Music / Interview

Interview: Meet producer turned performer S-X

S-X headlines Wolverhampton's Slade Rooms on Saturday 13 January 2018.

Whilst he should not be defined by it, the infamous Wooo Riddim beat and what followed was not only a special moment in the UK’s urban movement but moreover, it reenergised a whole scene into the chart-topping, platinum-recording, sold out tours we are seeing today. The track, which was graced with the tranquil vocals of the legendary D Double E, was produced by a then, 17-year-old producer S-X, hailing from Wolverhampton, UK. Since, his resumé is arguably the envy of any producer, with credits on Lil Wayne’s YMCMB, Childish Gambino and many more.

His style as a producer had been well-defined by the time he stepped towards the mic. Whilst it’s no easy task to take such a step, his transition into singing has undoubtedly been eased through the full-creative freedom he now experiences. Less than a year later, he’s preparing to perform at his first ever headline show.

S-X has built a new opportunity to further establish himself, yet again, as a catalyst of a shift the sound of the UK’s underground, and with his recent efforts, from the 2017 project House Clothes to the latest single, Plans, it’s clear he’s well on his way.


It’s your first headline show, your upcoming project as an artist is coming and you’ve been releasing some incredibly dope music. What made you take this career turn to being in front of the music instead of behind?

Honestly, it’s because I’ve always written lyrics in my head or secretly on paper sometimes, I always get melodies when producing music so it just felt right. I love trying new stuff too. So the first show is the leap into really becoming a performer. I try to take everything seriously and maximise my abilities.

And how has that process been, going from producer to singer?

It’s been going really well to be honest. The exciting thing is it’s all been organic, from the initial step of doing my first song Wrong For You to now about to do my first live show. Every single step has been an organic move and we’ve only done it if it felt right. That’s the best way to approach things in my experiences. It all feels really natural to me man, I feel like I’ve been doing this for 10 years, not 10 months.

Was Woooo Riddim the moment, with D Double E and everything, that you thought you’re onto something? Or did you know beforehand?

I mean, I knew I was good at making beats because of the reaction on peoples faces when I played them. But when I made Woooo Riddm it was just something different, again, that organic vibe. We just knew…everyone knew. That’s why it did what it did man, I think that really brought back grime… it made grime exiting again. And it definitely catapulted me into a whole new world. It enabled me to work with a lot of people in the UK.

After that, you had some big credits, the likes of Childish Gambino, YMCMB, T.I. How did these come about?

I’ve always considered myself to be a more “American sounding” or “hip hop” producer, as that was my love growing up as a kid. I was heavily influenced by American culture. So this carried on into my musical journey. The whole Childish Gambino thing happened because he just followed me on Twitter one day, we started speaking and linked up in London for his Camp album show – the relationship flourished from there and I went on to help produce on his Because The Internet album and he also blessed me with a verse for one of my own songs Free At Last. The YMCMB stuff happened because Slim called my phone at like 5AM saying he really likes the music. This was a really bad time financially in my life so I was super grateful for the opportunities and lessons he gave me. Organic ways are the vibe man. Just be you and likeminded people will appear.

Tell me everything you can about the upcoming EP. Can we expect much development from the House Clothes project?

To be honest, I don’t know if it’s an EP or a mixtape. I hate labeling things. It sounds like an album, but it’s not an album for sure. It’s such a growth from House Clothes, I feel as though I’ve really found my musical lane with the new music. It’s very much an upbeat, life explaining project. I’m just voicing the experiences I’ve been through. The name of the project will all make sense and I have so much more music coming in 2018. You will have 3 S-X projects this year for sure.

You’ve dropped quite a bit of music recently. What is the inspiration for the tracks containing that deep, dark, bass-heavy type vibe? Has that always been your style? And how have you seen it develop over time?

It has man, it’s who I am as a person. I’m very laid back, calm and reserved. But when I’m comfortable in situations I will be loud and energetic. So I think that matches the music. Again, organic. I’m seeing it develop now as I’m getting more comfortable with this whole thing, which is probably why the new music is more uptempo and energetic. I can’t wait to perform the new music.

The last year or so has also been an incredibly exciting time for UK music, but in particular, the Midlands, Birmingham and Wolverhampton included. What have been the highlights for you and where do you see it going in 2018?

It really has man. It’s just being looked into more and accepted. I see it being a country thing in the future. It’s not going to be known as Wolverhampton music, or London music. It’s just going to be UK music. Just vibes. You’ve got Jaykae from Birmingham and Jme from London, but it’s one genre. Same way you’ve got Future from Atlanta and French Montana from New York. It’s one genre, just different vibes. That’s a very good place to be in I think. The UK is supporting the UK right now.

Why was now the right time to do the show?

As I mentioned earlier man, I try to maximise my abilities. I was able to put on a show based on the thirteen plus songs I’ve released in ten months. So why not? That is such an insane feeling, I’ve been doing this for 10 months and have my first show. I honestly can only thank the supporters for making any of it possible though. Forever grateful.

 

What’s the first piece of music you remember getting hold of?

My mom got it for me when I was a kid, I think it was John Lennon, the album was called Legend Lennon or something. Imagine is my favourite song of all time.

Stage or studio?

I haven’t had much experience on the stage yet, so, for now, I’m going to say the studio. But based on the stage experiences I have had – that will be changing to the stage for sure. To see peoples reactions and vibe with the crowd is an unreal feeling. Really performing the music you made in a studio. Wild.


Tickets for S-X’s Headline Show #1 on Saturday 13th January at Wolverhampton Slade Rooms are available now through Ticketmaster.co.uk.

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