By Frank Bell
London-based singer-songwriter Xavier Collins drops his debuts track‘Elegy’ and answers to our QuickFire Qs. The emotive single, produced by electronic production duo Wayward, it’s lifted from his forthcoming ‘Coastlines’ EP due April 2022.
What was the first album you bought?
Somewhat traumatic memory but the first album I can remember listening to and dancing too was Cher… when I was about 7. But the first album I ever bought was Californication by the Chilli Peppers and listened through on repeat for months.
Who are some of your biggest musical inspirations and why?
Very cliché but I grew up with the Beatles. I would say they’re the foundation of my love of music and taste. Other than that I love blues, soul music, and indie/folk. Inspirations include Dylan, Radiohead, Bon Iver, Ray Charles, Gregory Alan Isakov.
Ray Charles inspires me because of the emotion in his music and the ability to connect deeply with the listener through his voice. Dylan for the transcendent quality of his lyrics and the others for their ability to recreate and evolve the indie genre.
What are some non-musical inspirations that motivate your music?
I draw inspiration for my music through relationships and traveling – in the state of flow and perspective that comes from being out of your comfort zone, on the move, and continually changing. This EP was inspired by the breakdown of a relationship with a close friend – we had fallen in love but couldn’t be together and ended up never speaking again.
Tell us about your single ‘Elegy’?
Elegy: An elegy is a lament for the dead. In this context the death of a relationship between two people who loved each other but could not be together. What is for you won’t pass you by, but when you’re mistaken about what is for you, it can take hold and become toxic – “ I wrote this song like your elegy, to honour the disease you grew inside of me”
It’s a reflection on the cycle of hurt that people can get trapped in and addicted to: “I always loved the way you let me down”. It’s the song that starts the EP because it marks the death of the relationship that gave birth to the creative process which was the catalyst for moving through this chapter of my life.
What have you got lined up for 2022?
Well, I’d love to win a Grammy. Other than that, I’m excited to release the EP coastlines – there are a few more tracks in the works I think have some potential and I would love to tour. I’m also excited to develop as an artist, to collaborate with others and learn more about the electronic space and develop my style in a similar way to how Chet Faker has.