Dance, Electronic, Hip Hop, Pop
Slumberjack, Mura Masa, Flume, Flying Lotus
Kendrick Lamar, Ybn Cordae, J Cole, Flume, Cashmere Cat, Slumberjack, Mr. Bill, Schoolboy Q, Kill the Noise, Virtual Riot, Ski Mask, Skrillex, Koan Sound
Aaron James, aka XMPLA has been making a name for himself with his genre-defying sound which combines an array of vocals and electronic production. The Sydney-based producer, singer, songwriter burst onto the scene in 2017 after winning the 301 Studios ‘Is It A Banger’ competition and becoming runner up in the YourShot DJ competition. Following this, Aaron signed his first label with Tinted Records and went on to release his first track with the label, ‘Better’.
XMPLA's debut release ‘Better’ sparked the ears of the industry with the tracks compelling vocals and production, of which are all done by Aaron himself. XMPLA amalgamates all of life’s different stories by weaving his voice in and out of various characters. In the latter half of 2018 XMPLA went on to release ‘Sun Goes Down’, a bouncy, future bass track that builds on XMPLA’s use of various vocal techniques, while also exploring more traditional songwriting structure. The release quickly became a favourite on triple j and led him to being a ‘feature artist’ on Triple j Unearthed.
Last year he ventured out and worked on many collaborations with four singles, ‘Excited’, ‘Big Kids’ and 'That's How I Be', also partnering up with Qld artist Doolie for their edgy pop/future bass release, 'No Game'. Now coming into 2020 with a fresh palette, new perspective and hunger for innovation, XMPLA is ready take on a new chapter and dive deeper into his musical journey.
Sydney producer, rapper and vocalist, XMPLA is this week's triple j Unearthed Feature Artist. He's been blowing our minds with his voice munipulation techniques, delivering stories and music that's unique, clever and forward thinking.
Tell us about your music. How did you develop your sound?
I developed my sound from dabbling in different styles of electronic music over the past 5 years. I try to make everything from scratch and limit the amount of sound packs and presets that I use. At the moment I am feeling influenced by hip-hop, and the hybrids of r&b, soul, funk and disco.
What’s your greatest source of inspiration for making music?
I draw from anything that is happening in my life at the time. It might be a particular sound or interaction I've had. Anything stimulating can spark a song.
What can punters expect from a XMPLA live show?
You can expect a lot of head bopping, new and original music, mixed with live percussion and maybe i'll bust out a few dance moves.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given and who was it from?
To keep believing in myself and remember what i have already acomplished. My mate gave me this advice when I was stuck in a rut and having doubts about my next song release.
What Australian track would you play to cheer up someone who was crying?
I would say 'Streamers' by Wave Racer. It's a straight up get happy song!
What Australian track would you play to someone to make them cry?
I can speak from experience, I showed a mate 'when words fail, music speaks' by Wombat, and he cried. I think the words in the song are really relatable and struck a nerve.
You’re the DJ at a party. The dance floor is pumping. What Australian track do you put on next?
'Felon' by Slumberjack.
What was the last local gig you went to? How was it?
I went to see Sammi Constantine recently at the Malborough Hotel in Newtown, it was great to see Aussie artists absolutely killing it and bringing live drums and guitar to electronic music.
Tell us about the bands or people in the Sydney music community that inspire you.
There are so many people that inspire me! Kwame, Manu Crooks and The Kid Laroi are making some big waves. Great to see good hip-hop coming out of Sydney!
What are your plans for the rest of 2018 and 2019?
This year has flown by. I just want to finish a couple of tracks while I get ready for the holiday season! And for 2018, I'm aiming to release an EP mid year and working on some XMPLA merch! I want to work with more rap artists and hit up America and Japan to discover some of the culture and sounds over there!