Every year artists leave us silent with better and animated music. Changes in traditional rap music have been met with the magnetism of Asian culture. The creation of new subcultures and genres in the trade has led to the formation of X Li, a Chinese born rap artist from Toronto, Canada. His fresh take on rap music has been met with great popularity, ranking in over 100,000 likes on his latest single in its first release week. His fast entrance in the industry has left many dumbstruck. So who is X Li? We got the chance to interview the young sensation, get to know who he is and what we can expect from him in the coming year.
Who is X Li?
The trap-artist has gained quite some acclaim after releasing ‘Wangleta’, with the video directed by David Del Rosario in May 2020. Born in Taiyuan, China the young artist had a gift yet to discover after moving to Canada at the age of 14. Arriving in Toronto, his parents quickly noted his love for music. “I always appreciated good music, growing up I listened to a lot of rock music. Later on, I discovered hip-hop and rap, listening to artists like Jay Z, 50 Cents, Nas and Wiz Khalifa,” tells the artists. He realized that becoming an international rapper isn’t so far-fetched and started working on his career. The idea of being world-known has pushed him to be a one-of-a-kind sensation.
What initially brought you to North America and inspired you to enter the Toronto hip-hop scene?
Toronto isn’t new to the rap music scene, hosting artists like Tory Lanez, Killy, Pressa, Jazz Cartier and the late Smoke Dawg to name a few. The city has offered artists to use it as a playing ground for creativity and success – X Li is no different. He’s established a sound like no other, merging sounds of Mainland and Western world, encompassing old-fashioned rap music with more cultural aptitude. “As a teenager, I was extremely rebellious, I still am today. But as I got kicked out of a lot of schools back in China, I felt restricted in expressing my thoughts and creativity,” shares X Li.
America doesn’t shy away from mainstream music, establishing itself as a world power. The two nations, share the same gift to deliver better and more mainstream music to the world. “Here I feel open and free to share my ideas, I can express how and what I feel. I believe that music is medicine that can heal people and give them motivation. It’s time I tell my story to the world,” X Li tells us.
Tell us more about your music genre and how you came about it?
“I like to do things that seem impossible, but attainable,” says X Li. He goes on, “I tried recording some Mandarin rap music, but it was too easy for me. I want everyone to listen to my music, not just Mandarin speakers. So I learned English, combining strange words and crafting up crazy phrases. It worked and people like it!”
Xi Li has become the only solo rap artist from China to give a new direction to rap music in Canada. His dark and moody rap music is built on the combination of difficult challenges, radical attitudes and a history of being rejected. Almost sounds typical, but the cultural aspect gives it more trek.
What are your plans for the future?
Many musicians have a tendency to become one-hit-wonders, and being the early stages of his career, we’ll be seeing more of X Li in the coming years. “In May I released ‘Wangleta’, my newest single, and my other singles ‘In The Night’ and ‘Luxury Pain’ are just the beginning. Later this year I will be releasing my first EP, called ‘Tiger’ which will be an embodiment of similar tracks, but diverse,” he shares.
X Li may enjoy the comfort of his rap career, but the artist is on the fast-track to quickly become a global sensation. “I want people to enjoy my music, but I also want them to know that there are a lot of other artists like me in China, not so well-known in the world. Getting yourself onto the mainstream music scene isn’t easy, so I have to put in a lot of effort,” he shares.
Where can we listen to your music?
My latest single, ‘Wangleta’ is available on YouTube (https://youtu.be/IKse0VYgxt0). Also, visit Spotify (https://open.spotify.com/artist/0IHLDBkHSE99Ag85CYEJqY?si=NA0kbXnxSJiivROwpx7gOA) and Apple Music (https://music.apple.com/ca/artist/x-li/1453867266)
Any final words?
“If you’re born with talent, money or skills, show the world you can achieve success, prove them wrong. Let great things come from being different,” X Li concludes.
His lyrical prowess demonstrates that being different can rank-up success. He’s becoming a household name, with an abundance of cultural character and colorful music.
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