Emerging Producer XO Talks 'Ethereal Experience' EP, Shares Stream: Exclusive



Youth, it has been said, is wasted on the young. Don’t bother telling XO. The youthful British songwriter and producer’s career has been arching upwards in recent times and he’s rapidly captured support from the likes of the BBC, Mixmag and the NME along the way. Some corners of the British press and a slew of specialist dance music titles have tipped the Staffordshire-based electronic music creator (real name Sunil Heera) as a locked-on star-in-waiting. Not a bad start for a 19-years old. And you get the feeling there’s a lot more of the good stuff to come. 
XO got a break of sorts in 2013 when he uploaded a handful of edits online and was spotted by Radio 1’s Huw Stephens, who named him as his “Discovery Of The Week”. His debut EP Through The Night dropped in December 2014. The follow-up release, The Ethereal Experience, arrives today (July 20). Both releases were handled independently through his U.K. label, He Loves You Not Recordings.

Is It Time for EDM's Ghost Producers to Come Out From Behind the Curtain?

XO exclusively chatted with Billboard on the making-of The Ethereal Experience, which he says is “all about escapism." The body of work itself is “something I worked extremely hard on, with each song telling its own short story...including myself as the narrator if you like." The set, he explains, “was written at a time where I was dabbling in many different styles and exploring various sounds and ideas. My intention was to create something that seamlessly flowed and remained cohesive.“

Here's a tip: the EP was created for listening from start to finish. “It all comes together in the end, if you listen out for it.”

Throughout the release, there's “references to the beach, birds and the ocean, all of which are often associated with tranquil, dreamy atmospheres. This is something I tried to incorporate as a running theme throughout each track, not just sonically but conceptually too.” 

Dance Music's Tech Leaders Discuss Disruption at EDMbiz 

Billboard can exclusively share streams from the EP below. "Dreams, sci-fi movies and space also played a key role when it came to inspiration for this release," XO recalls, "and were heavily influential with regards to sound design, tying in perfectly with the aptly worded title -- in my opinion -- "The Ethereal Experience".

Listen to three tracks from The Ethereal Experience.


The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.

To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.