You’d never know that Marcel Everett is the kid next door. At only 16, the Florida native is on the cutting edge of production, seamlessly blurring the murky lines between dubstep, chillwave, trap rap, and other genres. Journalists have a hard time pegging Everett down. “‘Post-Internet’ is probably my favorite,” he says of attempts to define his music’s genre.
Everett just purchased a new controller from eBay in preparation for his upcoming showcase in New York tonight. He sounded a little nervous and more than enthusiastic when he took our phone call from his grandmother’s neighborhood in south Florida, where he was taking a walk.
HOMETOWN: Orlando, FL
LOCATION AT TIME OF INTERVIEW: I’m in my grandma’s neighborhood, just walking around. There’s two condoms on the ground, just chilling in the street. I’m taking a picture and putting it on Twitter as soon as I get off the phone. These condoms are definitely used and old. There’s some sort of mold collecting. Brownish-orange. It’s really gross.
PICKING A NAME: There’s no actual meaning, to be completely honest with you. For some reason, everyone thinks I picked the name because I love XXXY. And I didn’t know he existed until a few months ago.
WORST DESCRIPTION OF YOUR MUSIC: “Contemporary blogwave.” I can’t tell if that’s an insult. “Chillwave” over and over and over again. “witchstep,” “drugtune,” and “Miami blow.” What is “Miami blow”? I’m not from Miami, and I don’t do coke. [laughs]
BEST DESCRIPTION OF YOUR MUSIC: I guess it would be “experimental bass.” Because I’ll experiment with different filters, effects, synths, and make a song out of it.
STARTING FROM THE BEGINNING: I make all my own synths from scratch. I also try to experiment with different sounds; darker sounds. With “TIED2U”, for instance, I was experimenting with what could make a track moodier. Also, I don’t remember the last song I made when I wasn’t stoned.
ROLLING THE PERFECT BLUNT: The trick is getting the weed even.
BEING STONED AT PANERA BREAD: I got like six or seven coffees. I didn’t really notice until I was blazed that my senses were heightened. There was a richness to the coffee. I could taste the hazelnut in it, if it’s dark… it’s not gross.
FIRST SHOW: There were 2,000 people attending—it was at this festival. I was freaking out. I was outside, squinting in front of my laptop. And sweating. So I took these amphetamines, and things got really euphoric. And then FL Studio crashed. I had to play one of my songs from iTunes! I was dancing around a little bit. It was ridiculous.
DANCE ROUTINES: I can’t “cook.” I try! Grant, this guy on my label, he can definitely cook. He cooks so well! He’s like, a master chef. I call him “The Master Chef.” I can’t do two-step, either. All I can do is whatever my body lets me do, and I’m pretty sure those moves don’t have names. I do dance alone when I’m in my room, which I’m sure makes things even worse. [laughs]
PLAYING IN NEW YORK: It’s supposed to be a big show, because I’m playing with celebrities, and I love celebrities! I’m playing with artists I have in my iTunes. I’m probably gonna half-ass it.
VISITING BROOKLYN: When I went to New York for the first time, I went [to Brooklyn]. It was pretty much what I expected, but better. It was The Weeknd’s fashion week. It was fun.
BROMANCE WITH MISTER LIES: Yeah, we’re really dumb together. We joke around all the time on Facebook. He’s a pretty close friend, I just might work with him at some point. He’s like, “What’s it going to be like?” I’m like, “I don’t know.” Probably something moody.
BEING MISTAKEN FOR JAMES BLAKE: If you look on Dubstep Forum, there’s all these people saying I’m trying too hard to be James Blake. And I don’t think they realize that James Blake is a pianist! He’s also a singer-songwriter. His whole album is singing. I mean, there aren’t even any lyrics in my songs!
HATERS: You have no idea how many comments I delete. [pauses] My uncle just told me the best thing. And if you could, please quote this. “That’s what haters are; they’re your biggest fans. They love you, they just don’t know how to express it.”
OVERCOMING JEALOUSY: I hated Grimes. Before I even listened to her music, I hated her. I tried listening to some of her songs a little more, and I just thought she was super generic in every single way. When she shot to fame, I saw it as a marketing campaign, like Lana Del Rey. But then, I finally realized, I’m just jealous. Once I up and removed myself from all that jealousy and listened, I started to dig it. There’s a lot of beef and jealousy in music. And that’s a real cancer to the music industry in general.
THE FUTURE: Have you heard of JMSN? I don’t know, he’s been called similar to The Weeknd. But somehow he got Usher’s recognition. And I’m going to be working with this guy! An Usher-approved vocalist. Working my way up.
XXYYXX PLAYS TONIGHT AT THE KITSUNE AMERICA COMPILATION RELEASE PARTY IN NEW YORK. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE ARTIST, PLEASE VISIT HIS WEBSITE.