Today we’d like to introduce you to Xavier “éks” Hayes.
Xavier “éks” Hayes is an Audio Engineer, Producer, and Creative Director. Born in Newport News, Virginia, I grew up being a young church musician (drums) as well as playing Saxophone in the band thought grade school. After graduating from Denbigh High School in Virginia, I went to Full Sail University where I got a B.S in Recording Arts. I then moved to Atlanta, GA where I received my first internship at Blue Room Studios in midtown Atlanta. There, I was able to work with an engineer for a lot of talented artists which include rappers YFN Lucci, KRS One, Cash Out and up and coming Atlanta artists, as well as, do some production for artists like Lauren Hashian (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s wife). I quickly climbed the latter there where I was able to sharpen my engineering skills and work closely with more local indie artists. I’ve since then been able to freelance in the Atlanta area and travel to work with artists like Playboy Carti and producer Pierre Bourne.
When I first moved to Atlanta, I was working at Cheesecake Factory in Lenox Square (while having my internship at Blue Room Studios). I quit that job after about a year, two months before my son Yasir was born (I guess that was my leap of faith). I figured if I wasn’t going to leap then, then it might not happen. About two years later, I married my wife Bri (@Bri_Feel) who is a talented singer and songwriter. We’ve been somewhat of a production/writing duo since I met her at, what used to be, the department store years ago.
Currently, I’m Freelance engineering and producing for up and coming Atlanta artists such as Euro Gothic and New artist Feel Jas (@Feel_jas) as well as a nice group of talent on the rise in the city.
Has it been a smooth road?
Not at all! I’m a very patient person so the process is my favorite part. From my cheesecake factory job and internship days to being married with a now, 2 1/2-year-old, I constantly struggle with work-life balance. Being on opposite schedules of my family (because most artist work at night) was also struggling with trying to manage my time a lot more wisely.
Please tell us more about your business, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I’ve recently been working on my new business “Intoku Creative Ltd. Company” where I’m aiming to cater to the working creatives and help take ideas to the next level. I personally specialize in audio engineering and production but I tend to always have my hand in the creative direction of most projects I work on. People that come to me generally want my stylistic opinion on how they can convey their vision in the most vivid and gratifying ways. My intent is to always go above and beyond the original idea but present it in the most simple and clean fashion. I have a lot to be thankful for and proud of, but I get most of my excitement from taking someone’s seed of faith and helping it become a masterpiece. I always tell artists “I’m not a beat maker, I’d rather score your song.” Those small details and way I tend to communicate that idea in the most non-conventional yet simplistic ways are what I believe sets me apart.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
The music and entertainment industry is constantly evolving so no one can ever really say where it’s going next. I do feel the climate change among creatives today though where the age of the self-made and independent mindset is taking over.
Musically, I can see the “exclusivity” of music making coming back where the musical knowledge matters a lot more to consumers and other artists alike. I’ve been telling my friends that you will probably be an outsider in the next five years if you are an artist that doesn’t play an instrument.
Brianna “Bri Feel” Hayes @bri_feel, The Early Show @thearlyshow