Junior's Cave Music Interview with Xavier ToscanoMusic Now Spotlight
February 2011 Edition
February 2011 Edition
by Isaac Davis Junior, BGS, MBA
Indie Pop Singer/Songwriter/Musician Xavier Toscano is a first rate performer who knows how to entertain the masses. Toscano has had a longtime love affair with music and his own music shows his love for the industry. He is also working as an actor and dancer, and his electrifying music videos are just a sample of his amazing work. In this spotlight with our website, Xavier Toscano reveals his passion and love for music and dance. Enjoy!
Isaac: It’s an amazing time to be a DIY artist/performer/band/musician. What do you enjoy the most about being an indie performer?
Xavier: Thanks for having me, Isaac. I'm very glad to be able to share my musical experiences with your readers.
It is an amazing time; for sure! We're seeing just how the Internet has revolutionized the industry and actually put the artist more in charge of their career. I really enjoy the fact that I am able to make my own decisions about what I like to hear and what sort of sound and message I can convey without having it filtered.
Isaac: If you had an opportunity to sign with a major label, would you sign now knowing you may have to give up some of what you have build up over the years about you in the process?
Xavier: You know, that is hard to say... I am really not sure. I suppose I would sign with the label that offered the best deal. Or at least the one that offered the best tour support. I enjoy myself the most when I am live.
And, you are totally correct, signing a 360 deal, as they call it, would mean that I would have to give up a lot of my ownership -which I have worked really hard to build. Overall, I think I would be excited to be able to give my music the major exposure that labels can offer, though. Let's face it; they have the money and connections to make a career take off, that I could not reach without years and years of work. So it can be a good trade-off.
Isaac: I remembered Simon Cowell from American Idol talking about the “it” Factor that makes a musician/band stand out. What do you think is your “it” factor that makes you stand out from others in the music business?
Xavier: This question makes me wonder that myself. I would have to say, that I'm at my best when I perform live. Or at least, that is when I get the best response from my audience. There is no substitute in my mind for connecting with people directly. I seem to connect with people better in person than any other medium.
Isaac: Why should music fans listen to your music? Describe what they are going to get when they listen to your music?
Xavier: I'm all about having a good time, so most of my songs are dance oriented. But there is also variety in the themes that I choose to write about. So I think that people would get a song for almost any occasion. I want to be able to connect with people and give them a soundtrack to add to their lives. I suppose they will get that when they listen; a song for every occasion.
Isaac: Briefly describe your humble beginnings that led you to where you are at musically now.
Xavier: And in fact, my beginnings are truly humble! I couldn't find a note if I had a map, flashlight and signs all along the way! LOL
I started recording songs in a basement with a producer in Oakland. He was too kind and patient with me. But as I began to get feedback about my music, I started to work harder on improving and to this day, I still have a coach and I listen attentively to feedback. I refuse to stall or forsake my growth as an artist or individual.
Isaac: You have some strong iconic influences. Of these influences, which artist/band do you relate to the most and why?
Xavier: I relate to all of them for different reasons... I don't think I could answer this question to be honest, without going in to a long thing about it... I'll spare you.
But the thing that I'm most inspired, by iconic music figures is their strength and capacity to go beyond the norm. They're all "crazy" in a sense. Their work ethic and energy is indefatigable! They work(ed) well beyond the norm and it shows in the way which people respond to them.
Isaac: Do you feel that Indie music gets the respect it deserves? Why or why not?
Xavier: I think that all artists start indie, and they all have to prove themselves before getting respect. Of course, you'll never have 100% approval, but in the end, you get what you give. So, it's a case by case kind of thing, I think.
Isaac: If you could change one thing about the music business, what would it be and why?
Xavier: You know, I can only talk about my own experience. And to be honest with you, everything that I have done to this point, and every event -including some really hard ones- have made me a better artist overall, so at this time I don't think I would change anything about the business. It has all helped me become better.
Isaac: What type of feedbacks have you been receiving about your music from fans and music critics?
Xavier: It so varied! I've learned to take it all in stride... Some people praise you; others say nothing, while others swear you are the most awful thing you've ever heard. LOL
I just try to do the best in the moment and give as much as I can. Singing live though is where is get the most positive feedback and nothing is better than seeing people have a good time while you're in action. I think that is the best hands down! And live shows are where I get the best feedback and encouragement.
Isaac: If you knew that you would never gain fame and fortune with what you are doing now, would you continue to make music? Explain.
Xavier: Yes, I would! I would not want to do anything else with my life. I would rather be dead than not be involved with music, and that is a serious statement.
Isaac: How do you handle negative feedback or negative energy about your music?
Xavier: I don't. When I first started, I would get myself down. It was from a lack of confidence. But I never gave up on myself and I continued to push myself for better results. Eventually, 10 negative comments where followed by 2. Then 5 out of 5, then more and more kindness. But it's singing live when I really seem to connect with people.
I don't handle negative feedback anymore. I just don't give it energy. That's not to say that I don't listen to constructive criticism, but I've learned to weed out the stuff that doesn't deserve time.
Isaac: What role do your family and friends play in the equation of your pursuant of a music career?
Xavier: You know, my family is really supportive. But they know me, so to them I am the same ol' guy they've known for years. And the same with my friends. But I have been very lucky because I have had a lot of support on different occasions from both family and friends. Yeah, I'm really lucky that way actually. From time to time, I have had both friends and family come through with favors and other types of support.
Isaac: What is the best site/s that you can be found on the Internet?
My web site: http://www.xaviertoscano.com
-It's everything about my music. Thanks for asking.
Isaac: The floor is yours; final words…..
Xavier: THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR TAKING THE TIME! I hope your readers enjoy what they hear.