S-X is back with his newest single and visual titled “Locked Out,” this time tapping top-selling UK artist KSI. Within just a couple of days, the official music video is already at 1.2 million views and counting.
Hailing from Wolverhampton, United Kingdom, S-X went from producing for all the greats in the music industry — from Lil Wayne and Rick Ross to Childish Gambino and J. Cole — to now shifting his focus to his own artistry.
Since childhood, the multihyphenate was sighted beatboxing during class, creating the soundtrack for rap battles, DJing, and even making his own records as a teenager. After traveling to London and standing outside Radio 1 studio with his mixes… the rest was history.
With Phil Collins and Pharrell Williams being his greatest influences, S-X came out of the pandemic with a new record deal, making his best music to date. While his accolades include GRAMMY nominations, Gold plaques, and international tours, S-X is now focused more than ever to get it on his own as a recording artist.
AllHipHop caught up with S-X to discuss his sound, his roots, biggest influences, the turning point in music, his friendship with KSI, linking with Trippie Redd, his forthcoming album, studio essentials, goals, and more!
AllHipHop: How would you describe your sound?
S-X: Honest, intimate, spacey, relaxing, energetic but all mixed into one sound. It’s always been like that, even when I was just producing for people. It’s S-X music.
AllHipHop: You’re from Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. How does that play into your life and career?
S-X: It keeps me humble and grounded, I’m still around the same people I’ve been around from when I was a kid so they never let me get too ahead of myself. [laughs]
AllHipHop: Who are some of your biggest influences?
S-X: I’d say Pharrell and Kanye as they were producers first too and that’s always been my dream is to become an artist, I just didn’t have the confidence for a long time. I love the writing style from Phil Collins, he’s one of my biggest influences.
AllHipHop: At what point did you realize this music thing was forreal?
S-X: When I was 17, I made this beat that blew up in the grime scene: “Woooo Riddim.” That literally changed my life, it enabled me to work with almost everything in the UK. That gave me my first big break. That’s when I knew.
AllHipHop: What was the inspiration behind your name?
S-X: It just means Sam. The S means Sam, the X means absolutely anything you want. Like X Factor, X Files, etc. The dash separates the two letters.
AllHipHop: How did this new collaboration with KSI come about?
S-X: I wrote the song with ivory scott and digital farm animals. It’s produced by Diego Ave and Nana Rogues. JJ loved the song as soon as I played it to him and he wanted to jump on it. The rest is history.
AllHipHop: What’s the bond/friendship you and KSI share?
S-X: I really think it’s a solid friendship. He’s one of the most genuine people I’ve ever met. That’s my brother for life.
AllHipHop: What inspired the visual/music video?
S-X: Troy Roscoe came up with the video concept, he wanted to show the “Locked Out” vibe by us chasing the girl through the infinite corridor. With the smashed mirror scene to reflect how many pieces of hurt there are. I love the video. He’ll be a huge director one day.
AllHipHop: What is it you want fans to get from your story?
S-X: That I come from a genuine place. An honest insight to my life through relationships and breakups. I’m actually a happy person, although a lot of my music is sad. Kinda. [laughs]
AllHipHop: You linked with Trippie Redd on “All Night,” how’d that happen?
S-X: I had the song for about 2 years and forgot about it. Then I came back to it and my manager M### suggested Trippie as he knew his manager. Next thing you know, we had the verse.
AllHipHop: What can we expect from your debut album?
S-X: I’ve been experimenting with a new sound for me. You can tell by the sound of my last mixtape, “a repeat wouldn’t go a miss.” So I’d say more pop/up tempo music, but I still have the classic S-X stuff on there too. It’s been a wild journey making this album to say the least, so you can expect a lot of emotions from this album.
AllHipHop: 3 things you absolutely must have in the studio?
S-X: Firstly my PS5, because sometimes I can’t just sit there and fully finish a song. I can do that but that’s only if the vibes are flowing hard. Mostly I like to stop and do something else for a little bit, then come back with fresh ears. So playing Call Of Duty helps me switch off. I’d say secondly a great loud bassy set of speakers. Thirdly, I’ll go with a good scent in the room. Some good candles to set the vibe properly.
AllHipHop: What’s been the biggest challenge about transitioning from being a producer to a musician?
S-X: As a producer, you get to work when you want. You make beats and send them out, or pull up to sessions then go home. With being an artist there are so many more pressures and things to do. It’s very time and energy-consuming, but I’m not complaining at all. I love being busy with my passion. It’s a blessing to make a living from music and meet some incredible people along the way.
AllHipHop: Goals for yourself as an artist at this point in your career?
S-X: Honestly, I’ve already hit them. I didn’t really think I’d even get to this point. So with that being said, I’d love to see how much further I can take this. I love performing so I’d love to sell out arenas one day. That would be insane.