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Pigeon: Hey, super nice to have the chance to chat with he guitarist and producer of XY BIRD. First and foremost what got you into music, Alex? And what does "M'akoma mu toffee" mean?

XY BIRD (Alex): Most likely family; either my mum's love of traditional Irish music, or my brother introducing me to Busta Rhymes as a 7 year old. M'akoma mu toffee is a Twi (a Ghanaian language) phrase that means the toffee/sweetness inside my heart. We really enjoy the poetic and saccharine nature of this simple phrase.

Pigeon: That line seems pretty damn sweet! Jesus, Busta Rhymes at 7?!That must've been brutal, I heard him for the first time when I was 20 years old... And what’s your favorite 50’s artist?

XY BIRD (Alex): Chet Atkins - probably in the top 3 guitar players of all time. I feel like he has made some of the most listenable and atmospheric instrumental music ever recorded.

Pigeon: To be honest I'm not familiar with Chet Atkins yet, but I'll be sure to check it out! Surely, you telling me to check out Chet is good advice. What’s the best advice you ever gave?

XY BIRD (Alex): Find a job that you hate and you will live forever.

Pigeon: My life is going to be short, since I love my work promoting underground artists with musosoup. How is your musosoup experience going?

XY BIRD (Alex): Musosoup is great. It's more admin heavy than some of the other promo services, but there's something slightly more validating about the artist being the one who is approached rather than feeling like you are pestering people to listen to your music.

Pigeon: That's fair. And What’s your favorite 50’s album?

XY BIRD (Alex): Chuck Berry is on Top - Chuck Berry (1959). Best track - Maybellene.

Pigeon: The blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice of the 50's! And who would you most like to collaborate with?

XY BIRD (Alex): The Cavemen. They're such an anomaly - I'd even just love to sit in on one of their recording sessions just to see how they capture their sound.

Pigeon: Can I ask you who is your inspiration?

XY BIRD (Alex): It's difficult to attribute that to one source, but I'm always inspired by artists like Steve Lacy who make incredible music with very little at their disposal. It's easy to think that you need a lot of expensive and complex equipment to make good songs, so when I hear music that connects and it's made on an iPhone, I feel like there's no reason not to be creative all the time.

Pigeon: Great take! I remember back in 2010 when Damon Albarn from Blur and Gorillaz fame also did an album with just an ipad: "The Fall". Definitely not as cinematic as Demon Days or Plastic Beach... in your opinion what’s the best movie of all time?

XY BIRD (Alex): One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - probably not technically the best, but this movie has everything.

Pigeon: I have it on my watch-list for so loooooong! I heard it is a 70's classic! We already got your favorite flick from that decade, so can I ask you what's your favorite album from the 70's?

XY BIRD (Alex): I really enjoy answering your questions, because they make me revisit the 50s and 70s artists I enjoy. Thin Lizzy - Live and Dangerous (1978). Everything sounds better than the studio versions and it's nice to hear Phil Lynott telling rude jokes in between the songs.

Pigeon: Never heard of that Irish group, but they have lots and lots of bolded records on rate your music... I'll have to check them out and Chet Atkins sooner than later! Before we going to the review of "M'akoma mu toffee", do you agree with the Pigeon?

XY BIRD (Alex): Wholeheartedly 😁


Relatively simple but brilliantly produced guitar chords introduce "M'akoma mu toffee" to your ears. It's an incredibly genuine soft melody that values what is organic, such as the sky, the forest, people, etc. I don't know what it means - M'akoma mu toffee - but I'd say it's something intrinsically linked to the human condition. Pay attention to this very artistic music video where XY Bird seems to pay homage to his exotic origins filled with contact with colors and nature. This simplicity loaded with nostalgia and memorable ear worms reminds me of Twin Shadow's most recent self-titled album, which also uses and abuses colorful melodies. I've just looked up M'akoma mu toffee: it means "toffee walls" - it's up to everyone's interpretation what these sweet walls are, just as it's highly subjective what a wonderwall is.

The Pigeon added a single from her to his Monthly Gems playlist on Spotify. You can check out the released music below. If you like what you hear, make sure to follow along so you can stay on top of future releases!

Words by The Pigeon

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This coverage was created via Musosoup


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