An interview with Xinobi
We had a chat before his show at NOS Alive Lisbon a few days ago to get to know a bit more of Xinobi’s music, and this is what we found out:
Tune Munch: What do you think people should know about Xinobi?
Xinobi: I really like to eat indian meals. I used to skateboard. I do dance music, with a little bit of rock influence to it. And right now I’m a little bit nervous about the show.
TM: Is this one of the biggest shows you’ve ever done?
X: No, I’ve done shows like this. But normally I play as a DJ and now I’m kind of a frontman, like a forced front man, so I’m a bit anxious, I don’t like to speak in public. But I’ll improvise.
TM: So you’re from Lisbon, what do you think of the electronic music scene in Lisbon?
X: It’s really interesting, because we were away from the electronic music for a while, although in the 90’s we were pretty… avant-garde I guess, because we had these guys called “the underground sound of Lisbon”, they made really nice house music, they were kind of popular around the world. Then there was this hiatus, nothing happened, then at the beginning of the 2000’s maybe with Myspace a lot of bands and DJ’s started growing and then we had this movement called Buraka Som Sistema, and they got really huge and Portugal now has a… Sorry maybe I’m talking too much, so the thing is one of the richest things about electronic music in Portugal, is we have African references and I think that’s super unique nowadays.
TM: So it’s quite an interesting scene itself, where do you see yourself in all this, in the scene?
X: I think I’m a little bit important, I’m humble too. So with a friend, his name is Moullinex, we kind of brought disco or nu-disco to Lisbon, because it wasn’t happening. We grew up as artists, first outside of Portugal, we played everywhere in the world, small clubs, growing a following. And then in Portugal, it’s really important to have people in your country who like you, so in the past three/four years it’s growing, and we’re really happy about it.
TM: You’re also loved at home, but do you have one of these countries that you have a big base of fans?
X: I have two! Turkey and Mexico. I don’t know why but they just like me. Maybe the first or second time I went there, somebody wrote on a popular blog or something and suddenly then they booked me three or four times in Istanbul.
TM: And Mexico is really huge too.
X: Yeah. I mean, I’m not talking really huge festivals, in a niche crowd a lot of people follow me, and they’re really supportive and they go there and talk to me and want to take pictures all the things normally I’m really shy, but they deserve it.
TM: Have you recently got an album out or are you working on something new?
X: I’m working on an album. So I’ve not been able to sleep in the last month. Because I like to work at night, from 9pm – 5am, that’s when I have a good focus, creativity and when there is nothing happening to distract me.
TM: What inspires you the most? Do you have a routine?
X: No actually I’m pretty much, “let’s see what’s happening”.
TM: So what’s the song that we should tell people to listen to.
X: You should listen to a new song I have with a guy called The LazarusMan, a guy from South Africa, it’s called See Me. I think it’s the track that best represents best what I’m trying to do now.
TM: So what setup do you have, two guitars…
X: Two guitars, two keyboards and synthesisers, two singers. We are five but some do more than one thing.
TM: So if you could work with one other artist, doesn’t matter who, dream artist?
X: Ennio Morricone, and a Jamaican guy called Scientist. Together, the two of them, it is impossible.
TM: And is there also a dream club or festival or other setting that you have in mind?
X: Actually I never thought about it, maybe a little bit more would be welcome, but I’m pretty happy with how things are going right now. I would love to have a party with friends on a small island near Bali called Gili Meno, that would be nice.
TM: What’s the setting of listening to your song See Me and what should they drink?
X: You can listen to it everywhere. Portuguese wine from a specific region, it’s called Muscatel, while listening to that song. Could be Berlin, Bali, Lisbon, Mexico, Mars.
(The LazarusMan comes in)
TM: Looks like you had a really nice collaboration together?
X: Yeah but you know, it’s the first time I meet him. We collaborated online, I sent the track, said I think maybe you know it’s a longshot but maybe do you want to try some vocals on this, and it took him maybe a month to reply and I was like fine he doesn’t want it, and then suddenly he said yeah let’s do something, and I brought it here, as a reward. He’s more of a spoken word guy, and he collaborates with a lot of interesting artists too.
TM: Are you going to see any more artists here at NOS Alive?
X: I want to see John Great, and I want to re-check Soulwax, it’s been awhile since I saw them, and I brought my earplugs so I don’t get deaf.
TM: Is there anyone else that you think we should listen to? Maybe from the Portuguese scene and in general.
X: At this festival, you should definitely check Da Chick, Mirror People, Isaura. And then not at this festival but from Portugal, you should check Moullinex, the guys from Principe Records, DJ Marfox and Branko.