Just turned 17 years old and already making a name for himself in the music scene, Florida kid Marcel Everett, also known by his stage name XXYYXX, gained massive internet recognition after a fan-made music video for his track ‘About You’ was uploaded on YouTube and hit one million views in just a couple of months. With hot girls smoking blunts in animal masks shot in slow mo, and slow deep synth droning in the background, it’s no surprise why the blogosphere ate it up readily. Since then, Marcel has just embarked on his first European tour, which is pretty huge for someone who hasn’t even reached 18 yet, but then again, can we even be surprised by such young talents anymore? We talk to the genre-ambiguous bedroom musician about where he finds inspiration, teenage life and what it’s like to be Internet Famous…
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where did you grow up, what was your childhood like? My name is Marcel, I’m 16 years old and I turn 17 on October 31st. I kind of think my childhood went awkwardly [laughs]. Growing up I have always been really bad at talking to people so it was hard to make friends. I had friends but it was just weird, I played a lot of sports. The one I actually cared about was football and I bombed basketball. That was a nightmare.
When did you start making music? I stopped being in bands and just began making my own music like a little more than a year ago I’d say. I had been tampering with DAWs [Digital Audio Workstations] and such for about a year or so beforehand so I was a little comfortable with the software at the point I starting trying to make actual songs.
You’ve achieved so much at such a young age, do you ever take a moment during your day and just reflect on how far you’ve come? Are you surprised? I think it’s just now starting to hit me that I’m sort of starting to make a name for myself. I can’t say I’ve reflected on it but I’m kind of shocked that I’m able to go play in all these different places. I’m really thankful for it no doubt; it’s just really new to me.
How did you feel when ‘About You’ hit one million hits on YouTube? I freaked out! I had no idea that something having to do with me would ever kind of go ‘viral’. It was a proud moment really, I was especially proud of Jeff Vash for making the video. The whole entire project was well done it just made me so happy.
Music, art and fashion usually coincide together. Who are your favourite fashion designers or artists? Do any of these people inspire your music? Fashion designers: Hedi Slimane, Raf Simons, Rick Owens, Damir Doma and Jean Touitou, to name a few. I agree; they all play a part in inspiring my music in some way.
You’re just about to embark on your first European tour, how exciting! How do you feel? I’m so excited! I want to meet all of my fans from all over the world. I have a feeling I can get a lot of photography done by traveling all over Europe as well. It’s a pretty hectic schedule though, back to back every day but it sounds totally worth it. So many countries I’ve wanted tovisit and experience all these years and now I’m playing in them!
What are some of your worries about going on tour/visiting new countries? A lot of people have been making jokes about me dying for some reason so that’s building some paranoia? I don’t know. Mainly the manners thing, different cultures clashing with mine. I don’t want to be the kind of guy who does something disrespectful by accident.