What are your Full names?
Wayne Lawrence, Mikey Nanton, Stuart Haugh, David “Skins” Foreskin, Anthony “Boot” Bartley, James Renford
What is your band’s Genre?
Pop, Reggae, Rock, Indie, Ska, Folk, Motown, Hip Hop
Give us a little bio of the band and you guys as individuals.
XOVA (pronounced Crossover) formed in 2008, and are a multi-genre band who fuse Pop with a modern mix of Reggae, Rock, Ska, Indie, Motown and folk.
The past few years have seen the six-piece perform support slots for The Spin Doctors, The Beat, The Selector, The Dualers, Ali Campbell with UB40, The Moulettes, and Dreadzone, between their own tour dates. With an ever-growing live reputation, they won a slot at the 2013 “Isle of Wight” Festival from over 3,000 entrants as one of the best unsigned bands in the UK.
(Tom Robinson, BBC6 Music)”This is one of the tightest bands I have heard in a very long time”
(Claire Balding, BBC Radio2) after Playing (Little Lion)”I really Like this, it’s quite Wonderful Thurs 13th April 2014″
(Foxy and Guilliano, Free Radio – Birmingham) after their Exclusive Play of (Your To Blame) 1st April 2014 “Xova Sound Brilliant, we really want to see these guys Live ”
(Darren – Tramlines Fest 2014)”The Best Live band i’ve booked in 20 years promoting ”
Fired up by social and political unrest as well as affairs of the heart, XOVA decided to express their Feelings about these issues in Music by releasing their first album “The Pressures of Life” in 2009 on their own label Stratosphere Music, along with a few EP’s “The Soho Road Sessions EP” 2012 and “Little Lion EP” 2013, then re-launching the single “Little Lion” in aid of the charity “Crohn’s and Colitis UK” in 2014. Their best Singles to date “9 Lives”, “Tears”, and “Knife Crime City” has earned and gained them lots of Radio airplay on many Stations around the World, along with adoring Fans who Love their music.
The band are now Signed to Bournemouth UK label “Streets Music”.
New album “Synchronise Your Leaders” along with a video for their new single “Lullaby” is due to be released soon, with a 2015 Tour to support the album.
Wayne Lawrence – Vocals, Guitar & Songwriter:
Born and Bred a Brummie and often the comedian of the band Wayne supports his home team Birmingham City FC. He learnt to play guitar at an early age from his dad, winning a holiday park competition. Some of his main musical influences include Elvis, Beatles and Oasis. Wayne had his first taste of fame as the lead singer of previous band Farside who were voted Birmingham’s Best Unsigned band.
Mikey Nanton – Keyboards & BV’s:
Mikey is no stranger to the Birmingham music scene, having been a part of his original Reggae band “BESHARA” since his early days. He then went on to be headhunted by Reggae Star “Pato Banton” to become a regular fixture in “The Reggae Revolution” alongside Skins and James, as Pato’s main popular backing band and toured the world for years with Pato ‘Baby Come Back’ Banton, who had 5 Top 20 Hits. Mikey has had several appearances on BBC Top of the Pops, MTV, Channel 4 TV, Central TV, and played many gigs also with the likes of Sting, Ijahman Levi, Culture, Beres Hammond, Apache Indian, Ranking Roger (from the Beat), Inner City, Luciano, and Musical Youth.
Stuart Haugh – Trombone & BV’s:
Stuart Hassel-Hoff, as he is lovingly known as, is the wild and youngest member of the band. He is an exceptionally talented musician brought up in a proper and conservatoire community in Northampton (unlike the rest of the band) where he honed his playing skills, and supports Newcastle United FC. A fun fact about Stuart is now and again, he plays in an Indian Wedding band.
Anthony “Boot” Bartley – Bass Guitar:
Coming from Nottingham, Boots musical career started in a Birmingham band called “Cornerstone”, a true underground cult Reggae band in the UK. He is a very well respected musician. Boot lives for his music and is quickly becoming a crowd favorite with his in the zone style playing at the back of the stage. A fun fact about Boot is that he is a Vegetarian.
David “Skins” Foreskin – Drums:
Based in Handsworth, Birmingham, Skins has a solid reputation as one of the Best Vibes Reggae drummer on the scene. He’s been drumming most of his life and had his first taste of success with his first band African Star. He also joined The Reggae Revolution alongside Mikey and James, and toured the World with Pato Banton to places like the Sydney Opera House in Australia and the Hollywood Bowl in the USA.
James Renford – Sax & BV’s:
James has been a living legend on the music scene for years, having played with Pato Banton & The Reggae Revolution alongside Skins and Mikey all around the World. He has travelled thousands of miles to perform and has many high calibre gigs under his belt, including playing with Edwin Starr, Alexander O’neal, and performing for Michael Jackson and the Jackson’s 40th Birthday Party.
Where did you get the band name from?
We didn’t want our music to be labelled as just being a certain type of Genre, we wanted to be free to Express where we all came from musically. Some of us grew up listening to Reggae, some Pop, some Rock and Indie, and some Jazz and Folk. This gave us the idea that if we used all these Genres as one we could perhaps Cross them over to be Played on any Radio Stations around the World, so why not call ourselves XOVA (pronounced Crossover) see what we did there?
Who does what in the band? (i.e. who does the vocals, who plays what, who writes the songs)
Wayne (Lead Vocals, Guitar, Songwriter), Mikey (Keyboards, B.V’s, Producer) Stuart (Trombone, B.V’s), Skins (Drums, Producer), Boot (Bass Guitar), James (Sax, B.V’s)
Are You Signed?
Yes we are Signed to UK label “Streets Music” based in Bournemouth.
What instruments do you play?
Wayne (Guitar), Mikey (Keyboards, Sampler), Stuart (Trombone), James (Sax), Skins (Drums, Octapad), Boot (Bass Guitar)
How did the band come about?
Xova started out as a Reggae covers band and our manager at the time was also managing another band, where our lead vocalist was part of that line up but wanted to leave because of musical differences. As a songwriter he wanted to experiment with different genres and musical influences and this band gave him that opportunity, so the manager asked him to join our Reggae covers band which later evolved into Xova. Before we actually became Xova, we were invited to do some shows in Lithuania with a Lithuanian artist and then asked to perform Live on the Lithuanian Eurovision Song contest on live TV, where we performed our own song “All This time” and that song is now available on Youtube. This was the Birth and Rise of Xova.
How did you guys meet?
Actually three band members Mikey, James and Skins met previously after being recruited to perform as backing band for UK Reggae artist Pato Banton. Then we formed a Covers band as original members, we all knew the Bass player Boot who also did some session work with us and asked him to join the band. James was friends with Stuart who we pulled in from a College Music Conservatoire to be part of that line up. Finally Wayne was recruited from another band, after giving us a storming audition as a Natural Born Vocalist and Guitarist. The rest as they say is History.
Who are your influences?
The Beauty of this band is the multi cultural, multi age aspect of the band and it gives us an advantage for us to bring all our influences into our sound. From bands like The Beatles, Bob Marley, Thin Lizzy, John Holt, Dennis Brown, Pink Floyd,
Steel Pulse, Bruno Mars, Amy Whinehouse, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Paolo Nutini, Morgan Heritage, Marvin Gaye, Dionne Warwick, George Benson, Earth Wind and Fire, Kool and the Gang, Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, The Eagles.
What are your backgrounds whether it’s in music or not?
Wayne comes from a musical family where his Dad taught him to Play Guitar, and he was naturally gifted with his vocal talents. Mikey’s parents brought him to the UK from an early age and while growing up in the church learnt his musical craft playing acoustic guitar and singing harmony with his brother, but his passion was to play the Keyboards so he taught himself and joined his first band Beshara, where he honed his Keyboard skills soon after he left school. Skins although of Carribean descend was born in the UK and loved music from an early age, he joined his first band Studio Two after learning to Play Drums. Stuart is also UK born and bred, he learned his skills after joining the Musical Conservatoire playing in an Orchestra. Boot is a Native of Jamaican descend, he wanted to be in music after following some bands he loved around, he then learned to play Bass Guitar and joined his first band called Cornerstone. James is of Caribbean descend and was born in the UK, his Love of music pulled him towards Playing the Sax, but he wanted to learn different genres and that led him to cover Jazz, RnB, Reggae and Funk in his repertoire.
How did music come in to your lives and when did you start doing it?
Music came into all our lives from a very young age while listening to music our parents used to play on their stereos and it influenced us to then branch out to want to listen to other different musical styles.
When will you be releasing material?
We already have an album, two EP’s and Singles under our belt. But we will be releasing a New album called “Synchronise Your Leaders” along with a Video single “Lullaby” within the next month hopefully.
How do you get inspiration to write songs?
We would say the topics that inspire our lyrics isn’t any particular one, but Events from around the world and personal experiences with an added addition of a crazy imagination.
Where do you see the band in 2-5 years time?
We see the band being at the Top of the UK charts, USA Billboard charts, and other national charts around the world. Also doing what we love best…Performing and Headlining live concerts on Big stages worldwide.
Where would your dream place be to perform in the UK?
Xova’s dream place to perform in the UK would have to be Glastonbury Festival.
Where would your dream place be to perform in the USA?
Xova’s dream place to perform in the USA would be the Hollywood Bowl.
If you could do a collaboration with anyone who would it be in the UK?
Mark Ronson would be our choice to Collaborate with in the UK.
If you could do a collaboration with anyone who would it be in the USA?
Pharrell Williams would be our choice to Collaborate with in the USA.
If you wasn’t doing music what would you’s be doing?
Music is in our Blood, its what we live to do, so most of us would find something along that line in some way, weather it be Music Production, going out as Soloists to do Corporate Functions/Events, or maybe working in a Recording studio Arranging Music and writing composing music for other artists.
If You got asked by a tv show or film to have your music played on, which show or film would it be?
The TV Show we would choose for our music to be played on is “Peaky Blinders”.
Do you have a website, social media pages and music pages for your fans?
Xova Google+ page: