Born and raised in Cardiff, Yxngxr1 has been making waves in the industry since his 2019 release, Tyler. On the rise ever since, he is back now with a new EP full of eight luscious tracks that range from lo-fi nostalgia to dark, hard-hitting beats. Titled where has everyone gone., the project showcases his wide range of musicality — keeping us on our toes as he intertwines indie and hip hop sonics. With equally dynamic lyrics, the tracks discuss themes of growing up, taking us on an emotional and youth-infused coming of age story.
“The songs in here are beautiful, but different,” explains Yxngxr1. I’ve had a little moment of change where I wanted to try something different. The name where has everyone gone is more of a reflection of growing up and realising everyone is doing their own things now, friendship groups don’t really exist as much and people are moving on.”
We had the pleasure of speaking with Yxngxr1 about the Welsh music scene, the essence of his sound, dealing with writer’s block, and the new project.
Stream where has everyone gone…
Now for the interview…
How did you first find your love for creation?
I just started listening to a bunch of ‘type beats’ on youtube and recording songs to them! I really loved making my own music and listening to it on the way to work. I never really thought I’d be making music though but I’m glad I am and I love it!
Who and what influenced you to start a career in music?
At the start it was very much the Soundcloud of 2016, X, Ski, Smokepurpp, lil pump etc but as time went on it was Tyler, The Creator and Dominic Fike. I felt more at home with their music in the indie scene and found my voice there.
How did you first begin shaping your sound?
I took elements of music I liked and tried to implement it in the music I was making. I loved certain chords or beat patterns and moulded them into the music we have today. I love baselines too and how they direct a song a certain way.
How would you describe the essence of your style?
Musically, It’s almost very scuffed lofi indie pop hahaha. I like the fact that it doesn’t sound perfect because I recorded it all on Garageband. As long as you like the music that’s all that matters!
There’s a sense of nostalgia flowing through much of your work, is that something you think about or just how you naturally create?
I’m not too sure honestly. Whenever I start a song with “I was” it tends to go down this nostalgic road because I just end up thinking about the times when I was doing something and then go into detail about everything that happened. I never try to force it, I guess it kinda comes out like that.
As such a fluid artist, where do you think you land in the wider UK music industry landscape, or is it more a question of not wanting to fit in?
I’d love to be part of the indie pop scene. I think eventually playing with a live band whilst doing shoes will give the music a bit more depth. I’m not sure what I am right now though. I’d love to also be in the funk scene!!
You’ve recently moved to London – how are you finding it compared to Cardiff?
It’s BUSYYYYY!! So many people everywhere. Honestly so hectic. Also the days feel so long too but i love it!! It makes me feel very active!
Any tips for the Welsh scene; who are you listening to?
I think a general tip for anyone is to just make what you love! I’m not a professional in the slightest at all but I think making stuff you really love is the most important thing!
You’ve released a lot of content over the past couple of years, how do you feel looking back on the discography you’ve been building?
It’s almost like a time capsule. Even with the songs that don’t come out it’s sick to listen back to them thinking “that’s what i made back then”. It’s crazy. I think it’s so sick to also see the shift in sounds, maturing, and changing taste.
Would you say you are a prolific writer? Do you ever get writers block?
I get writer’s block all the time! And then I’ll go through phases of thinking everything sounds the same because I’ve listened to it so much. It’s horrible because you feel useless. The one thing you love doing, you physically can’t do, even though you have all the tools to do it right in front of you.
We’ve loved your recent singles! How is it a progression from your sound?
I think I want to take it way lighter, beautiful chorus-tinged guitars and lovely riffs on top. Just like the perfect summer day with a bit of breeze. The type of stuff you want forever.
Talk us through the recent track “my mum told me about u” – what are you conveying with that single?
Honestly I wrote that song thinking I was going to hate it but as I listened to it more I really enjoyed it. It felt different. Really fast paced and over really quick. I wanted to write a love song disguised as a very uptempo indie rock(ish) song!
What can we expect from where has everyone gone.?
Very chilled out summer playlist vibe! The next project is a mixture of songs I really loved with no real direction to it. I loved the fact of not having to deep it so much and not think about visuals or creative direction. It was nice to just make songs and put them out!
Where do you want to take your artistry?
One word. Funk.