2016 was a huge year for X Ambassadors, as they were nominated for two Billboard Music Awards and a American Music Award, their single “Unsteady” went RIAA 2x Platinum, and they were featured on the soundtrack Suicide Squad in the standout single “Sucker for Pain” with Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, Imagine Dragons, Logic and Ty Dolla $ign. We had the awesome opportunity to talk with Casey of X Ambassadors and ask him a few questions about their music and about performing at the Pot of Gold Music Festival this Saturday.
1. We know that you guys have a special love for Hip-Hop, if you could do a collaboration with any Hip-Hop artists or group who would it be?
Honestly, my first choice would probably be J Cole right now. I love a lot of the hip-hop coming out these past couple years, but I’ve been listening to a bunch of him recently. I really love the work he did with a full jazz band on his last record, and I think we could collaborate in some very interesting ways. Much respect to the man.
2. Is it difficult to fuse Hip-hop & Soul into your style of music or do you find that the genres blend more seamlessly than one may think?
I don’t think any of us really ever think about it like that . Sometimes Sam will ask me to come up with some piano parts “like old time soul songs,” but that’s about the extent of how much we think about genres. It’s more like we just write/play things that we like the sound of, and I guess that just naturally includes hip-hop, soul, jazz, etc.
3. If there was a person that was unfamiliar with your work, what project would you recommend they listen to first?
If you haven’t heard our music before and want to start, definitely pick up a copy of VHS. It’s our first full length album. We really put a lot of work into making sure it represented us in all our different tastes and styles. It’s an album all about how we all grew up and became who we are today, and basically how the whole band thing got started. Also, we’ve released VHS 2.0, which stays pretty true to the original, but with some extra songs we are also pretty proud of.
4. What’s is your favorite aspect about performing at the Pot of Gold Music Festival?
We’ve never played Pot of Gold before, so we’re really looking forward to it. From all we’ve read and heard, it’s going to be a really dope time, and we’re expecting an amazing crowd. Festivals are a lot of fun to play, since everyone is there for the music. Audiences tend to be really open and receptive to music they’ve never heard before, so it’s one of the best types of show to win over new fans. We always try to kick as much ass on stage as humanly possible, and we get a big energy boost from a great crowd. It’s going to be awesome.
Check out X Ambassadors this Saturday at the Pot of Gold Music Festival in Chandler, AZ!