Child stars have always been a fascination in the entertainment industry. From musical greats such as Michael Jackson, rapper Lil Bow Wow (aka Shad Moss), Justin Bieber, Selena Gomes and French pop sensation JoJo; the paparazzi lens has been focused on them since they were young kids. Today’s interviewee is an up-and-coming prospect, although he hasn’t yet reached the heights of the aforementioned contemporaries, he is our youngest feature!
DJ @XL (pronounced Axel) hails from Montauban (near Toulouse) in France and is 12-years old! For those of us old enough to relate, DJ @XL is the Doogie Howser M.D. of techno music (okay, we promise to stop with the child prodigy referrals 🙂 ) . DJ @XL is one very dedicated young man, who was able to fit us in (courtesy of his lovely parents) for a chat! This was all between DJ-ing classes, school and the various extramural activities most children usually get up to. Here’s a glimpse into DJ @XL’s world!
Lavatory Records: What made you become a DJ?
@XL: I was influenced by my father who got me to start listening to Techno music from an early age. I discovered other styles of music such as rock but I prefer techno music. 🙂 At the age of 7, I drew a turntable on a sheet of paper and mixed in front of the computer watching videos of Carl Cox.
LR: How and why did you decide on the name “DJ @XL”?
@XL: My DJ name comes from my real name which is is Axel. I was looking for a DJ name related to my personality that is cooler and attracts attention. So I removed the “E” and replaced the “A” with “@”, quite simply. Also, I created my AXL logo with tools (image is below). The “@” does not always work on FACEBOOK or YouTube settings, so I alternate the use of @XL or AXL.
LR: How did you get into playing Techno when most people your age are into popular music?
@XL: That’s because I do not really like popular music. My dad offered for me to take guitar lessons, but I asked to take mixing classes instead. So my dad looked around for a teacher on Facebook because nobody was teaching in our city. Thankfully we now have found a good teacher.
LR: Who are your favourite musicians and why do you like them?
@XL: In the techno genre, I like Boris Brejcha, Hannah Wants and Vini Vici,and a lot of other djs. I very much like the Label “BONZAI RECORDS”!!! I also like rock music particularly groups such as Rammstein, Linkin Park, AC DC & Rage against the machine.
LR: Which is the one place you would like to play at the most one day?
@XL: TOMORROWLAND (in Belgium)!!! There are so many people dancing in a great atmosphere. The sets and decors are gigantic and too beautiful, with light effects everywhere!! I would like to continue mixing and get myself known to that level.
LR: How do you balance going to school and DJ-ing?
@XL: I have DJ lessons on Wednesday afternoons, when there is no class. And I train on weekends. I’m proud to say I have good grades at school! (Way to go!)
Lavatory Records: Are there any musicians you would like to work with?
@XL: Boris Brejcha and Hannah Wants. They are too strong, I love them. I am big a fan of them.
LR: Is there anything you are working on currently that you’d like to tell the world about?
@XL: I release my work through my channel on YouTube. I would like to have a lot of subscribers, so please check out my videos titled; Vini Vici Trance Mix, Bonzai Retro Mix, Retro Belgium, Boris Brechja and Paul Krakbrenner and the Boris Brechja mix!
LR: What are your personal interests and hobbies outside of music?
@XL: I have a lot of hobbies such scootering (freestyle) at the skatepark, ice skating (freestyle), supporting the local ice hockey team, video games, cinema. I’m a big MARVEL comics (MCU) fan!
LR: Do the kids at school know you are a DJ and do they treat you differently?
@XL: They know about it but it has not changed anything. Except that now three of my friends want to mix!
LR: Are there any special people you want to shout out?
@XL: I thank my parents who pay for my mixing classes! My mixing teacher for his patience. And most importantly, I thank my cat for listen to my mixes although I have never seen it dance along 🙂 !
Thanks to DJ @XL and his parents for this awesome interview. We have no doubt that the future is bright for this young man! To keep up with his activity please like his Facebook Page join his Facebook Group and make sure you subscribe to his YouTube channel.