After nearly 7 years away from the recording studio, XO Chicago returns to her roots with her first studio EP, Living Through My Trauma.
In collaboration with music producer and recording engineer Ron the Producer, XO has ventured into uncharted territory, revealing a glimpse of her past and present through melodic R&B beats and 808 undertones.
“Music has always been such an integral part of me as a human. Meeting Ron, there was never a thought that we would complete a full EP, let alone a single track. As soon as we met there was this immediate understanding and free spirit that connected us to work in an open space. I’ve never felt so comfortable in the studio and that is special to me,” explained XO. “This project is special to me.”
And it is unique. This 7-track EP introduces an entirely new sound to XO. According to the artist, the emotion and rawness heard throughout the compilation are exactly what the doctor ordered.
“I never realized how much of my past had been lingering within me, it felt more like therapy than work. I needed to release that energy somehow and thank God it brought me back to my first love, music.”
Unknown to many, XO has a classical background, having studied piano for most of her childhood through the Suzuki Music Program.
“It was important to me that the music could be translated to a live band easily, I needed this to sound as organic as possible,” she explained. “This one is personal and I wanted to showcase my roots throughout the EP.”
XO Chicago (pronounced So Chicago) has made a name for herself in the Chicago underground music scene, hosting Urban Grind TV and Urban Broadcast Media for five seasons and interviewing Lupe Fiasco, Kirko Bangz, Lil Bibby, and Taj Gibson. Making it a priority to give back to her community, she has also partnered with numerous charities throughout Chicago and invested a significant amount of time in the development of the next generation of artists through her program Future Artists Coming Together (F.A.C.T.).
Although her time in the studio has been limited, XO has recently focused on performing live. Since 2019, XO has led local cover band Shake Rattle & Roll, specializing in popular songs from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s performed by musical legends such as Ike & Tina Turner, Smokey Robinson, The Temptations, and Etta James.
“Working with Shake, Rattle and Roll has allowed me to remember how much the stage truly drives my creativity. There’s absolutely nothing I love more than working with seasoned professionals who genuinely just love to rock. There is no better feeling than rocking the stage with a live band,” says XO, who is also adding an acoustic duet to her repertoire with keyboardist Paul E.
Following the release of the first single, Solo, Living Through My Trauma has the potential to raise awareness against the stigmas and opinions that have been cast around the potential of Chicago's South Side, humanizing those who have been caught up in the street lifestyle and worked hard to avoid becoming a statistic.
If this is the beginning of a solid relationship between Ron the Producer and XO, we can only imagine the impact this will have on future generations of artists coming out of Chicago and inner-city musicians all over the world who are just trying to make it. Living Through My Trauma was released TODAY... 4th of January, 2022
Make sure you check out her collection HERE… you won’t be disappointed!