We came together with MP.XL and Rio.XL to find out more about the recent release “Long Way.” It turns out that the two first started working together when they were in High School and have been inseparable since. And now with the joint project XL Syndicate, they plan to take over the industry and share more of their upcoming singles and collaborations.

Let’s discuss your latest release “Long Way”! What was the creative process like? How long have you been working on the track? What was it like collaborating with the vocal artist?

Our creative process can vary depending on who we are working with. With this song we knew we wanted to put something out that resonated with people on a few different levels so we took our time with putting together the right combination of melodies and sounds until we got a vibe and energy that really stood out. Once we started collaborating we went back and forth a few times with ideas that emerged into what the song is today. Whole process was probably a couple of months since we were in no rush.  It’s always great working with talented singers/ songwriters who have great energy and get what you are trying to do, so I’m looking forward to future collaborations.

Speaking of the message, you’ve previously mentioned that “Long Way” is about choosing the right path even if it takes longer for you to reach your dreams. Why did you decide to take on such a topic? Have you ever tried taking shortcuts in your life? 

We mentioned that was how we saw it but art can be interpreted many ways and other people might derive a message or theme that hits them in a different way which is all good as well. Speaking of how we looked at it, from being in and around the industry and life coming up in general, sometimes you are tempted to get that easy money or do something for short term gain that could cause long term harm to yourself or the people around you. Speaking from our own experiences sometimes you just need to take a moment and think it through.

The lyric video is already out! Shall we expect an official video for “Long Way” any time soon?

No video for this release. Just going to let the music speak for itself. We will be doing videos for future releases though just letting this one breath on its own.

MP.XL and Rio.XL! What do the initials stand for? When did you two meet and how long have you been working together? Would you ever consider a solo career?

MP stands for Marcus Powers, Rio is just Rio. We met in high school and have been working together in some capacity ever since then. We both had stretches where we have done different things career wise and decided to partner up again in the form of XL Syndicate. Doing things as solo acts is also something we both might do in the future, but XLS is still the foundation of what we are building.

People would love to get to know the men behind the faces! Especially in today’s social media world, the public wants to feel like they can reach out to their idols and connect with them! Why this mystery with the names?

There is no mystery really. You will find that we like to do some things the usual way and some things more different. With the launch of “Long Way: we wanted to put the music first as opposed to image first. Let the music build up a following organically mixed with creative visuals that support the campaign i.e. the anime styled artwork and futuristic car ride we did for the lyric video. If there’s any mystery that builds it will be only because people actually like the music and care who is behind it want to know more which is cool with us.

With almost three decades of industry experience, what are some of the most notable artists you’ve collaborated with? Which of the up-and-coming artists do you follow? And who would you like to work with in the future?

Just to clarify that’s “COMBINED” years cause that makes us sound way older than we actually are. We have been doing music since high school so we aren’t  that old. There’s a lot of up-and-coming talent we like across a few genres. Clavish on the Uk scene is dope, Kaytranada if you can even call him coming up any more. Aria Ohlsson from Toronto and Kasai in the UK are other names that come to mind. As far as people we would love to work with, Jhené Aiko, Drake, Billie Eilish and Project Pat. We love a lot of different styles of music and hope to work with the greats in all the styles we love.

The industry evolved a lot over the course of 30 years. Looking back to when you first started, what are some of the challenges you’ve faced that today’s generation doesn’t or won’t know about? 

We fall in the millennial category so 30 years is a long time to consider and can only speak from our experience time wise and generationally speaking. The evolution of the production and engineering tools from year to year is one thing as well as the rise of all the streaming platforms to where they are now.  Also from a networking standpoint, there were many more Gatekeepers that could have a significant impact on your career that you needed to network or have a connection to get in front of. That’s not really the case as much today. Being Independent was not as prominent as it is now.

Are there any more releases in the near future that you would like to share with us? 

Yes, we have a new release coming out in early 2023. We also have been working on some other artist’s projects from a production and executive producer standpoint that also will be released next year.

Listen to “Long Way” here:


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