London duo XVOTO may have met in a branch of McDonalds, but their musical is output is far from commercial. Their unique blend of R&B, out-there pop and sleek, effortlessly cool attitude makes for an enticing concoction - one that's seen them tipped by the biggest of tastemaker names and take lead placements none other than FIFA 2022 and a worldwide campaign for FORD.
Following the release of their incredible debut EP, we caught up with the pair to chat about the work that went into it, how they came to create music together and what's on the cards for an XVOTO live show.
Hello! Tell us a bit about XVOTO for those who are yet to become familiar with your music?
We’re a duo, we make psychopomp & we’ve just released a video game.
You met in a McDonald’s, right? How did you go from fast food to creating music together?
We met at a McDonald’s in 2015 before an HMLTD gig. I was pretty blown away by their energy and sonics but it wasn’t until two years later that Saigon and I bumped into each other at a party and properly hung out. Soon after that we started writing music together for fun and that quickly became a whole project.
Your debut EP had just landed, how long have you been working on these new tracks for?
We’ve worked on this EP for the last 3 years. Sometimes it seemed like it was never going to come out, but we’re happy we had time to figure things out and really get to know ourselves as a project. Since for the first 2 years we were writing almost everyday, we’ve accumulated a nice backlog of goodies.
Which would you say is your favourite from the EP, and why?
Saigon’s favourite is XOXO cause it’s aggressive and raw. Mine is Sad Ghost because it makes me feel like I’m walking down a spiral staircase.
Do you think it’s an accurate representation of the music you’ll be creating in the future, or are you keen to switch it up with each release?
Every time we sit down to write what excites us are things we haven’t played with yet. We like surprising ourselves, so best not to expect anything too specific. Although there is some reggaeton and some organ ballads on the way..
If you were able to create a visualiser for the EP with any visual artist or director, who would you choose?
Probably Junji Ito. We’re massive fans of his mangas and his style of horror. It would be a dream to let him draw even just a page inspired by the EP.
As live shows slowly start to return, have you had any thoughts on what the next XVOTO gig might look like?
Yes, we have been thinking about this for some time. Think dystopian gogo dancers and demon themed drinks.
What’s next for you as XVOTO? Anything in the works?
A lot in the works.. hopefully some summer releases...another EP... some parties... we’ll see...