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Oleeva Podcast Twenty Four with IT-XPO

The NYC based artist who recently released his 7 track Ripple EP with us, IT-XPO, delivers a truly authentic mix bursting with multi-genre originality. He also took the time to answer a few questions from us. Listen to the mix and read his interview below!




We will get to your music and this wonderful podcast in a minute, firstly, How are you? And hows winter in NYC going ? 

 

Doing alright — working quite a lot right now. Beginning of the year seems to be most busy for me always. The beginning and the end. But winters here are easy breezy compared to Chicago so all good. 



We've heard New Yorkers often have incredible grit, hustle and drive, is this true? 


I guess? I’m not sure. I do have like 3 jobs but that’s just because I’m a workaholic in a sense. It’s more that I hate being bored to be bored so I keep myself occupied. But not going to lie, I can’t say everyone is a hustler here, people just like to spend money. I’m not from NY so honestly what do I know?



 How did you get into the world of playing and making music? 

Typical pipeline initially - Dad was super into hair metal and psychedelic rock. Mom was into anything Top 40 and show tunes. Started playing upright bass, quit that, then piano, quit that, then percussion in 6th grade which I stuck playing until I started joining bands. 


Making music solo was purely a competitive thing - my band mates at the time all made solo music and I felt like I could too. Especially after discovering Aphex Twin in high school and realizing it’s just one dude. My first EP I made on my sisters iPad that she won from one of those mail in contests (people actually win those?) 





 You recently released a big ep with us, Ripple, and we know you've got a lot more music ready to go. It feels like your really in the zone, and have a pretty decent workflow, is that right? Whats your process like for making music? 


 Want to say first — thanks a ton again for putting it out! It’s funny, 2023 was probably my least productive year making music as I took a big break at the beginning of the year. I try not to push myself too hard at one thing, or, I get bored haha. And that’s the enemy, being bored. Usually there’s one day out of the week I’ll have off and pick to make some tunes (or DJ). If I’m making music it’s usually for a few hours and I’m just cranking out ideas, new and old. But mainly new? I find that I rarely return to older tracks to work on them again, those scraps usually fit into my live set. 





 Please tell us about the Ripple EP, their titles and what they mean to you . Also, I would love to know how you usually name your tracks.  




‘Ripple’ is all about hearing music on the radio in my Dad’s red van and whatever car my Mom had then as well. “95.5 FM” is actually the station in Chicago that was WNUA 95.5 ‘The Drive’.


It was a smooth jazz station, it’s actually the first time I heard Sade. It was “Smooth Operator”. I remember it so vividly. Can’t say I continued on the Sade path right after but am now a huge fan. Other titles are inspired by friends and loved ones. Cliche, I know. Some are complete nonsense. “h.a.n.d” stands for ‘have a nice day’. I made it after a lovely bike ride. ‘Sun Earring’ is named after an earring I wear that I designed and my girlfriend fabricated, ‘Various Attitudes’ is kind of dedicated to my friends. I used to use crazy titles but now I just kind of use either the demo title or something that pops in my head. 



This podcast is really special, we've really enjoyed your multi genre mixes for a while but this one just hits the spot. How did you record it? What are your favourite tracks in it? 


  Yeah, the multi-genre thing came after being inspired by a little festival outside of Chicago and just seeing how far and wide DJing can be stretched. I feel as if the DJ’s own personal taste outside of dance music has fallen to the way side. I find it to feel incredibly refreshing when I hear something outside of dance music on the floor (just saw Theo Parrish and he dropped Aaliyah’s ‘Rock the Boat, was blissful). I’m not talking just some down-tempo or ambient, a track that’s an “oh” then an “ahh.” I’m ranting. 



 Recorded at home on my CDJ 900s, Technic 1200s, and a Xone 92 rotary.


Fav tracks: Ebende - You ; one of the most underrated producers.


Jeremy - Sensitive Pt. 2 ;; never gets old.


Dean Blunt - Papi ; yeah.


John Martin - Didn’t Do That ; can’t get enough of this guy, was a random airplane listen and I got hooked.


Maurizio - M6 (A) ; am I becoming a Maurizio over Basic Channel guy? Probably #1 for me is always whatever track I close a mix with, in this case it’s Bill Callahan - Jim Cain. If you can’t walk around in some amount of wanderlust to this song then I don’t want to know you. 






 Do you prefer playing live or DJing? 


Both to be honest. They serve different purposes for me, just how I like seeing both live music and DJing. 



 You’re stuck on remote island for a year and you can take 3 albums with you, which 3 are you taking? 



Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works Vol. 2 (UK Edition)

 

John Coltrane - Ascension 


Grateful Dead - Live at the Lyceum Theater 5/26/72 


I can’t just do 3, sorry man.  


Sade - Love Deluxe


Leafar Legov - Mirror 


DJ Sprinkles - Midtown 120 Blues and SO so many more. 


 What would your dream gig look like?  


Playing music with all of my friends for days on end in a forest with unlimited amounts of Riesling. 


What are you hoping to do over the year (or years) ahead?


To keep staying away from being bored! Seeing my friends shine. Dancing more. Listen more. Making more music. 2024 I’m definitely trying to be more productive on the creative side of stuff. I also really would like to do an international gig this year. Stay happy.





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