From xx to Coexist to I See You, The xx’s music style has changed in the span of 10 years, with beloved hits like ‘VCR’, ‘Crystalised’ and ‘Say Something Loving’. Along the way, one-third of the band, Jamie Smith a.k.a Jamie xx broke off to work on a couple of solo albums, one of which was the acclaimed In Colour, nominated back in 2015 for the Mercury Prize, Brit Awards and even the Grammys.
Whilst side projects for bands commonly meant eventual break ups based on the industry’s track record, The xx on the other hand garnered even more fans instead, with Jamie’s solo project laying down the musical foundation for their third studio album, I See You, two years prior to its release.
Today, the recent I See You concert tour sees the dream pop band on the road for more than a year, playing at more than 100 venues around the world, including MITEC this Thursday for the Malaysian leg of the tour.
August Man Malaysia catches up real quick with the London-based band before the much anticipated concert, put together by the good people behind Upfront Arena.
Looking forward, what kind of style can the fans expect in the upcoming album, if any is already in the works?
We had this thing with the first two records, xx and Coexist, that we would only write music that we could perform live. When it comes to I See You, we started to pick this notion apart a bit, whereby we’ve taken in more external influences. We look forward to explore where this new path will take us to next.
How do you think Jamie’s solo project has helped in The xx’s creativity in music?
It was fantastic to work together on something that wasn’t The xx for Jamie. Lending our vocals for In Colour allowed us to collaborate in a different way, and the two projects definitely have influenced each other.
How do you keep things fresh for the fans, as well as for yourselves, especially when it’s going to be a clockwork of the same set list over and over again performing live?
We are always tweaking little things during the tour, and each city and venue end up being a completely different experience as a whole.
The xx has achieved much throughout the years, such as accolades (Billboard, NME and Mercury Prize), played at huge festivals (Coachella and Lollapalooza), as well as being featured in TV shows and films (Misfits and The Great Gatsby)
Is there anything the band has yet to tick off the list of goals?
We have a definite sight set to bringing The xx curated Night + Day music festival to more different places around the world, and hopefully, to the US soon. For the time being, it’s the upcoming week-long instalment in Brixton, featuring collaborations with local communities there and other musicians, such as Sampha, Robyn, Cat Power and more.