Why alternative band X Ambassadors will soon be a household name
Let it be known, X Ambassadors will soon be a household name. The New York-based four-piece already has "Renegades", a hit single that topped 3 different Billboard's charts and caught the eye of Jeep for a multi-million dollar campaign, an arena tour with Imagine Dragons, and a critically-acclaimed first full-length LP under their belt. And they're just getting started.
Currently, the band has been jet-setting all over the world on the latest leg of their tour, playing sold-out shows in London and Berlin, and most recently, a jam-packed performance at the first-ever Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival in Florida. As relative newcomers to the scene, their dedicated and expansive fanbase is undeniable.
But even more impressive is X Ambassadors's genre-fluid sounds. They artfully balance tracks between rock and electronic soundscapes, tap into anthemic choruses that beg to be sung along to, and top every song off with versatile vocals from Sam Harris, a frontman whose sound pulls from a variety of influences and as a result, always keeps listeners on their toes. It's a testament to the fact that X Ambassadors is redefining what constitutes rock music in this day and age.
So if you haven't heard of them yet, now is as good a time as any to start. We caught up with lead singer Sam Harris and drummer Adam Levin at this year's Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival. Ahead, Harris and Levin speak candidly about touring, their musical backgrounds, and more!
And if you want even more X Ambassadors news, head over to AOL.com at 12 pm and 6 pm EST today for more exclusive videos, photos, and interviews!
What's it like playing festivals versus playing one-off shows, whether it's the logistics or the vibe you get from the crowd?
Adam Levin: It is kind of different because a club show is an environment that's your own -- especially if you're headlining, everyone is there for you. But here, you're in front of new people. And also, festivals tend to be larger crowds, so it's more fun. I always look forward to festival season and this festival was amazing. Okeechobee was awesome.
Sam Harris: There's also a level of unpredictability with festivals. You have way more control in your own show. You load into the venue earlier, you set up your stuff earlier, you get a soundcheck. And this is a lot more run and gun. And you never know how the crowd reacts because they're not necessarily all fans.
What made you want to do this festival in particular? And what other artists here are you excited about seeing?
Adam Levin: We're excited about so many different artists here! Unfortunately, we have to be in Miami tonight, and there's a ton of artists we wanted to see. We got to listen to Fetty Wap a little bit from the side of the stage. We knew it was run by a good company, that it's a new festival, and we also saw the lineup, which is why we wanted to do it. It's just a good market to come and visit. We've played a lot of new festivals and they can range from good to bad, but this one has been really good.
Where did your love of music first start?
Sam Harris: I got into music when I was like four years old. My mom is a singer and so I love to sing and I would sing around the house with her. She would put on shows and would sing show tunes and stuff. I was a pretty dorky kid. The first time I performed in front of everyone, I think it was Davy Crocket in a pre-school class. And I was stoked -- I got all dressed up and had a coonskin hat, a full outfit with the tassels on the arms.
I bet your parents loved that!
Sam Harris: They were so stoked!
Adam Levin: for me, I grew up with two older brothers and throughout my family there were other professional musicians and hobbyist musicians. I have two older brothers who, from a very young age, taught me how to play music.
So you all started really young then?
Sam Harris: Yeah! Noah was actually the one who came into it later, but his family is very much entrenched in the arts too. He started playing guitar when he was like 12 or 13, and that's when we started our first band in middle school. Me, him and Casey played together in middle school, and then we met Adam in New York in 2006 when we moved there. And we've been together ever since. We really run the gamut of every experience.
YouShouldKnow is a feature that showcases up-and-coming social stars. To see more of past interviews, click here. And come back at 12 pm EST for more exclusive X Ambassadors features, including what they believe is the biggest misconception people have about musicians.
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