Score One For The Home Team – An Interview w/ DXXXY

*written by A’Damaged Pro for Electronica Life

Some are born with innate talent. Some are blessed to be brought up in musical families. Something special can arise when an individual decides to capitalize on these fortuitous circumstances. Very rarely do the stars align without a conscious decision to make something happen. The term “starving artist” only applies if you haven’t found your marketable niche and if, purely metaphorically, your art isn’t what “feeds” you and enables you to keep pushing forward. That doesn’t mean you can’t stay hungry for more.

I was at show not too long ago and one of the opening acts just blew me away. At first I wasn’t even sure how to pronounce his name. DXXXY, pronounced “Diety,” is the stage-name of New Orleans local Robert Epps. He had an eclectic and funky style and a stage presence that showed he really enjoyed what he did. As an outspoken fan and avid proponent of all things New Orleans, here’s a little insight into the mind and stylish workings of DXXXY.

A’Damaged Pro – Where did you grow up?

DXXXY – I grew up in the Westbank area, 10 mins outside of New Orleans’ city limits.

A’Damaged Pro – What were your earliest musical influences?

DXXXY – My mom exposed me to Christian and gospel music. My dad exposed me to everything else–literally everything from classical to jazz to AC/DC to Juvenile to r&b to pop.

A’Damaged Pro – When did you realize that you wanted to start making music?

DXXXY – I made the choice to learn guitar when I was still in elementary school. I never stopped making some sort of music ever since then. When I was in highschool I realized that I really wanted to make music more of a focal point in my life.

A’Damaged Pro – What equipment did start you with?

DXXXY – As far as instruments I began with an Epiphone Les Paul guitar. As far as DJing, I started with a little Numark Mixtrack Pro controller and learned on Virtual DJ before moving my way up.

A’Damaged Pro – Do you feel that where you’ve lived has affected your style of music?

DXXXY – In a way. The city’s attitude is unapologetic in the sense that it sticks to its own individual feels. The same goes for the arts here. There are times that I want to be very obscure, yet I have to remember to still be familiar. It’s helped me fine tune things for sure.

A’Damaged Pro – How would you say that living in Nola, specifically, has influenced your music?

DXXXY – I’ve had the chance to link with artists/ DJs in New Orleans who are progressive yet still remind everyone of the culture/history.

A’Damaged Pro – Who are some artists that inspire you?

DXXXY – Kastle, M83, DJ Sliink, Nas, oOoOO, Kanye West, Yellow Claw, HeRobust (probably more that I want to write that aren’t coming to mind just yet)

A’Damaged Pro – What aspects of their music speak to you directly?

DXXXY – The sounds and feels of the synths chosen.

The cadence of the words chosen.

The attitudes that aren’t held back by societal standards.

The way that their records can feel futuristic/fresh and nostalgic at the same time.

A’Damaged Pro – How would you like your music to speak to others?

DXXXY – I would my music to be taken seriously yet enable people to let go and have fun. Music was there for me and brought me out of dark times. So I want the message of hope/beauty out of darkness to be conveyed. I also want the details in the music to stand out.

A’Damaged Pro – Do you enjoy producing or performing more?

DXXXY – I’ve been performing longer in front of people, so that adrenaline is something undeniably fascinating for me. I enjoy producing my own sound, but I feel like I’m still in the learning stages of production.

A’Damaged Pro – What is your dream gig?

DXXXY – I want to perform on a festival stage! Tomorrowland, Ultra, EDC…places like that.

A’Damaged Pro – Do you have any new projects that you’re working on now?

DXXXY – I have a couple things musically/visually that I’d rather keep hush about until the ideas are better established. One I can talk about is the new production/Dj duo Ritual that my comrade MODVS and I recently started.

Connect with DXXXY: Facebook | Soundcloud

Photo credit: Ryan Theriot