Australian singer-songwriter Cxloe is such a Virgo


Dark pop.

With three brand new singles already under her belt, rising Australian artist Cxloe has finally announced her highly-anticipated debut EP, Heavy, Part 1. 

With Melbourne restrictions as tight as ever, I anxiously sat in my bedroom waiting to be let into the Zoom call with the Sydney pop singer, ready to deep-dive into her new body of work.

To my pleasant surprise – as a music-buff and someone who’d never interviewed a singer before – what I’d expected to be a formal interview quickly turned into a chat between girlfriends. 

Amidst the laughs, Cxloe revealed her creative process, her thoughts around mental health taboos, and, importantly, what it’s like being a Virgo.

This year has been, without a doubt, crazy. What’s it been like releasing music in the midst of a pandemic?

It’s been super weird trying to navigate through the climate. It’s been difficult to break through the noise but I’ve been trying to adapt. I think people always need music, so I’m constantly trying to figure out how people are digesting music. I’m just trying to be positive and adapt. There’s no point crying about it because it’s not going to change. 

Following last year’s tour with Maroon 5 and your own headline tour, has it been difficult to ‘slow down’?

It sucks, to be honest. The songs are one thing but that whole world of performing is such a huge aspect of my world. I’m lucky I’m in Sydney because there might be a few little opportunities to fill that hole with intimate little performances.

Speaking of live performances, how was performing one of your debut EP tracks ‘12-Steps’ on ABC Sound?

That was so fun, honestly. I felt like I’d got the golden ticket in Willy Wonka. I was like “YES, I get to perform”. It’s so weird talking about this in this way, but it’s kind of life now. it feels so good to be performing and I feel really lucky to have been given a slot. 

You just released ‘Between Our Hearts’ with Cheat Codes which already has over 55,000 views on Youtube. What was the collaboration process like?

It was all via correspondence – like, the whole thing. I hadn’t even met the boys until the end. They had a track, they sent it to me, I put the vocals down and they gave me notes. It was sort of a back and forth for a while which was different, but it was a great experience. The boys are amazing and they’re really supportive.

Fans have been waiting a long time, but you’re finally releasing your debut EP! How do you feel?

I’ve been wanting to put out a body of work for a while. I feel like I’m definitely in a place where I’ve created this body of work that has a nice through-line and a nice concept around it titled ‘Heavy’. I think all the songs make a lot of sense together and I didn’t want to put anything out that was just individual singles on an EP that didn’t really speak with each other or didn’t really have anything to do with each other. 

What does the EP mean to you?

It’s in two parts. Heavy, Part 1. is based on the inner workings of my mind, my personality and explaining the way I am. Over the past couple years I’ve just been trying to understand who I am, why I am the way I am, and why things affect me the way they do. I’ve always wanted to talk about my struggles, and I’m hoping people can connect with them in some way so they don’t feel alienated in the way that they feel. 

Is there a theme across the tracks?

Addiction and habit run through both parts. I think mental health is a big thing for me and I still feel like it’s a touchy topic, which is sad. I’ve struggled a lot with it and I want to explore it – I don’t want it to be taboo. I really wanted to make it personal, but in a universal way so that people could grasp these concepts and go “Oh yeah, I feel that too”. That was a big inspiration for me.

What can you tell me about the track ‘One and Lonely’?

It’s my favourite EP track. It’s basically a love song, but I wanted to give it that darker twist. I changed the world ‘only’ to ‘lonely’ because a lot of the time that’s exactly how I feel. I’ve been with my partner for seven years now and we’ve had to do long distance for a lot of it. I feel so guilty about it because it was never his choice, it’s always been mine. It gets quite lonely and we only have technology to communicate. That’s why the music video is based on that sci-fi technology sort of element.

Tell me about the unreleased tracks on the EP. I’m personally a big fan of ‘Heavy’.

I’m glad you like it! It definitely explores the darker production elements as opposed to ‘Plans’ or even ‘One and Lonely’ which are a lot lighter. I wrote ‘Heavy’ around two years ago and after that, every song came back to its concept like it was the ‘mother concept’. I didn’t do it on purpose either. It was just how I was feeling so it all connected quite organically.

What is your creative process like?

Okay, let me explain. I’m a Virgo, so I like things to be very outlined before I go in so I don’t have to wing it because I hate winging things and that gives me such anxiety [laughs]. I’m a bit of a perfectionist and a control freak as well. If I rocked up with no idea I’d be like “UGH this is a nightmare” and just leave. 

What are you most proud of?

The concept. I mean, I’m proud of the songs as well but finding that middle ground for each song to come back to and for people to relate to – I’m really happy with ‘Heavy’. I think everyone can relate to it in some way which makes me really happy. 

Where do you draw your greatest inspirations from for your writing or is it more spontaneous? 

Again, I’m a Virgo [laughs]. I’ll hear something and write it down and go ‘I like that bass line from that song” and try to recreate it. I’m definitely influenced by artists, sounds, and soundtracks. Like, I love Hans Zimmer and a lot of the stuff he does. I like drawing specific parts of songs and running with that.

Cxloe’s new EP ‘Heavy, Part 1.‘ will be released Friday October 16. 

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