Yxngxr1 | 5 Minutes With

The last school bell rings, and you cross the doorsill for the last time after walking through it every day for years. Now, you’re “off to the real world,” they say. With all the resources we can access, you may feel ready and prepared, but no one ever is. Cardiff-based DIY artist Yxngxr1 reflects on the inevitable isolation of growing up in his new EP ‘where has everyone gone.’

Yxngxr1 is known for his dreamy blend of warm nostalgic lo-fi, and hard-hitting hip-hop that resembles the late summer sun-kissed evenings of burning desire to live and chase whatever makes our heart tingle. The stand-out tracks of ‘where has everyone gone,’ ‘Something Else,’ ‘Downtown LA,’ and ‘my mom told me about u,’ transcribe Yxngxr1’s talent for seamless genre-bending and lyrical expression of falling in love and the chaos surrounding it.

Born and raised in Cardiff, Yxngxr1 entered the scene and created an instant buzz in 2019 with his debut DIY record, ‘Tyler,’ while behind the scenes, he was offering shoe recommendations at Footlocker at his post-school job.

For a majority of twenty-something wondering souls, ‘where has everyone gone’ hits the spot for tortured young minds, sky-is-the-limit dreamers, who, despite life’s hurdles, always find a way to smile and romanticize the hell out of everything.

As much as he lives at the moment, YXngxr1 is onto the next thing, a new chapter of his lo-fi sorcery, creating underground soundtracks for our daydreams. He opens up about his infatuation with Mac Demarco, collaboration with Tim Atlas, and focus track ‘All her traits.’

Congratulations on the release of your new EP ‘where has everyone gone’, how did you celebrate?

I don’t usually celebrate releases hahaha weirdly enough, it’s always onto the next thing. I love making music so much and i’m very luckily I can do what I love for a living. Although we did do a listening party on discord (shoutout to the discord gang).

If ‘where has everyone gone’ could be a soundtrack for a movie, what would be your dream pick?

WHAT A QUESTION! I reckon maybe some coming of age film. Mid 90’s would be a vibe. Diary of a wimpy kid possibly? hahahaha

What are the main themes you’re touching upon in this project?

It’s very love/ feelings based, it’s mainly my thoughts right this second. It was nice just being able to express myself in a couple of songs that had no real creative to it. It was literally just my brain spewing words essentially.

What are some things you absolutely love and hate about growing up?

I love looking back at things i’ve done as a kid. Holidays, School, Playing out with the boys. But then also the sadness of looking back knowing you’ll never be that young again.

Could you tell us how you came up with your stage name?

Honestly I have no clue. I really wish I had a proper answer for it. I wanted X’s in my name but I have no idea why I chose ‘younger one’ to abbreviate like that hahaha.

You dropped your debut single ‘Tyler’ back in 2019 when you were still working at Footlocker, how was it juggling school, after school job and starting up your career?

Luckily I had left school before I decided I wanted to do music. I would put all my money from work into marketing the music. I remember seeing 250 plays come in one night and it was the most exciting thing ever. It was funny to the amount of hate I would get, then have to go serve people shoes the next day.

What made ‘Tyler’ special enough for your debut release?

There was something about it. I felt it. I remember showing my sister and saying “this song is gonna do something, I can feel it”, which is strange to look back on now. There was something about that song that just felt right.

Who is your current biggest inspiration in your personal and professional life?

Right now, Mac Demarco. I’ve been watching his live sets for about a month now and how he carries himself on stage. I think he’s fucking sick!

What is your new focus track ‘All her traits’ featuring Tim Atlas inspired by?

George Moir and myself had a session down where he lives. I had this chord progression idea and we recorded it in. It was meant to be a very lo-fi pop song, but turned into this masterpiece. We listened to it all weekend when we made it. It was crazy.

How did you link up with Tim Atlas?

I messaged him on Instagram! He’s a cool geezer! The verse he sent though was so gorgeous. We listened to it in the office and it just sounded mad different. It was just so beautiful.

Are you going to be playing shows or festivals this year?

Not that I know of! But I definitely want to! I really wanna play with a live band too!

Who would you love to share a stage with?

Mac Demarco!!!

Could you recommend us some new/old music Noctis readers should be listening to?

JW Francis. George Moir. Lily Potter. 3 truly amazing artist!!!

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Words: Karolina Kramplova
Photography: Cosmo Rush
Styling: Vanessa Davinia
Grooming: Sigurveig Þórmundsdóttir