Xavier Leon

Tell us about you and your music. My name is Xavier Leon, and I produce music under various monikers, most prominently these days as Sibian & Faun with my best friend Milo Reinhardt. Our project is under constant progression fueled by our loves and interests in electronic and forward thinking music. In short, I suppose I can say we make Bass music, but personally that title does little to establish any accurate description, especially since our output has been so diverse since the project's inception. Sibian & Faun is essentially the culmination of a musical relationship which started in our mid teens and has now been given the opportunity to flourish to its full potential. My other projects include Red Scare which focuses on the link between ambient/noise and beat driven music, Growing Pains which is largely sample based/sound collage experiments, Young River, Americana/doom influenced recordings and music under my own name which varies from singer-songwriter material to future R&B.

What attracted to you music and more specifically to your sound? Coming from Venezuelan origins, I was surrounded by a lot of rhythmic and percussive music from a very young age. With Sibian & Faun and my latest solo works, I have unearthed my love for very percussively driven music, experimenting with dynamics and intricacies within beats that are generally unfamiliar to me. There's always a learning and growing process with every new tune or beat that I make and that is honestly one of the most exciting aspects of music making at the moment.

A lot of artists are now slash artists and you have been describe as such (i.e. instrumentalist/DJ/producer/vocalist). Do you see yourself as more one than the rest? Everything that I create musically falls under the umbrella of being a producer. Whether I'm writing on guitar, experimenting on the computer, or singing melodies under my breath, I will always have the same mindset and aesthetic towards the production of the music. Even if there is such a disparity in sound and influence, the emotion always comes from the same origin and evokes the same essence.

What's it like performing live in your hometown? Montreal is so filled with supportive, caring and talented people that whether you play to 100 people at a club or to 15 of your best friends in your kitchen, the experience is always incredibly satisfying and overwhelmingly positive.

What do you hope to achieve with your musical projects? My main push to make music is purely self-indulgence. I make music because it is what makes me the happiest. My personal aspirations towards music are fairly simple. I look forward to the day where I make a tune or an album that I am completely satisfied with in every aspect of its composition and production. This has proven very difficult to date. A secondary aspect which comes through making music and which is of very high importance to me, is the involvement that one has with musical peers, be it musicians, promoters or listeners. To give back to a community of people who have not only inspired me to start producing in the first place, but who have offered unconditional support for the continual production of music in a positive direction is a blessing that will never fade.

What made you apply to Red Bull Music Academy? I have always wanted to be completely immersed  in musical creation, exploration, collaboration and inspiration. This is what I saw in the Red Bull Music Academy.

What do you know about Madrid? I know very little about Madrid having never been there nor read much about it's history. My ancestors are partly Basque so maybe they spent some time in Madrid and would have something to say about it. On a side note, I doubt I'll be participating in their cultural practice of siesta, but I will surely participate in their practice of staying up all night.

Can you describe your reaction when you realized you were selected? I was already light headed from the heat wave when my eyes blurred over the words "That's why we are extremely honored to invite you to join Term One of the Academy in Madrid." I nearly fainted. I composed myself and read over the phrase several times to ensure that I had indeed been accepted into the Academy and that I wasn't simply a casualty of humidity and dehydration. I called my parents immediately after.

What are your musical must haves (equipment) when traveling? If I'm heading to a location which is privileged with electrical power, my bare necessity is my laptop. If not, a guitar would be more than sufficient.

Who can you not stop listening to at the moment? The new Machinedrum record Room(s) has been on constant playback. I also have a lot of love for this kid Lapalux from Essex who releases on Pictures Music. He is making some of the most forward thinking and emotional music I have heard this year. I am also consistently being blown away by my two dear friends David Martinez and William Osiecki who produce together as Shortsacked and play in the band Glass Works Coastal.

Describe your music in three words. My friend Charley just wrote to me; the word emotive just came to my head. I feel your music is very emotive. I think I would agree with that. My other friend Felipe has always described my music as earnest and an extension of my personalty. That is probably the nicest characteristic and compliment I could ever be given. I think my friend Dave one told me that I make koala-punched induced music. For the sake of this interview, I'll take his word for it. As you can see, my friends have a far better way with words than I do.

Follow Xavier on Twitter -  @sibianandfaun

To hear music from Xavier Leon, click here




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