Xavier Eleven has been drawn to music from a young age. Born Dean Johnson, he was raised watching his mother playing the organ at their church and was selected to play the clarinet in his local orchestra at just 8 years old. He’s now been playing the piano, drums and producing for over nine years.
Recently, Xavier Eleven made his Nothing Else Matters debut with his latest track ‘New Day’, featuring Laura Elle Rose. We caught up with him and spoke to him about this monumental achievement, collaborating with Laura Elle Rose and plenty more!
T.H.E – You have made your debut on Danny Howard’s label Nothing Else Matters with ‘New Day’, that’s a great achievement. How did the signing come about?
Xavier Eleven – Through my manager, Woolf. I reconnected with him earlier this year and played him some new material. He was feeling it so he played it to Danny and the rest is history.
T.H.E – Your track sounds perfect for the club, what was the production behind it?
Xavier Eleven – I created this track at a time when I was in a limbo with my life. I didn’t know exactly where I was going and I did things I didn’t really want to do (career wise). After a conversation with Laura about taking that leap and walking away from situations you really weren’t into, we decided to create “New Day”. I wanted to create a vibe, a track that encouraged people to move and have a good time but at the same time, encourage them to do exactly what they want to do in life and walk away from anything that’s hindering them.
T.H.E – How did you come to collaborate with Laura Elle Rose, are you a fan of her vocals?
Xavier Eleven – Laura has a great voice. Laura an I went to the same high school in Croydon. She’s a couple years below me. My friend was always telling me how great her voice is and I should work with her. That’s how it all came about.
T.H.E – Did you both work in the studio together for the single?
Xavier Eleven – Yes, we did. Laura’s a great writer as well as vocalist. I always try to work in the same space as the vocalist, especially because our conversations often end up turning into a song.
T.H.E – As your real name is Dean Johnson, how did you come up with the project name Xavier Eleven?
Xavier Eleven – It’s not that serious. I’ve always liked powerful sounding names or unique names like Attacca Pesante. I think one of the X-men movies was out at the time and I’ve always liked the name Charles Xavier. That’s how Xavier came about. I choose Eleven because my birthday is in November and I liked the way it sounded with Xavier.
T.H.E – Not only a producer you’re also a talented instrumentalist. Did you use your own instrumentals on this track and what do you play?
Xavier Eleven – I played everything in the track and organised the arrangements but there wasn’t any organic instruments used. The song originally had some sexy chords in the intro as well as the synth, but I took them out to let the vocals breath.
T.H.E – Since being part of the duo Attacca Pesante, do you think your sound, style or taste in music has changed?
Xavier Eleven – My taste of music is still the same. I still want to create sounds that encourage people to move or feel something. My Style will always develop and change that’s inevitable, and it also depends on how I want to express myself.
T.H.E – Has your exploration of Asia had an influence on your new music and given you inspiration?
Xavier Eleven – I wouldn’t say it had a direct influence on my sound. However, my travels did inspire me to continue to create music that affected people in a positive way. I remember listening to the music at a place called Gardens by the Bay in Singapore and I remember thinking how powerful and magical sound is and how it can influence people. That moment, and many others on my travels reminded me how amazing a new musical experience can be. Hopefully I can give that to people with my music.
T.H.E – What can we expect from Xavier Eleven next?
Xavier Eleven – I’m currently working on new music with very talented artists. I’m trying to create that splendid musical experience for the people.