Rapper Xavier Forte highlights struggles of being a student musician


Evan Medina, Review Staff

Feature Photo By: Evan Medina – Xavier Forte poses for a picture, looking into the distance. Forte is a rapper and his music can be found on Soundcloud. 

Being able to create successful music is a skill that takes years of learning and hard work. New websites help and allow artist to share their music in seconds. With these online platforms such as YouTube and Soundcloud, current artists can upload tracks in seconds for everyone to hear. But in truth, this will prove to be more difficult for artists who aren’t as big yet.

According to TechCrunch, Soundcloud currently has over 175 million users, many of them being artists. Getting exposure as an artist can be like finding a needle in a haystack.

At least the process of uploading is very simple, but to get likes and reposts on tracks is extremely difficult. There are many students that create music, but they might not be known by others that could possibly enjoy their music.

With how easily accessible social media currently is, you can stay updated with people you know or may not know who create music. These artists could be able to get a few likes with people sharing their music on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms. With the music industry constantly growing, these newer artists aren’t getting recognized.

Xavier Forte, known as BOO-SALEM on Soundcloud, is a senior at Rangeview High School. He is a rapper and has his own Soundcloud where he uploads songs he’s written and recorded. You can find his songs here: https://soundcloud.com/user-178154878.

Along with lo-fi sounding instrumentals with 90s influenced beats, his complex lyrics cover controversial subjects like religion and death. The lyrics aren’t at all straightforward and each song takes at least more than just one listen to understand.

His latest track “Chlorine” featuring only vocals and an electric guitar has interesting verses like “I’m running out of time, let me catch my breath, I’ll probably never make it so let me catch my death.” (BOO-SALEM)

Senior Isaac Valdez says, “That man is so slept on; he’s gonna emerge past the weak music scene out here and people aren’t gonna notice until it’s too late.”

Isaac is also a rapper who has music on soundcloud with other artists. You can listen to their work here: https://soundcloud.com/spacebar-sounds

After listening to Xavier’s song  “Bill’s Cabinet//Salem’s Council”, Senior Collin Weiss says, “I really get a Tyler the creator vibe to it but with a twist of something unique and beautiful. I love it to be honest.”

You can find the track by clicking here.

Xavier Forte (far left) talks to senior Vincent Tran in the Social Studies department. Many Rangeview students are unaware of Forte’s musical talents. (Evan Medina)

The skill and talent of creating music is a characteristic that not everyone has, especially younger people like high school students who are just starting out. I talked with Xavier about how and why he got into music, and also his thoughts on getting exposure and new artists, specifically younger artists just starting out.

What made you decide to become an artist?:

“I don’t exactly remember, I believe I started to try and write some poetry, using long old people words, a lot of what made me decide to make music was old poetry styles and learning new words.”

What influenced your music?:

“My work ethic, I just do whatever feels right and not worry about who’s gonna hear my music, I just do what you want. I know it’s corny, but it’s just how it is. But a lot of what influenced my music was poetry, I like to use words creatively, along with discover new words and use them in my music, it also makes myself feel smarter.”

One of Xavier’s main musical influences is rapper Tyler the Creator, he’s been listening to them since he was in middle school.

How do you feel about online platforms like Soundcloud?

“I think a lot of people take these platforms for granted. Back then, I don’t even know how people got heard of. You can now have an audience from anyone around the world. If you start trending, anyone who wants to listen to your music can. Using sites like bandcamp, you can make money with no hassle. If you wanna make music, make it. There’s nothing holding you back.”

Soundcloud is a online media platform exclusively for audio. Like YouTube, artist can upload music for free for anyone to hear. Many musicians starting out use Soundcloud to promote their music.

How do you think you’re going to get more exposure as an artist?

“Honestly, a lot of people who listen to my music just show other people, and that’s usually how I get more fans.  but I might try and promote it on my instagram or something. But it might not be for me. If I make music and only focus on that and it doesn’t work, I’ll know it’s not for me.”

What do you think of high school students starting to become artists?

“To be honest I don’t really like other artists that are students. I think it’s cool that they’re artists, and I just like working with other artists. I don’t really like talking to them or follow their music.”

Xavier works with other artists. Beats from producers such as EEVEE and fiji.water have been used in his album [A.GOOD.YEAR.IS.GOOD.WILL].

What music can we expect from you in the future?

“Recently a band wants to do instrumentals and for me to rap over it, I don’t want to be part of their band but it would be cool to rap over their music.”

What are benefits for you being artist?

“Being an artist has told me a lot about myself. I found out a lot about myself making art, that’s a huge benefit. You don’t know someone truly until you experience their art.”

There are different benefits for being an artist. You can make it just because you love making music, or you can even make money. Bandcamp lets you sell songs or albums very easily, but Bandcamp 15% for revenue and Paypal will take 10% for a payment processor fee.

Is there anything else you’d like to say that I haven’t asked?

“People who have a really good following are gonna be around for a while and now people who are nerdy are starting to make music, which I think is awesome. It’s going to be a cool to look back on that culture in the future.”

With the music industry constantly growing, more people should be informed of local artists that they might enjoy and even know personally. With the availability of many social media platforms you can instantly find artists and share them with friends, helping the artist get more exposure and helping you and others find new music to listen to.