SuperCharged Residents Summer Series Mix 002 - KXVU 'Friends of Brighton'
Mix 002 in our summer series and this time we have chosen to shine a spotlight on one of Brighton's most influential upcoming artists making serious waves in the industry right now KXVU. We sat down with him for an informative Q&A after he recorded his 'Friends of Brighton' mix for us. Find out the inspiration behind the mix and just how KXVU has managed to establish himself in a highly competitive field.
SuperCharged (SC): Introduce yourself for those who don’t know you already, tell us a little about yourself?
KXVU: Hello there! First of all thank you for having me on, it’s usually me asking the questions these days and I was super excited when the email popped up!
So, a little about me, my name is Jay, I go by the stage name KXVU (pronounced Kovu), previously Mr Sleepz. I’ve been producing and DJing in Brighton for nearly 12 years now and have always been involved in the city's music scene in some way.
I’m one of the foundingmembers of Soapbox (spbx.co.uk), alongside being co-owner of Southpoint, Breakfast Show host and producer at Trickstar Radio, podcaster and writer for JunoDownload, head of content at threethousand.co.uk and I recently set up my YouTube channel which has been the main focus this year!
SC: You were a SuperCharged resident in your early DJ career, tell us about it!? How did it come about? How did you get the sets at such a young age?
KXVU: Ah yes this is a very fond memory, I think the first SuperCharged show I played was over 10 years ago at this point, I was either 15 or 16, I can’t quite remember the date to be precise, but I was definitely a youngen. It was back when SuperCharged was still Wednesday nights at Audio (now Patterns), with one headliner and two support acts either side. Watch here.
My friend Lee (EllFiveDee), who I had been playing B2B with around the city for a few months invited me down to go back to back with him, we smashed it the first night we played and it went from there really. We ended up supporting Borgore, Funtcase and loads more of those OG tearout dubstep heads. It was a madness looking back, I’ve actually got a clip from one of the later shows here, with me minus the beard! Watch here
SC: We love what you guys have been doing at Southpoint. Tell us a little about that and what you guys have been up to lately?
KXVU: Thank you for that firstly! Obviously lock-down has been a bit of an unusual time, but we were lucky enough to recently be taken on by Universal Music Group with a distribution and publishing deal, so we have spent most of our time getting all the behind the scene admin pieces in place for that to go ahead. Music wise, we have been taking in a lot of new producers and talent as we build up our roster for next year.
We’ve had some top quality releases drop from Movement, MPH, Hamdi, Echo Knight and loads of others on the Introducing channel as well. We love staying busy and you’re going to see a massive growth and expansion take place over the next few months, but more of that for next time!
SC: What have you been working on since lockdown started?
KXVU: I’ll be 100% honest and say that right from the beginning I wanted to use the time-frame as an opportunity to really hone in on my personal brand and what I can do for myself moving forward. I’m involved in a lot of different projects and platforms, so to have this extra time to focus on really pushing myself has been really useful. I was lucky enough to guest on Snoochie Shy’s 1Xtra show a couple of months ago, as well as on Razor’s Reprezent Show discussing time management and staying busy.
I’ve also done a few different live-streams for 3000 Bass whilst taking on a management role with UNDGROUND_UK, a Facebook production help group for discussing different techniques and tips music producers may find very useful. I’ve tried to keep my schedule pretty similar, hence setting up CubCamTV to continue my Breakfast Show every morning!
SC: So, what made you decide to focus on your youtube channel? You have a big presence on Trickstar radio too, has there been an overlap or did one lead into the other?
KXVU: To be honest they overlap perfectly. The CubCamTV channel was up already before I started running it properly, but I would never promote it. I would film the interviews I do on Breakfast every morning and primarily use the clips for social media, with the full versions going onto YouTube. The only difference now is that the show itself runs live through YouTube. It’s a really good additional tool to have, Tim Westwood has Tim Westwood TV, Charlie Sloth has Fire In The Booth, Chris Satta has Chris Satta TV, so I have CubCam. Watch here.
I’m a great believer that you should maximise your content, hence why the show goes out live via YouTube, then is also uploaded to Spotify, Apple Music & SoundCloud in podcast format. I think people have liked the homespun feel of me streaming my radio show from my room as well, to an extent anyway!
SC: How have you seen it grow? What content do people engage with the most?
KXVU: Reaction videos 1000000%. People love reactions, It’s never something I thought i would find myself doing but I genuinely really enjoy it. Thursday evenings are the day when everyone releases their music videos so it almost feels like I’m reporting on the news as I’m recording the reactions as soon as the music videos drop, then uploading them, then recording the next ones to make sure mine are the first ones to hit the net. I try to take quite an analytical approach as well, breaking down the sounds within tracks and the artistry, which with my background in reviewing and A&Ring tends to come across quite well!
SC: Has Djing or hosting events taken a backseat for you with your success in other areas growing?
KXVU: It’s a tricky one because some of my best shows have happened during the period of time I’ve been heading up the Breakfast Show. I was lucky enough to be invited on a tour around the alps playing a few headline shows abroad which was mind boggling, along with two headline slots in Brighton and a couple of wicked support slots.
The only difference is that there aren’t as many shows as I’m a very energetic performer which means I don’t tend to suit warm up slots as much anymore, which is fine. I’m always keen to perform though, DJing is my first love and there really is no feeling like it when you have the place rocking!
SC: Who are your 3 favourite artists right now?
KXVU: If we are talking Brighton-based, I’d say Movement and Mofaux are two of the most exciting heads to watch. I’m always buzzing to see them put new bits out there.
It is obviously difficult to leave out Bushbaby however so unfortunately you’re going to be getting four from me, with El-Laurie being a super exciting new 140 talent we have locked in for a few Introducing releases before the year is out.
SC: What other things are you currently up to that people might not know about?
KXVU: To be honest it seems to change every day! I think If I was to give myself a USP it would be that there aren’t many things I don’t do within this industry, from press releases to mastering to radio shows to podcasts.
I’m mid-way through a bit of mashed together campaign to get myself a show on 1Xtra for a regular show, which has received a fair bit of attention across social media, so for anyone reading, jump on Twitter or IG and @1Xtra telling them why I should get a show!
SC: What are your future plans and goals?
KXVU: There are definitely a few pretty obvious ones, 1Xtra being top of that pile. I’m really keen to continue growing the channel, we hit 500 subscribers in less than 100 days, so of course the aim is to get to 1000 in even less time - you can subscribe here: youtube.com/cubcamtv - As well as that, I am yet to have a piece of written work published to print, which is something I would be really keen on having happen this year or next.
I’m really keen to play some festivals next year as well. The main thing for me is to continue to put Brighton on the map. This city is everything to me and one of my life goals is to have my name as one of those influential Brighton people you see on buses haha!
SC: Any advice for anyone looking to start a career or progress their career in our industry?
KXVU: My advice would be two things. Firstly, everything takes time. The foundations of an idea are what keep it afloat when the next trend comes along, so do the groundwork, dig in deep and become grounded in what you do, then when you grow, if you happen to fall, you won’t have that far to climb to get back to where you were.
Secondly, do favours. My motto in this music game is that if everyone owes you a favour, you can rule the world for a day, and I live by that.
SC: Finally, It takes a lot of time and effort to grow multiple different avenues and platforms like you have, so big up, it’s great to see a Brighton head make some breakthrough success. What would the single most valuable advice or lesson you have learnt be? If you could tell the 16 year old you one thing today, what would it be?
KXVU: Thank you for the kind words! The support over the last few weeks in-particular has been ridiculous, so thank you to everyone who has sent over a kind message!
If i was to meet my 16 year old self, I would say, “For love of everything, don’t stop”.
There were a lot of periods where I was younger where it did all feel a bitpointless, but in the long run, the catalogue of your experiences, contacts and knowledge is what your career can be built from and that definitely feels like what has happened with myself!
You can listen to KXVU 'Friends of Brighton' Mix he recorded exclusively for SuperCharged below or over on our Soundcloud channel.