Exploding onto the scene with his ambitious debut album, Feel the Love, ElloXo has continued to roll out fresh tracks and radio mixes with voracious tenacity. Dubbed “a unique hybrid where future bass meets pop music,” Music in Minnesota sat down with ElloXo to discuss his unique sound and vision for his next album.
[MIM] Your debut album, Feel the Love, has quickly garnered success, evident by your impressive number of streams on both Spotify and SoundCloud. How did the idea behind ElloXo and this first album come into fruition?
Well, unofficially, I suppose ElloXo started in late 2016, but at that point it was literally just the ‘ElloXo’ name and brand starting to come together. At that time, I was an EDM fan living down in Phoenix, attending festival after festival and daydreaming of one day being the guy on stage leading the party.
Knowing what kind of music I liked to hear, I started to produce some big room tracks in spring of 2017. This didn’t exactly get the response I was hoping for, which is what sort of inspired Feel the Love, released in April of 2018.
I had to take a step back and realize that you’re not going to go from producing in your bedroom to festival stages; there are steps to this. I had to switch it up and produce something fresh and exciting to get people listening. I thought to myself: “What’s being played out on the radio? How can I reach a bigger audience?” Thus, I swung to the future-bass, poppy end of the spectrum. This album was all about testing the waters as a new artist.
Clearly the direction I took with this album resonated with a lot of people, and it resulted in a really amazing, humbling experience. Back on July 1, 2018, I woke up to find the first track off the album, “Treat Me Right,” had cracked into the Viral Top 50 in Germany, Switzerland, and Taiwan. This was a pretty surreal day for me to see my music on the same charts as so many amazing artists and producers that the world has actually heard of. It gave me a lot of motivation and made me think that maybe my name could belong up there with all of those other well-recognized artists someday.
[MIM] That being said, I definitely get some melodic, Illenium vibes from some of your tracks, while hearing big room and house vibes in other songs. It’s clear you’re experimenting with a variety of genres.
This first album is really palette cleansing, but doesn’t quite fit in with the trappy, more electronic vibes I often bring to my live sets. Remix the Love gave me the chance to create remixes that were more playable and upbeat for a show setting.
This contrast is something I’ve been toying with. It can be hard to come up with unique ideas in music and set yourself apart since so much has been done, so that’s what this remix album is about. I get to be creative and experiment with multiple sounds and genres based off of music I already know people like. A compilation album of Feel the Love and Remix the Love will be coming out February 28th. I’m planning to do this with my second album as well.
I also started a radio show called “Fvck Genres,” so that I could experiment more with my sound outside of the constraints of super specific genres. The goal of these mixes was to play music I liked that would make people dance, regardless of if each song in the mix belonged to a certain genre. The 22nd episode of “Fvck Genres” is available now on my Soundcloud.
I’m also really glad you mentioned Illenium, as he’s one of my biggest influences, as well as other electronic artists like Ghastly, Marshmello, and Seven Lions.
[MIM] So it sounds like you’ve sort of found your footing more so this time around sound-wise. What can we expect from your upcoming album in terms of genres and themes?
The sound is going to be mostly more of the same – future bass with pop influences. A million plus streams is absurd to me, starting as a guy just making music in my basement. It’s really exciting, so I say if it’s not broken don’t fix it.
My thought was to continue producing within the same genre, but this time each song off the album will share a similar theme. And what’s the most relatable thing to people in my demographic? Young love – you either have or you don’t or you’re falling out of it. We’ve all experienced the ups and downs of love. So half of the album will be lovey-dovey, which you can get a taste for from my single “Emily,” while the other 5 will be much darker and heavier, on the opposite side of the spectrum. I actually will be releasing one of the darker songs as an exclusive for this MIM interview!
This album definitely feels a bit more personal. Every song is relatable for me; they’re real-world experiences that I’ve been through lately. I thought that if I tried a little harder to tell a story and send a message, I could create an album with more substance to it.
[MIM] Tell me more about this #SendHelp mix series you’ve also got going. Mixing back to back for hours at a time is pretty impressive – what has attracted you to continue working on this mix series?
Yeah, so #SendHelp is a mix series of back to backs with other artists and friends of mine. When I first started out, I wasn’t super passionate about playing in a group setting, and producing music was more for myself, but when I came back to Minnesota I started jamming with my friend, High Pitch Pat. We vibed really well and it was the first time I had fun playing with someone else. It was really cool and inspiring, so I thought, why don’t we put this up?
Our first episode, with Chris Blackburn, was just really fun to make because everyone has their own flavor and style – Chris coming from a trance background, Pat from dubstep – it’s a fun way to learn a little bit about other genres that I don’t typically play, in a low-pressure setting. It’s kind of half educational, half hanging out with the boys. The goal moving forward is to continue jamming with other people, each with their own unique influences.
[MIM] Your remix album, Remix the Love, is hot off the press, your compilation album is due out at the end of February, you have a new album in the works, and you’re pumping out two different radio shows. Busy guy! Where else can we expect to hear more ElloXo music in the coming months?
Locally, my manager, Nick, is currently working on some bookings with SIMshows, so you’ll be seeing more of my face around venues like REV, Skyway, and The Armory in a direct support slot. Coming up on March 16th I will be playing support for Shiba San at REV. I’m really excited about this show as I love everything DirtyBird and this gives me a chance to play out some of my favorite tech house tracks to get the party started.
Additionally, I’ll be playing a pre-party show for the Emotion Music Festival (catch me playing this Canadian festival this August) on April 26th at REV. You can keep up to date with new information on this festival on my social media.
On top of all of that, I’ll still be playing more Retox day parties at Cowboy Jacks, as well as another night at Lux. I’m super stoked for summer to come back to Minnesota so we can branch out and start playing some rooftop parties at other venues downtown.
Check out an exclusive first look at an unreleased track off of ElloXo’s upcoming album below!