Columbus-based rapper/producer Devin Xo begins by stating that this song “is a message,” and I think that we can all benefit from what he has to say.
At the start of the track, the tone is quite cynical and dark-humored.
Nobody belongs anywhere/Nobody exists on purpose, and eventually everybody’s gonna die/Give love.
Against the joyful, upbeat sound of the song, the first verse ironically depicts the mental hardships Devin has faced.
“Last year I was contemplating slitting my wrists. No friends, no girl, just me and my thoughts. Screaming out to the sky, begged the pain to stop.”
As the song progresses, though, the lyrics start to reflect the encouraging, spirited melody, as if to remind us that he has more to say.
“Do what you wanna do with your life, but have a plan, goddammit. Give love.”
The message Xo wants to convey is deeply rooted in personal experience. He opens himself up, lets us all in, so that his message can be heard loud and clear: give love.
To do so is the only way to free your soul, to overcome those hardships we all face. It gives us a sense of purpose; it helps us devise that plan we need to have in order to move forward.
The Indie Sound was fortunate to have the opportunity to interview Devin Xo about his new single and his music.
The Indie Sound: Who are some of your biggest influences in music?
DX: My biggest influences would have to be the Notorious B.I.G, Nas, Kanye West, Tyler the Creator, Pharrell, Frank Ocean, Soulection, a New York rapper by the name of London O’Connor, Prince, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Earth, Wind and Fire and Me. There’s a lot more but I can’t think of all of them at the moment.
TIS: What inspired you to write this song?
DX: The want to dig deeper into myself as a person is what really inspired the song. I made my EP three times in a row and when I finished it the second time, I felt like nothing I wrote was deep enough. A lot of the lyrics were fluff and only scratched the surface in terms of what I had been through or what I was feeling. Therefore, I had to put myself in a very vulnerable and uncomfortable head space to pull out something I felt had depth to it.
TIS: You reveal some things about yourself throughout the song that I think resonate with all of us. What advice would you give to us young adults, or anyone really, who are struggling with things like depression, anxiety, loneliness, or “adulting” in general?
DX: Have purpose or a goal that you can focus on. Suffering from things such as depression and anxiety while having no set goal for yourself is like being on a boat with no set destination. In the end, you’re just floating along with wherever the waves take you. For those who suffer from severe depression or anxiety, I would advise them to seek therapy and to also find someone they can really confide in and trust.
TIS: I loved the line, “it hurt so bad I forgot to adult.” I feel that. What do you think the hardest part about “adulting” is? How do you overcome it?
DX: Bills and a job can help you overcome that fairly easy. Honestly, responsibility and having to be properly organized is probably the hardest thing because I feel like humans are naturally lazy and suffer from some form of procrastination. Therefore, I would say do not wait. Whatever you need to get done get it done. The thing you think could take a while usually doesn’t take that long at all.
TIS: What are you hoping to accomplish with your music?
DX: I’m hoping to inspire people to be themselves and to feel a sense of happiness and joy. For me, that’s my goal within my music. Also to become rich and famous…
Suffering from things such as depression and anxiety while having no set goal for yourself is like being on a boat with no set destination. In the end, you’re just floating along with wherever the waves take you.
TIS: Can you tell me a little more about the “Give Love” shows?
DX: The “Give Love” show is meant to showcase all the talents of the artists within Give Love. Give Love is a music collective comprised of 5 artists, which includes myself, Diamond Browne (singer), Bizz (rapper), Miir (singer) and Keni Samoa (producer/milly rock champion).
TIS: Is there anything else you’d like for us to know? Upcoming events, releases, etc.?
DX: “Coming of Age” will be coming out in October. The release show for the EP is on October 13 at The Summit. Also the music video for “Free Your Soul” is in the works!
You can check out Devin Xo below.