XamVolo might be telling the truth when he sings “I spend my days listening to Old Soul” but there certainly isn’t anything “old” sounding about his new single.
… that’s what we said in The Playback and it’s true. The groove created by the Merseysider is infectious – seriously, if your head isn’t bopping by the end of the first verse you are not human! We thought we’d catch up with Mr Volo now that ‘Old Soul’, mastered here at Metropolis Mastering, has dropped…What does Old Soul mean to you?
‘Old Soul’ is meant to be very pure; a clean slate at the start of the upcoming journey. The character speaks from the headspace of someone with few worries, living with the freedom to focus on and enjoy the simpler things in life. For now, their world is a near-utopia occupied by trivial pursuits and good vibes – that is, until a certain life-changing encounter…
Lyrically, how did the new single take shape?
I was writing with Bruno Major – the initial version of the song came about pretty quickly. There was a lot more focus on the melody on this one, so the lyrics couldn’t bend that too much. Over time I refined some of the wording so it fit in with all the other songs it’ll be sitting with, but the chorus just kind of came out of nowhere – and pretty early. It felt right so we didn’t touch it after that point.
What’s the process behind building your tracks? There’s a real juxtaposition between the traditional jazz/soul elements in instrumentation and modern hip-hop styled synths…
I’m a big fan of cross-genre production – I’m constantly discovering and emulating ways other genres convey a tone. Bruno knows a lot about Jazz, especially on guitar – so long as the core of the song suited that vibe there was a lot of space to add in elements from other genres I found interesting – just to add a cold, clear, fluid energy to it all.
Almost every element in the production aids the groove on this one… the loose, overlapping LFOs were meant to latch-on to a very sparse rigid drum pattern, for instance – just keeps the pulse organic through all the digital stuff.
Who have been your biggest musical influencers?
Bilal, D’Angelo, Erykah Badu and Dilla. I didn’t know who they were when I first started, but tracing my influences back as far as I can, they definitely played big parts. They all set laid back, inclusive vibes in their music, which I appreciate a lot of the time.
What’s next for XV?
Working on a special project at the moment… new music coming soon – as always. Stay tuned.
About Metropolis Mastering
Metropolis Mastering was founded in 1993 with the intention of redefining international standards. That same passion, ambition and commitment is still the force that drives us today. Our five mastering suites were designed and built to the highest possible specification, offering the best environment for critical listening, and equipped with some of the most sought after mastering equipment around.