MY INSPIRATION: XENNON | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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North East synthwave artist and producer XENNON releases his debut single this month; Hilt is taken from the forthcoming concept album which is inspired by sci-fi and fantasy movies. Having been previously based in Japan, but now calling the North East his home, XENNON’s sound is heavily influenced by the synth sounds of the 80s, shot through with a contemporary twist. Here, he talks about his inspirations behind his sound…

As soon as I discovered synthwave as a genre I became hooked. I think the first track that I heard was Gunship’s Tech Noir a few years back, and I instantly fell in love with not only the music but the whole aesthetic and nostalgic aspect of it. I think nostalgia is a big part of people’s love for the genre, hearing those sounds that take us back to the past.

I knew that when I started making this style of music that I wanted to create concept albums; fully fleshed out stories inspired by the ’80s and various aspects of the time. Just like my debut album Miami Cop (2019), this new album, Dark of a Distant World (2020) and the whole concept of it came from my love of sci-fi, fantasy and cyberpunk movies of the ’80s. In terms of the story, I wanted to write something that would be found in a number of sci-fi and fantasy movies of the era, whilst at the same time trying to relate it to elements of my own life experiences, so the song writing process still remained really personal to me. The lyrics in most of the tracks actually have a double meaning and call back to my own personal experiences that I’m sure many people can relate to, so if you want to listen to the album as a stand-alone record and not follow the story then that’s completely optional.

This particular track, Hilt, follows the main protagonist of the story as he becomes transported to a fantasy world on a grand yet perilous adventure, which can be reflected in the songs lyrics. However, the real meaning of the lyrics are about dealing with mental health and anxiety in particular, which I feel will resonate with a lot of people out there, especially in times like these.

I hope that people will enjoy it, and they’ll take something from it. I’m sure that the songs will have different meanings to them than to somebody else and even to myself, and that’s the beauty of music.




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