[Interview] The Zeal Of Xeela
Updated: May 1, 2019
Let's all give a moment of silence to our eardrums for the bass they endured last night... Along with that, let's give a hat tip to the hungry artists on the come-up who're propping up the scene. No matter how much of a fuddy-duddy you are you have to appreciate the fact that the heart of bass music is still beating hard. Thanks to those like Xeela, the Denver scene stays at the forefront of the industry. She's getting mad shine behind the decks, as a result.
If you've been to the Black Box or the Other Side on a Tuesday over the past decade you already know what's up. For those that don't, you should get familiar with the pipeline that Sub.Mission has created via Electronic Tuesdays. Bass'D Out DNVR is able to continue repping the local DJ community because E-Tuesdays has become a talent factory which blesses us with the so many new faces including that Xeela DnB sound.
Nicole Cacciavillano and her army of bass deserve much credit but, Xeela the Warrior Princess has no doubt been putting in work. She touched down in the bass capital from Tennessee back in 2013 and hit the ground running. She quickly immersed herself in the nightlife scene, going to all the hottest events and networking with the right people. It wasn't long before she found herself behind the DJ booth, rockin' for the crowd.
This should all come as no surprise though as D-town has become somewhat of a Mecca for all things bass. Yeah, snowboarding is cool but, have you ever felt the rattle of the Funktion 1's as you tickle the knobs on the mixer? Xeela knows that feeling all too well and even in her early music, she refused to relinquish her love for the bass.
Xeela's come a long way from getting booked at small one-off events. She now holds a residency with the Altitude Sickness and Denver Juke crews. Additionally she manages to work in some time behind the decks for the Recon DnB crew as well. Fortunately, there was enough time leftover for us to get a chance to get to know her a little better.
Bass'D Out DNVR: Do you remember when you first fell in love with bass music?
Xeela: Yes, I had this DJ Irene CD in HS and on it was this Aphrodite song, Wobble. I would listen to that track on repeat.
BOD: How long have you been a part of the Denver bass music scene? Favorite genres?
X: I moved to Denver in 2013 for the DnB scene. I instantly started going to shows, most of which were at NORAD. Drum & bass and Juke/Footwork are my favorite genres. But really I listen to a huge range of music, with few exceptions.
BOD: What about the Denver scene would you like to see change?
X: The only thing I would change about the scene would be to push for later bar hours. Most shows in Denver end at 2 am.
BOD: What made you want to start DJing/Producing?
X: I love having an idea and making it happen. Whether it's mixing songs together or playing/producing the idea that's in my head. I have always been into music and played all kinds of instruments over the years. I got into electronic music pretty young and with my musical background, it was pretty natural for me to pick up DJing.
BOD: What was the first setup up you started learning on?
X: I can't remember the old mixer but, the first turntables I learned on were a couple of Stantons. I got a small Hercules controller to really learn on, with my digital library.
BOD: Describe the vibe you get when you perform in front of a crowd. What was it like the first time you performed live?
X: The first time I played in front of people, I was nervous in anticipation but I quickly realized it is just like performing any other instrument I am comfortable playing. It is always exciting to me to see how the audience will react to the tunes I play.
BOD: What’s it like being a female DJ in a male dominated industry?
X: I have always been more of a tomboy/had mostly male friends, so really to me it's not intimidating to be in a male dominated industry.
BOD: Do you feel like you get treated differently by bass music fans because you’re a woman?
X: They used to say “you're really good, for a girl”. Now they leave off the “for a girl” part. I don't know if that is a reflection of my skill level or the changing of times.
BOD: How did you get linked up with Black Box/Language Crew. Denver Juke?
X: I moved to Denver in 2013 for the music scene. I immediately immersed myself into it and began making friends. Everyone has been so nice and welcoming, I just love Denver and it's many talented artists.
BOD: Are there any other artists out there that you’d like to work with?
X: There are so many artists that I am inspired by, but if I had to pick one right now it would be Dela Moontribe. She blends genres in the same way I do. It would be so cool to do a b2b set with her!
BOD: Which artists are you most influenced/inspired by? Anyone else you want to shout out?
X: I've had many influential artists over the years, I would say my all time favorites would probably be Mad Professor, DJ Godfather, Amon Tobin, Spectrasoul, Keeno, and London Elektricity.
"Shout out to all the 303 DnB crews making things happen. That's why I am in Denver, and couldn't be happier about the scene here."
Much Love to Xeela for taking the time to talk to us! Be sure to follow her on her social media below, check out her latest mix here, and be sure to grab tickets to her upcoming gig: Black Sun Empire + Legion, Solid, Xeela at the Black Box on 4/25.