Recording artist Andre Xcellence, better known as Xcellence!, never fails to disrupt the hip-hop genre. In his music, he tends to combine social commentary with modern beats, while sampling classic sounds. This is best seen in his recent singles Buy Me Some Love and Xcellence! I Am.
Buy Me Some Love is a respectful homage to The Beatles’ classic rock single Can’t Buy Me Love. Xcellence shares that he found inspiration from the band while studying in college.
In our exclusive interview, he told Monsters & Critics, “I’m a big fan of music, in general. I’m a rapper but I like other influences, not just hip-hop.”
He continued, “I went to college for a bit. I didn’t finish. But when I was in college, one of my favorite classes was Rock History. And it heavily focused on The Beatles.”
The recording artist went on the share the relevancy of his education and how it expanded his knowledge of the music industry.
Xcellence added, “My family is from the East Coast, Washington D.C. area, but they’re from the islands. The Caribbean. Trinidad and Tobago, to be specific. So, I got a lot of mix of like Calypso, reggae, soca and steel drum and those types of influences in urban music.”
“But, I didn’t get a lot of rock,” he continued.” It wasn’t until I went to college when I started learning about different music. It changed my life. I was like: Wow, that’s what I would’ve been doing if I was alive back then. The Beatles are amazing, the melodies are amazing, it’s like the soundtrack of my life.”
Xcellence covers a diverse range of music and has released many popular singles, including Hava Tequila and X Junkies, both of which are available for streaming on Spotify. His debut EP, I’m Coming 2.0, was a major hit and has over 1.5 million streams across platforms.
Monsters & Critics had the opportunity to chat with Andre Xcellence about the creation of his latest singles, Buy Me Some Love and Xcellence! I Am, and his future plans.
Monsters & Critics: Tell me a bit about the creation of your Buy Me Some Love music video.
Andre Xcellence: This song is a satire, like a parody of their record because it’s like their record can’t buy me love. Back in the sixties, you couldn’t buy love and everybody’s very wholesome. But we’re in 2021 and everybody’s buying love right now. To me, it was like, you guys are right about things but you’re kind of wrong on this. Right. We’re in this OnlyFans age. Let’s be clear. Be real. So I was like, let me just let me a place to poke fun at them.
Also, I feel like people are coming out of the pandemic. If you study history, 100 years ago, we had the Spanish flu and after the Spanish flu, people wanted to party so much, for years. It was called the Roaring Twenties. So for me, I feel like that’s where we’re going to head when everything’s done. Everybody’s going to want to party like free slaves.
In the music video which the amazon director Robert Berson did for me, from films and movies and stuff. He knows how to take my stuff and bring it to life. He had the idea: Let’s make you play the instruments, you want to embody them. And, so we got a band, a real cover band. They had all the real instruments and they told me how to make the moves like the Beatles. And like I wanted to give my homage to them at the same time.
Monsters & Critics: I thought it was so creative, so respectful, and it was really interesting to watch you riff with their original song. You’ve also released two other singles in the last few months. What’s next? Is this kind of building up to something big? Do you have an album coming soon?
Andre Xcellence: Well, yes, I have another single coming out. A couple. I want to put an album out. I want to call it Summer of Xcellence, but we’re feeling it out as we go. I’m a musician and I like to make music. I can make a record in like a week, or if it’s a big record it takes a while, but I’m constantly working. So for me, music is my passion. It’s not work for me, this is what I love doing. So I do it all the time.
Monsters & Critics: You were talking about working with this director who’s made films before. Could you see yourself doing a movie project? I’m thinking like Beyonce’s Lemonade.
Andre Xcellence: I’m open to everything. I’m open to anything. I had this conversation the other day with Berson. And I was like, I’ll do whatever, I just want to have fun. I never want to make it a point where I have to be too serious about myself. I can laugh at myself. I want to play characters. I want to do different things. He was happy when I said that because he came to me with these ideas, like, I want you to wear a wig.
I’m like, let’s go, let’s do it. I feel like this is what to do. I want to entertain and give people a story because I make music or I try to make music that’s not just disposable. I try to make music that tells a story. It paints a picture and it has its own story arc.
Excellence’s latest single Xcellence I Am! explores more classic rock sounds as it “remakes the classic limerick” I’m Henry the VIII, I Am. The song expertly features a dramatic guitar riff and a catchy chorus. Speaking about this single, Xcellence told us, “It’s equal parts paying homage to the original classic, but also, it’s like new. It’ll remind you a little bit of Disney, like Gaston. You’re going to love it. It’s a mixture of something that could be a play and music.”
Check out our full interview below to hear Xcellence talk about his dream collaboration and his favorite movie director, Quentin Tarantino.
Buy Me Some Love and Xcellence I Am can be streamed on all major music platforms.