and I’m really proud of the video which I think is really innovative, I’m just gonna keep on doing me.
By: Michelle Adabra