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photo by Rebecca Karaman

Exclusive Interview with Xavier Toscano

Xavier Toscano “You Make Me Feel So Good” video link: 

1. Who are your biggest music influences?
There are so many, I wouldn’t even know where to start!  I think it is safe to say that I will always gravitate towards pop music. I love a tune that is cleverly crafted to become an ear-worm. One that becomes a part of your life wether you want to intentionally just listen to it or you just casually hum along as you’re grocery shopping.
2. What philosophies do you follow when it comes to songwriting?
I am not sure that I have one per say. Every song has had it’s own way to pop-up for me. I am very much a go with it and jump in head first kind of person. Perhaps, some would argue that I should be better prepared, but I like the feel of creating something spontaneously and organically by being inspired in the moment. I get a rush of discovering what I can come up with right then and there, and sometimes even at the last minute. Procrastination has sometimes been a source of motivation for me. I hate to admit it, but it’s pushed me to come up with songs fast sometimes.

3. Can you tell us about a little about “You Make Me Feel So Good”?
Sure! At the time of recording the song, I was working with a record label that I was a part of (unfortunately, it no longer exists), and they asked me if I would be open to collaborating with JoceLlien who they loved. As soon as I heard her voice, I was all in! She’s such an amazing vocalist! I took to the task of finding a producer to work on a track inspired by Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop ’till You Get Enough”, that song has always made me feel so good! 🙂 After the song was written, I sent the demo to JoceLien, soon after she sent us her vocals, and the rest is history.

4. Did you face any creative blocks when writing “You Make Me Feel So Good”? How about 
“Keeps It Tight” and “Castle in the Sky”?
-Yeah, it took several songwriting sessions to get “You Make Me Feel So Good” to where it felt like a song that I could release and perform for the world. Of all the songs in the album, it is the I am most proud of (for now, ad that may change).
-I wrote “Keeps It Tight” in about 20 minutes to a half hour. That song came to me pretty easy and I think it showcases a fun-loving side of my personality. All the songs I write are either based on experience or observation. This one in particular was just a figment of my imagination, I imagined myself as if I was a clubber who was out for love that night. It’s a few parts “player” and a few parts “silly”, and mostly danceable and fun.
-“Castles In The Sky” was very emotionally to write to. It is a song that I wrote thinking about my first serious relationship. I think everyone’s “first love” is quite intense, and also the most challenging in many ways. I tried to convey that in the song.

5. What was the experience like working on the “Keeps It Tight” music video?
Well, it was intense! We recorded the video in Los Angeles. Imaging having to fly yourself along with 6 dancers to LA just after a rehearsal, only to be met with tons of traffic and car rental delays at LAX. We got to bed right aroung 2AM, only to wake up at 5AM in order to make it to the set on time for hair and make-up. I am so surprised I was able to run a 12 hour shoot on 3 hours of sleep! It was intense, stressful, but also full of good times. Oh yeah, and after the shoot I drove approximately 6 hours back to San Francisco. Anything for my music, though!

6. Is “Castle in the Sky” about anyone in specific?
Yes! My first love (his name I am keeping to myself), whom I met when I was 19. We loved each other intensely and for a few years. Sadly, after I told him that this song was about us, he made sure to tell me that I was not his first love. LOL and ouch! But, such is life and perhaps there’s another song in there somewhere, so not all is lost.

7. What is your favorite line from “Castle in the Sky”?
“Who were we to think we could be happy”. I am always in great awe of people who say that they are high school sweethearts who’ve been married for a significant amount of time. And, if I am being honest, I would love to have my own family someday. Anyway, life can be really unfair and there are no guarantees that anything may or may not work out. While I am not being pessimistic, I am acknowledging that you get what you get sometimes in spite of who you think you may be or what you think you may deserve. So, there’s that. But, no regrets, since I learned a great deal and became a much better human from those experiences and learned that loving, no matter the outcome, is wonderful for the soul.

8. What is next for you?
Speaking of love songs, I just finished another music video that I will be releasing very soon. The song is called “The City Said”. I can say full-heartedly that this song is about the love of my life. I was in a relationship with a man who was heavily addicted to drugs and alcohol. He died the summer of 2022. We both met in San Francisco and had just moved there. But the city said it was going to destroy one of us. Look for that in about two weeks or so.
Thank you very much for having me!
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