Check out the new song from Xavier Toscano – Threw Me Away
Tell us about where you are from and how you got to this position today. What are you currently working on and what can we expect to see?
I’m from San Jose, CA, and have always aspired to sing. In fact you can almost say that music called me -it hypnotized me to the point where there’s nothing else I would rather do while I am alive! I’ve been pursuing to establish myself since 2008. And with a rough start, I started not knowing how to sing at all to taking lessons, and just learning hands on how to sing, perform, market, and promote myself. A very steep learning curve. What I do know, we are definitely in the era of the do it yourself musician/artist and I’m living in the thick of it. You can expect to see me grow as an artist and music entrepreneur. In other words, you can expect to see more and more of me, and better material as time goes on.
Tell us about one of the hardest challenges you had to face in the industry?
I believe that the biggest challenge is breaking through all the noise. There are SO many entertainment outlets for people that you just have to push yourself to continually explore new avenues of exposure and work at putting out better material each time. Not just that, you have to train yourself mentally and physically (as a fighter would) to take on the challenges that may come your way. For instance, I had no idea in the beginning that I had to actually train myself for live shows. It takes time to build your confidence in front of an audience. But once you do that, and learn to connect with people you begin to see the fruits of your labor. That’s the best reward actually, when people know your name and they interact with you live. I love meeting the fans and making new ones. It’s AMAZING!
What was one of the biggest set backs in your career and how did you bounce back?
You know, when I fist started, I used to think of challenges as setbacks, as if they would actually hold me back. Nothing is further from the truth. Something sort of amazing happened once I realize that I lost nothing every time I faced a new challenge. That on the contrary, I was actually learning something valuable. Ever since then, I have learned to “flip” seemingly bad circumstances from setbacks to necessary lessons. For example, obviously if I hit a stumbling block, I have done something that is not good for me, meaning that there is something there for me to learn. Once learned, it doesn’t happen again or I know how to handle it better. So this new found awareness propels me to a higher ground. It’s simply amazing how a switch in your attitude can make opportunities that were always staring you in face actually visible.
What are some things artists need to be careful of?
Any advice I could give is what seems to have worked for me, and that’s a couple of things: one, develop a BS meter; and two, just keep on moving (no matter what!). Point one; there are so many people out there telling you how you should “do things that way” and “do things the other way”, and how it would be better if you changed to the this trend or that one “sound”… FORGET IT! Truth is, you need to stay true to yourself and your message, cause only you can do you -know what I mean? Everyone’s story is unique and we all offer a new perspective that others can be inspired by. It’s OK to listen with an open mind, but don’t take every piece of advice or every “deal” as a good one, instead discern. Do your homework, so that you stay in the know, but don’t forget to stay true to you. But always, and I mean ALWAYS, keep on moving. Good things will happen -that’s great, so counts your blessing, but keep on moving. Bad things will happen -that’s still good, learn a valuable lesson, get stronger, but keep on moving.
What suggestions do you have for other artists like yourself?
I could add that you should not depend on anyone else to get you there. Especially in the age of do it yourself. Be proactive, reach out, educate yourself, keep on knocking on doors, and let the world know you’re alive and well. Keep it positive and true to you; no one wants to hear your sad story cause everybody has one (unless your bad story can be cathartic for others). And people like it when you succeed, especially if they follow you closely. Cause then it feels like they are sharing that with you. Make people feel something, and the best way to do that is to be real, be a fighter, and be good entertainment wise. Grow! You know, I don’t want to make it sound like this is all work, and in some cases it is. But the rewards are huge! I have met so many people, and I receive messages from people that tell me how I have touched their lives in some way and it makes it SO worth it to put in all the time and effort. The highs are GREAT!
What are the best ways to sell your products as an artist?
Hands down, you got to be famous. Keep showing up! Keep smiling and taking pictures! Keep recording! Keep on keeping-on! Again, you got to grow and give the best of you, otherwise you will grow stale in a short period of time.
What is one of your favorite ways to promote yourself and your music?
No doubt about this one; it’s singing live! That is when I connect with people on a real level. When you see Xavier sing and dance for you, then that is when you really get the X-perience (As my voice teacher likes to say!).
Where can people visit you?
People can find everything that they need to know about me through my web site: http://www.xaviertoscano.com
Big shout out to Octo5, my promoter Barbara Sobel (http://www.barbarasobel.com), and Baysounds!
Thank you WWS for having me.