The Lil Xtra Interview

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By: Elijah Laflair

Lil Xtra is and up and coming artist who is making waves in the underground scene. His strong rock influences blend easily with his emo-trap sound. As more and more fans continue to discover him, I recently had a chat with him to learn about the artists behind the art

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Elijah Laflair: So Lil Xtra, where were you born and raised?

Lil Xtra: Gwinnett county Georgia,  about 40 minutes out of Atlanta. Always been here.

EL: How was your upbringing? Were you always interested in music?

LX: Yeah man I started playing drums when I was like 7.  My mom’s a piano player so it was always kind of around me and I picked up on it quick. My upbringing was weird my parents are kind of crazy.  I was homeschooled and I’m an only child so it was different than most people. So I spent way more time alone than most people do especially in middle school, my grandfather was sick and my mom was always taking him to the doctor or something so I was basically home alone all day every day in 7th/8th grade.

EL: Was that around the time you started making music? Or was it later down the line?

LX: I started playing guitar at that time,  I started writing around 15. After high school I was in a few bands before I started doing my own thing, but I never really started doing it seriously until I got injured right before I graduated. I’d planned on going military before but after my surgery I just didn’t get better really so I started taking out my frustration in my music.

EL: That’s the best way to express yourself emotionally. You talk about depression a lot in your music. Did that just come naturally or did you make it a point to make it a main subject in your music?

LX: Very true,  thankfully. Yeah, it hit me in 6th grade and I struggle with it pretty much daily.  When I was learning how to write I wrote about all kinds of shit, silly songs and stuff sometimes.  But anytime I wrote something that seemed happy it just turned out kinda shitty. I only talk about my depression so much because it’s always there, and the only way I’ve ever found to help is to get the words out

There’s something about having a feeling that it feels like no one understands,  then being able to put it into words in a way people relate to. That’s always my main goal with any song I write,  taking the feeling I have and making it come through in a way where other people get it.

EL: Damn, bro that’s inspirational. Who are some of your musical influences? What were the main people you grew up listening to?

LX: Thanks man that means a lot. Rock stuff mostly,  anything from the 90’s but I really fell in love with blink 182 first,  that’s why I started playing drums, I just wanted to be Travis Barker. Then I got older and got more into the lyrics and got into people like brand new,  paramore, that kinda stuff. Story so far’s a pretty big one, anything that’s catchy and made me feel sad I was pretty much into lmao.

EL: I saw on your Twitter that you said “Make It Through Fall” (which is amazing btw) was you’re favorite song that you ever made. What makes that song stand out to you?

LX: Thank you! I don’t really know tbh,  I’m just really proud of it. I really like the guitar line I wrote for it. And I do all my own producing,  tracking, mixing, everything except mastering and there’s almost always something when it’s done that I hate about it.  Something will be too loud or there will be a few bars I’m just not proud of, but I can’t find anything in that song that I’m not happy with.  It’s the only song of mine that I can listen to like it’s someone else’s song if that makes sense. And that bitch is really Catchy. Video coming out next week for it too!

EL: We’ll definitely be looking out for it! I want to get your thoughts on the music scene right now, specifically underground. What do you think of the landscape today?

LX: I think it’s pretty fucking sweet honestly.  The rap scene at least, underground rock is in a pretty bad place with a few exceptions,  but the underground rap scene is really cool. You can really do anything you want, and if you’re good people will pick up on it.  I think it’s amazing to live in a time where I can make my music the way I want without relying on anyone else. I think there’s a lot of great artists in the underground, it’s at a pretty special place right now. A lot of kids are rejecting the glitzy bullshit rap we kinda grew up with for something a little realer.  I’m always down for that.

EL: I agree. The internet totally changed music as a whole. What are your long term goals for your career? Anything specific or are you just kinda going with the flow?

LX: Yeah for real,  it’s been a game changer. I have three long term goals,  the first is people getting my lyrics tattooed. Nothing says you love something like getting it inked,  I want to mean that much to someone

Two;  I want to sell out a tour one day.  Doesn’t matter what size, it can be 50 people a show but I want to sell out a tour, headlining.  That’s my most long term goal.

3, kind of along with number two,  I want to make enough money doing this that I can focus on this and not have a real job.  Don’t care if I just make enough to pay rent but I really want to have the chance to focus 100% on this at some point,  even if it’s just for a few years.

EL: Are there any up and coming artists or producers you would want to work with?

LX: Yeah, producer more tho.  I like making my music on my own for the most part, although I do have features sometimes.  I’d like to do a song with guardin, I’m gonna hit him up soon. I work with sorrow bringer a lot on the production side,  he’s great. Erikveins too, but right now I’m making an album with no features where I make the guitar and Take it to KadoOnTheTrack (who lives near me) and he’s helping me build the beats around them.  I do production but he’s a lot better with the drums

EL: That’s dope. It was great talking to you bro. You definitely are on our radar and support you 100%. Are there any upcoming songs/projects you wanna let the fans know about?

LX: Hey thank you so much homie, I really appreciate it for sure you guys have been great! Yeah man,  I’ve got a video for make it through fall premiering next Tuesday on Sad Chill’s YouTube channel, I’m making another video for a single called blackout that I’m flying to Chicago for next month and i recently completed my last mixtape (fucked up, let down) which is on my soundcloud and YouTube.  I’m making a full album right now but it won’t be ready for 4/5 months so maybe we can talk about it again when it gets a little closer. Thank you so much for your time and energy.