Wonderland.

NEW NOISE: PETER XAN

The Nigerian-British indie riser talks collaborating with Rudimental and the late Jamal Edwards MBE’s SBTV on new single.

Peter Xan - Rudimental

Photography by Alsadi Yussuf

Peter Xan - Rudimental
Photography by Alsadi Yussuf

Peter Xan’s music video for new single “Glow In The Dark” combines yesterday and tomorrow, with retro-futuristic sci-fi stylings, evoking the vision of the future featured in 80s films like Tron. However, in terms of the personnel behind the visual, which sees Xan travelling across the metaverse, the direction is the future through and through.

The music video is the culmination of a project, launched in 2021 by SBTV and Adobe, to foster new talent and skills in young creators, driven by founder Edwards’ focus on self-belief. The young people spent the prior 12 months developing their skills and then took the helm across the production process of the “Glow In The Dark” video, from lighting and audio to editing and postproduction, supported by directors Tyrus and Lux London.

For Xan, an emerging artist himself still, the chance to work with juggernaut drum and bass collective Rudimental, joining their back catalogue of collaborators including little-known names like Ed Sheeran, Anne-Marie, and Dizzee Rascal, was monumental. “They’re my big brothers at this point,” he says. “Definitely the nicest guys I’ve met in the industry. There’s a truckload to learn from guys who had number one albums and records, and toured the world whilst doing it.”

Inspired by indie rock heavyweights from past and present, including Pete Doherty and YUNGBLUD, as Xan’s career continues to gain traction, similar heights of success would appear to be calling.

Head below to read our chat with Xan about working with Rudimental, SBTV, and where he seeks style inspiration…

Hey Peter, how are you? What was the first thing you did today?
I woke up and listened to the song I made the night before with fresh ears. Everything hits different in the morning.

We see from your Instagram that you’re currently lost in LA, but you are London-based! How has London influenced your sound?
I feel like the overcast days and cityscapes make me an expert at making melancholic music. There are a lot of indie rock lead singers I take inspiration from due to the melodies but London, being the place I grew up, gives me real-life stories and topics to touch upon which I think other singers from the genre don’t really speak about. I’m representing my community with my indie music.

We love your style! Who would you say your biggest style inspirations are?
I am heavily influenced by Pete Doherty and early 00s rock and punk artists. I love to wear Dr. Martens and mix punk attitudes with some high fashion from brands like Alyx studios and Maison Margiela. I try and reimagine what Jim Morrison would wear in 2022 if he was a black British rocker from the UK.

Peter Noise - Rudimental

Photography by Alsadi Yussuf

Peter Noise - Rudimental
Photography by Alsadi Yussuf

On the topic of inspirations, are there any icons in the music industry that you feel inspired by?
I love Juice WRLD’s impact on rap and music in general. The ability to remake such a powerful record from Sting and update it without losing the passion and power of the original was remarkable. I’ve also been speaking with YUNGBLUD over Instagram. We met in Hoxton and have stayed connected, it’s crazy how he has reignited rock music for so many young people around the world.

We absolutely love your music video for “Glow in the Dark”. Tell us a bit about the track; what are its influences? What is the message behind it?
The video follows me travelling through the metaverse, ultimately being controlled by an AI love interest. You can see her putting me through different games and changing my outfits and at the end of the video we connect. I made the song about searching for a person who gives you light at the end of a dark tunnel and how nowadays we court each other virtually. Whether that be by liking a photo or sliding in a DM.

Could you tell us a little bit about your experience whilst filming?
It was a great experience. We worked with young creatives who through the program launched by SBTV and Adobe allowed them to gain work experience in the music and film industry. For me it was a good challenge, there was a lot of green screen and CGI in this video so I had to really use my imagination when filming some scenes. I remember filming a falling scene in front of the whole crew, waving my arms and legs in the air. It was a good challenge for me to test my acting skills. I had so much fun!

Peter Xan - Glow In The Dark

Photography by Alsadi Yussuf

Peter Xan - Glow In The Dark
Photography by Alsadi Yussuf

Can you tell us what it was like working with a collective as iconic as Rudimental?
They’re my big brothers at this point, definitely the nicest guys I’ve met in the industry. There’s a truckload to learn from guys who had number 1 albums and records, and toured the world whilst doing it. It was a great experience collaborating with them.

We understand that your track with Rudimental was paying homage to the late great Jamal Edwards MBE. Would you expand on how you feel Edwards influenced the contemporary music scene?
Jamal was the tastemaker. He brought together so many creative heavyweights, such as Ed Sheeran and Fireboy DML on the track “Peru”. It is an honour to be on one of his final collaborations between Rudimental, myself and software company, Adobe. It was fantastic to have young creatives gaining experience throughout the process this meant a lot to me as I saw myself in them. I also have built an art collective called Sydney Wyatt, with the mission of bringing like-minded people together to create together. I share Jamal’s desire to empower young people who are looking to break into the creative industry. It was lovely working with him and I hope he’s happy with the final result.

How has your Nigerian and British heritage influenced your music?
It’s pounded yam and Mick Jagger! In my house, I was listening to British Indie rock and eating African food. It’s what got me so big and strong.

We are so excited for your much-anticipated mixtape Boys Don’t Cry. Tell us about what the title of your newest work means to you. Is it a reference to The Cure?
It’s one of my favourite songs from The Cure, and it acts as a message to anyone going through a hard time or if you are out there waiting for the project. Let me tell you, you need to cry, this title is an oxymoron. We’re reclaiming the saying and using it as a badge of honour to raise awareness about mental health, particularly men’s mental health. In this album, I put my feelings on the table and converted them into uplifting anthems. I can’t wait to share it with you and above all, I can’t wait to play it to you live with my band!

Peter Xan - New Noise

Photography by Alsadi Yussuf

Peter Xan - New Noise
Photography by Alsadi Yussuf
NEW NOISE: PETER XAN

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