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Slidin’ Thru: XUITCASECITY

December 10, 2018

Read the full interview on YoungCalifornia.com!

XUITCASECITY is here to not only unify music genres, but unify the cultures. Consisting of Mike Gomes & Cam Young, the biracial pair arrives from Tampa, Florida and finds their new home in Los Angeles, the mecca of entertainment. Coming to fruition just 2.5 years ago, the pop/hip-hop/electro duo continues to grind and perfect their craft, creating a buzz that audiences can’t overlook. Read more…

Last year, they unleashed their debut EP titled INDIXGO, with standout single “Bout You” peaking at #15 on the Spotify US Viral Chart. Having toured with everyone from Zedd to Cheat Codes to Carnage, the two remain adamant on using their platform to spread positivity and unifying the human race as a whole. Now, they return with their new highly-anticipated EP titled CXTY NIGHTS, home to feel-good anthem “Die Young.”

Where do you fit in the realm of pop, R&B, and hip-hop?
Mike: I would say that we’re more pop. We do have influences from hip-hop and obviously because Cam raps, but he also has melody within the rap. If you’re a singer in general, R&B is something that’s included in your music (unless you’re doing country), but we tend to lean towards pop because we want to be as mainstream and commercial as possible.

Mike being born in Rhode Island and Cam in New Jersey, talk about relocating to Tampa and how that plays into your life and career.
Cam: I moved to Tampa after 9/11, so I pretty much spent my whole teenage life there. It definitely had an influence on me because the people I grew up with, we all listened to rap. That’s where I got all my inspiration from, music-wise.

Mike: I honestly moved when I was 4, so I don’t remember much about Rhode Island. I just remember that I visited Massachusetts all the time because my entire family lives Northeast. I grew up listening to The Beatles, Cat Stevens, and more of the acoustic bands. Not so much hip-hop. I never really had a crazy music influence in my house.

How important is it to come to LA as an up and coming artist?
Mike: It’s pretty important. All the studios are out here. As far being a creative, everybody who’s either making music, art, or even fashion is out here. If you want to take your career to the next level, it’s essential to be in LA. If you can’t live here, at least have trips where you come out here for weeks at a time and work. I think that’s essential. We’ve been here for 8 months total.

Cam: We’ve been back and forth forever now. I moved out here probably 5 years ago for 8 months. It was a little different then because I didn’t know anybody. I was just trying to break into the music industry. I was around people who weren’t necessarily looking out for me or cared at all. I didn’t get the right vibe either. I was by myself, so it was a little bit too much for me at the time. [laughs]

What was the inspiration behind your name?
Cam: It’s actually part of a town in Tampa called Suitcase City. Because everybody’s always packing up and moving out, so that’s where the idea behind the brand of Xuitcasecity came from. It’s stylized with an ‘X’ because it looks cool on paper and if you type it in, it’s the only thing that comes up.

Mike & Cam, what’s the dynamic between you guys in the studio?
Cam: When Mike’s writing, he starts with melody. A lot of times, he’ll be humming or recording melodies, and while he’s doing that, I’m coming up with words.

Who gets the final say?
Mike: It’s pretty mutual. We both give our input. For the most part, I don’t recall a time where we’ve ever had conflict in the studio. We’re usually always on the same page. We both have a really good ear for what sounds good and what doesn’t.

At what point did you realize this music thing was forreal?
Cam: When I was able to quit my job, to be honest. [laughs] Actually do it for a living, make some money, and not have to worry about anything but music.

Mike: Same for me, quitting my job was probably the biggest thing. Then actually moving to one of the major cities, which was New York, because we were there for the first 2 years of our career. It was just a big step going from working a regular job to being able to do music full-time.

Where were you working before the music?
Cam: I was doing all types of stupid jobs. I had this job where I was selling memory pills to old people. I felt terrible. I just remember there was people who couldn’t remember what they had for breakfast. I don’t know, I didn’t feel good about that.

Mike: I was a server. I did it for probably 4 years, throughout different places and what not. It’s not a terrible job, especially if you’re at a younger age. It’s so much better than making minimum wage. It wasn’t that bad.

I love your record “Famous.” Talk about the mindstate in creating this one.
Cam: If you go on Instagram right now, there’s a lot of people that want to be famous or think that they’re famous. Maybe they’re not or maybe they are. It appeals to the people that want to be famous and the people that are obsessed with celebrities. Especially in America, I feel like here more than anywhere, everybody is so concerned about pop culture. In LA too, a lot of people are trying to come up and become a celebrity. We’re kind of just addressing that ‘fake it ‘til you make it’ mentality.

“Die Young” has a great message. Talk about shooting the video and what goes behind your visuals.
Mike: I feel like every time we’ve planned out a video, it always ends up changing at the end. Once we’re on set, it’s like “yo this might be more dope than doing this,” so we’re always switching stuff around. For the most part, Cam is really creative. When it comes to directing, he’s very hands-on. I let him handle more of the artistic stuff because I could sit there and be creative, but his mind just works like that. [snaps] It comes naturally.

Cam: We didn’t really have a big budget to work with. I was just thinking “how can we make it look like we purposely did a low-budget video? But make it look good.” Almost like we were trolling in a way. That’s why in the opening clip, he says “catch me mobbing on the island,” and he’s laying in a blow up pool. You pull out and he’s just in the middle of the desert. It looks like I’m driving a nice car, and then you pull out and I’m driving a Fiat. It’s something intentionally done to make people laugh and entertain.

I love that you guys stand for positivity. Where does that inspiration come from?
Cam: Just seeing all the negative stuff online. Right now, everybody gravitates towards that, which is wack. I wish there was someone really big right now who was spreading more of a positive message. Just us being from two different cultures, two different backgrounds, I feel people can look at us and see that we’re unifying something. Someone who’s listening to our music is basically being forced to kind of unite, because you’re taking people who listen to rap music and people who might listen to R&B or pop, and you’re listening to one sound merged together.

Mike: It’s just who we are as people. A lot of the people who are projecting negativity in the scene right now, they might’ve just had a rough life. Neither of us really had to go through any crazy amount of stress growing up. We’re dope at our craft, but we’re normal people at the end of the day. Us just being us is just positive in general, it’s not like we have to try. That’s the thing, I feel like a lot of people that struggled, there’s the other half that are just faking it to be seen. Everyone is trying to get likes, so they’re doing the most absurd acts.

Cam: People are thinking about how they can affect the internet every day, going out of their way to do things to get attention. Which is fine, it’s a marketing tactic.

What if they’re not trying, they’re just being themselves?
Cam: I’m real good at reading people. I can just tell when they’re an authentic person. In life in general, if you’re being true to yourself, it doesn’t really matter.

What do you want fans to get from your CXTY NIGHTS EP?
Cam: CXTY NIGHTS isn’t so much about the sound, as it is the feeling you’re going to get when you’re listening to it. You’re going to feel like you’re driving down PCH at night time. Just a good vibe, like if you’re going out on a Friday or Saturday night.

What is your take on the music industry?
Mike: It’s so unbelievable. [laughs] I don’t know how to explain it. You think you know something, and then the next second, you don’t. It’s constantly switching. We look at other artists all the time: some people may not have a lot of followers, but they’re selling out shows. Somebody may have a bunch of followers, but they can’t sell tickets. It’s just the most absurd thing.

Cam: There’s no clear blueprint to how anything works. It just works differently for everybody.

What are some goals yourself as an artist at this point of your career?
Cam: I don’t want to say the cliché thing of “I want a Platinum record,” I more or less just want to affect people and unify the culture. That’s what I want to do.

Mike: Yeah, that’s a much better answer. When we were first getting into the music industry, we didn’t know much about it. At least for me, my biggest goal was to get on the radio. Then we had a song on the radio and it was just like “uhhh, okay.” It felt good but at the same time, it didn’t really feel like anything. Growing that fanbase and spreading our message is a much bigger thing to worry about or want to succeed in, rather than material things. Plaques are obviously dope, numbers are dope, but actually touching somebody and changing their life is unmatched.

How important is social media for your career?
Cam: It’s very important because everything is on there. It’s not like how it used to be when you’re just on the radio or on the TV and people see you. Now you have to be seen everyday, especially when you’re coming up. When you’re first starting, no one is checking for you. You have to make sure people are seeing what you’re doing all the time.

What’s a normal day in the life? Walk us through.
Mike: I’m not going to sit on here and front like “every day I wake up 24/7 thinking about what I can do better myself.” [laughs] I know there’s people like that and more power to them, but I have my lazy days where I don’t want to do anything. And that’s what I do, is nothing. There’s other days where I’ll get up and I’ll record two songs in 6 hours, and I won’t eat the entire day because I’m so focused. It just depends on the day you know.
Cam: I like to clown with my friends.

3 things you need in the studio?
Mike: Water.

Cam: I need headphones that work. Other than equipment, the vibe has to be right. I don’t want to be in a room full of people who bring negative vibes, because then it just ruins the whole session.

Mike: Yeah, it’s real weird working with somebody for the first time because you don’t know how they record. It’s just uncharted waters, you gotta tread lightly. Then after working a couple times, you open up and the vibe is much better. There are those people too, where after working together for the first time, the vibe is just there. It’s just magic.

I know you guys used to be athletes, but what would you be doing if you weren’t doing music?
Cam: I was about to graduate from college, so probably doing some kind of business job.

Mike: I’m not sure to be honest. My entire life before music revolved around baseball. Once that stopped, I went straight to music. I couldn’t tell you. Hopefully not serving for the rest of my life.

Favorite song to perform in a set?
Cam: I like doing “Die Young.”

Mike: A lot of songs just aren’t in my perfect range, so you have to push yourself, which there’s nothing wrong with that. But “Die Young” is a dope song, it’s in my range and just fun to perform.

Who’s the most played artist on your phone?
Cam: The last thing I downloaded was Tory Lanez album. That LoVE mE NOw? I’m kind of all over when it comes to what I listen to, outside of our own music.

Mike: I couldn’t even answer that. I don’t have anyone specific I listen to more than another. Justin Timberlake, but he hasn’t put out anything recent that I love.

Dream collab?
Mike: Probably Justin Timberlake or Maroon 5, they’re dope. Maybe Drake too.

Cam: For me, it’s either Drake or Ye.

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