Photo Credit: XYLØ Twitter
With over a million hits on Soundcloud, a stellar EP, a number of singles, and a feature on a song by the Chainsmokers, XYLØ is on the rise. This American brother and sister duo consists of lead vocalist and songwriter Paige Duddy and musician and songwriter Chase Duddy. The pair went from being an internet sensation to working with the chart-topping group the Chainsmokers in the span of only a few years. With their emotional electro-pop sound and a newly released single, XYLØ is becoming one to watch in the music industry.
Despite being siblings, the decision to form a music group did not come quickly. Chase was busy working on adverts and writing musical compositions for brands, and he was co-writing with some other songwriters when he began to get bored of composing instrumentals. He invited his sister Paige over to a writing session and as he remembers, “she almost didn’t come, because she was mad at me at the time,” but their working together has surely paid off.
In this internet-driven age, it didn’t take long for Chase and Paige to get noticed. After posting their song online, they received a huge positive, and somewhat unexpected, reaction that “motivated us to keep getting together and working together.” Chase notes that it’s hard to judge whether or not a song will elicit a good response, but, “we really got validation from the fans online.”
XYLØ’s first self-released song, “America,” was actually written for a Kendall and Kylie Jenner campaign with Pacsun, a clothing company. The track soon hit over 1.5 million listens on Soundcloud and scored the number one spot on Hype Machine, a website that shares new and interesting music. Chase and Paige realized that they had something special, and they “got [their] ducks in a row by getting a manager, a lawyer, and a publicist who specialized in representing DJs and electronic artists online.” The duo’s following grew rapidly. They caught the attention of a popular YouTube channel/music producer MrSuicideSheep, which expanded their fan base even more because “they’re basically tastemakers for electronic music.” When asked about getting discovered in the vast online world of music, Chase answered, “I believe the cream always rises to the top. Eventually, if you have something good, you’ll get discovered.” This has proven true for XYLØ, and it continues to apply to more and more talented artists who are emerging with online fan bases.
Many musicians dream of getting signed to a record label, but the reality of the major label system is often different from what artists expect. Posting music independently on Noisetrade and Soundcloud is a way to have total control over releasing songs, and these music platforms also serve as an outlet to build a following for very little money. Now, after signing with Sony Music, there are many more people involved with making decisions, so being able to grow online and build a brand independently before getting thrown into a major record label was a perfect start for the duo.
Paige and Chase come from a musical family, and their grandfather’s license plate is actually what inspired the group’s name. Their grandfather, Joe Porcaro, was a professional percussionist and jazz drummer who played on multiple film and television soundtracks from the 60s to the late 90s. Chase explains that “he’s literally the reason that we’re musicians.” When everyone in the studios started getting custom license plates, their grandfather chose ‘XYLO’ – short for xylophone. The name resonated with them, and they liked the idea of honoring their grandfather’s influence on their lives.
At the beginning of 2016, XYLØ released their first EP containing all of the singles they had come out with so far. After the EP’s release, the duo hit the road on an American tour in support of it. Since then, XYLØ has released a number of singles including“Dead End Love,” “Get Closer,” and most recently “I Still Wait For You.” They also used their success to make a statement with the track “Fool’s Paradise” – a commentary on the current U.S. political climate.
The group describes their sound as “dark alternative pop” and along with the hip hop-inspired beats, XYLØ’s music appeals to a broad audience. Paige’s breathy and passionate voice has been compared to the likes of Lana Del Rey and Lorde.
Last year, XYLØ was featured on a song with The Chainsmokers, who have been dominating the pop and EDM scenes in recent months. Chase explains that the EDM duo helped launch XYLØ, recalling that “Drew is the one who kind of discovered us and shared our music with Adam, their manager, who actually signed us at Sony.” The musicians had been in touch with each other for a while before they collaborated, and they often talked about working together. One day, The Chainsmokers finally sent over a track. Chase remembers sending back a rough demo and waiting a few months before getting a call to come into the studio to record the song together.
Getting the chance to work with The Chainsmokers was an exciting moment for XYLØ. It was inspiring to be in their presence because “they’re on fire right now,” as Chase says. “It was so cool for Paige and me to be around that high energy.” Well, that energy clearly rubbed off on XYLØ, who have continued to rise in fame over the past few months.
Their “Get Closer” music video, released in late 2016, is emotional and intense. In the video, Paige is seen trying to reason with her love interest as they slowly become more and more distant. The chemistry between the two girls is captivating. The neon lights, lasers, and fog all play into the emotion behind the lyrics, and add to the energy of the visuals.
Paige and Chase embody a classic musical success story. They have rocketed from obscurity to major recognition in the matter of months, and their dark melodies and atmospheric pop make them stand out among their peers. XYLØ’s journey has been full of surprises, and we can’t wait to see what happens next.
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