Interview: Xavier D’Leau Talks Podcast “Jade & XD”, Black Music Month & More

 

 

xdexperience

 

Soul Savviness recently talked with digital content developer/consultant/writer Xavier D’Leau about his brand (The XD Experience). We talked about the podcast show, “Jade & XD”, Black Music Month, and many other things pertaining to content creators.

 

Interview by @qlynngreen


 

I just love (Jade & XD) y’all chemistry together. What do you enjoy most about doing that podcast?

I get to talk to my best friend every week. (laughs) Yeah, that’s like the best part. We both have busy lives, and it’s just the one day that we can sit, talk, catch up, and talk about the bullshit that happens throughout the week. But it’s really more about, I get to see my friend guaranteed once a week.

Right. What’s your creative process like starting a project like that?

My creative process for starting a project? I think I analyze trends a lot. A lot of it has to do with what I think is cool, and what I think I can get my hands into. I don’t know if there’s an actual creative process to go with it. For me, I just kind of do things that I like to do—and I find a way to make them cool and profit off of them. So, I think it’s not necessarily being creative, it’s just so much as doing things that I enjoy.

Do you feel pressure from your audience to put content out?

I hear when they really want either a YouTube video from me—another show from the podcast—or something I’ve written on my site. But I’m also human. (laughs) So, I kind of just do my own thing. In relations to the creativity, I just kind of see what’s there and what’s not being done. Then try to figure out, “Well. If this is not being done maybe I can carve my way into the market by doing something that’s different, and out of the norm that people will enjoy.” So, I don’t know if it’s more like being a creative so much as being strategic.

What’s a realistic expectation someone should have being a content creator?

A realistic expectation is to not expect money right away. A lot of people go into this thinking, “I’m going to start a blog, I’m going to start a podcast, and I’m going to be rich and famous. I’m going to have a number one on iTunes”, and all that good stuff. But the money doesn’t come right away, and it’s also a lot of work/networking. A lot of people put things out there on the internet, and don’t interact with other people. The number one thing to do about being a black media entity, or whatever is being a student of your craft. Not too many people do that. So, learning from others, doing research, and just taking a class if you can. If there’s something that will interest you, and offers it. That would be the most hopeful.

It’s Black Music Month, and it’s summer/cookout time. What music do you expect to listen to when you go to parties?

I like a good auntie jam, you know? Like, a party ain’t a party without Frankie Beverly. A good Luther, Anita, you know? Feel good jams. Also, here in New York—West Indian culture is really big. So, I’m definitely going to end up hearing dancehall, some reggae, some soca. All real “feel good, kickback” music.

 


 

I just want to say, I listened to the special Auntie Jams episode on “Jade & XD”. And I literally knew every song y’all were talking about. (laughs)

Good! I didn’t.

When you made the clue about Kelly Price, oh my God. I felt so horrible, because I knew exactly who you were talking about before the music started playing. (laughs) I’m like, “I feel so bad for thinking that.” (laughs)

Well, I mean it’s obvious all her music is about fries. So, it’s fine. It’s no secret.

(laughs) Oh my goodness. What’s that one “auntie jam” or “cassette tape jam” when you hear it, immediately takes you back to your childhood?

It has to be honestly, “My Boo” by Ghost Town DJ’s. Because I remember the day it came out, and it came on the radio. Because it was also the same week Kentucky Fried Chicken, (because it wasn’t KFC then) introduced popcorn chicken.

(laughs) Right. That’s like the “Bankhead Bounce National Anthem”.

Oh, absolutely. So, I remember it was ’94 and I was smooth in elementary school. I remember we were just riding, and I was with my aunt, and my cousin. We were riding to go get the popcorn chicken, and it was on. And we were just jamming like, “Oh, this is the jawn.”

(laughs) And it’s climbing the charts too, because of that challenge. I still haven’t seen it, but yeah. It’s like in the top 20 or something.

Yeah, the young people are good for bringing 90’s jams back, which makes me really old. Because it’s like that’s a throwback, and I’m just like, “Oh damn. I guess it is a throwback.”

 

“I think also what the issue is— that a lot of these people are not brought up in church anymore. It doesn’t necessarily have to do anything with religion. I do think when people sing or grow up in the church—there are some things that you learn musically, and something of value to kind of take with you.”


 

(laughs) Right, that’s a question I had. You know the Miki Howard’s, Freddie Jackson’s etc. that were popular back in our day. Why is the trend now that when they cross-over to pop music, that’s it. You know? Like, black artists are just making music for pop instead of just making music. They are just marketing it to pop. Why can’t all black music be accepted into mainstream?

Because, not all black music seemingly can make money. People are not necessarily in it for the art, there in it to make money. Everybody’s striving for a cross-over hit, because they want money. They want the fame, the success, and what comes with being a celebrity. Because today’s music there’s no heart, or what I call “oil” behind it. Because artists from in the back back days they had to fight things like racism, and sexism. Even though those things do exist now. The social-political climate is very different than it was in the 1950’s-1970’s. So, it’s kind of like no one really gives a shit because things come by so easy. The internet makes it that way too. So, I mean it’s kind of like there’s no heart and soul in it because nobody has to work for it really. People are like, “I’m working, I’m in the studio. Yadda, yadda.” You know? But you don’t have to like beat the odds like our people who sing “auntie jams” had to.

Someone had an analogy that the people who wouldn’t make it in a 90’s group, are becoming solo artists now. 

I think also what the issue is— that a lot of these people are not brought up in church anymore. It doesn’t necessarily have to do anything with religion. I do think when people sing or grow up in the church—there are some things that you learn musically, and something of value to kind of take with you. What I’ve noticed now is that because people are so far gone, or “unchurched”. The music suffers, and the culture suffers. Also, what I’ve noticed that these groups are either a bunch of good singers, or none of them can sing at all. I’m not even trying to be funny. The problem is if everybody can sing, which is great. Those never seem to work out, because the fact that they’re all pining for solo success. More so then ever, there’s this individualistic game like— “I’m only in here temporarily until I break away, and get enough fame so I can do my solo thing.”

What defines soul music to you?

What defines soul music to me? Oh boy, that’s a good question. Soul.. I was about to give you the VH1 Soul answer, “Soul music is life. Soul music is hip hop playing.”

(laughs)

No, soul music is an experience. It’s not even like a tune on the radio. It’s something that you do. It’s something that you feel. It’s an action word, it’s something that evokes emotion. Like, soul music is literally life. (laughs) That’s what it is.


 

To learn more about the Xavier D’Leau/XD Experience brand. You can also share/listen to the “Jade & XD” podcast on Soundcloud.