TFword in Conversation With DJ Xylo

We had a chat with the Xylo Records boss about his ‘Rhythms of Empathy’ compilations so far and his thoughts on the upcoming edition.

War. It’s a horrible term we’ve heard for decades, and in the last three years, we’ve seen conflicts break out on three different continents. These conflicts have taught us that there are no winners and that every party involved bears the repercussions, but the ones affected the most are children. 

Wars deprive children of receiving care, compassion, empathy, and, most importantly, education during the formative years of their childhood. To help children ease through the adversities of a conflict, War Child UK has been working relentlessly to provide children with vital child protection, education and psychosocial support in war-torn areas and regions.

Taking inspiration from War Child’s work, London-based DJ, producer, and Xylo Records’ label boss DJ Xylo devised a way to support War Child’s efforts in the best way he could – which is the power of drum & bass music.

Working with a diverse range of artists, seasoned and new alike, the ‘Rhythms of Empathy’ compilation has recently dropped its third edition, with the fourth installment of the project due in a few weeks.

“Many of these children are torn from their homes and stranded at borders without food, water, or knowing when they will next reach a safe place they can call home. War Child’s teams have been working around the clock to provide them with the resources they need, and as music lovers, we encourage you to purchase the album’s volumes and make a difference; in return, you receive some incredible drum & bass music,” said DJ Xylo.

Xylo Records and its boss are gearing up to release the fourth edition of the ‘Rhythms of Empathy’ compilation, so we sat down with DJ Xylo to know more about the project and its plans ahead.

TFword: What was the pivotal moment in starting this project with War Child?
DJ XYLO:
I think as a collective, the pivotal moment for us was getting approval on the project in officially recognised support of War Child UK, because this gave us substantial grounds to build the campaign into what it’s now become.

TF: The three compilations released so far feature such a broad spectrum of the genre. How and when did the process of bringing artists together begin?
DJ XYLO:
In January 2023, after building the connection with War Child UK, I began to reach out to various artists individually. The process was slow to begin with, and I found it very difficult to get engagement, I guess people found it hard to put faith in what was, at that point, a vision without much having happened on the ground. However, once we’d released Volume 1, public awareness of the project had grown, making finding support easier. We’re a fairly new label, so it still requires substantial input.

TF: Another great aspect of ‘Rhythms of Empathy’ is that you have expanded the project across four editions. Reckon it has given you enough space to talk about the cause more?
DJ XYLO: Thank you – we couldn’t have done it alone! I’m grateful for the input from every part of the label’s collective and other organisations, like our partner brand SkankOut, who’ve talked to artists about the project and shared the good word. Releasing over multiple volumes has given a greater scope for publicity, although I feel that we can still improve the project’s fundraising successes a lot over the coming months.

TF: Not living in the best of times, are we? Wars and conflicts are going on on three separate continents, and the ones getting impacted heavily are children.
DJ XYLO: Unfortunately, we aren’t; however, that doesn’t mean we’re powerless to create positive change together and that’s an integral part of the Rhythms of Empathy mission statement.

TF: How has working with War Child UK been for you?
DJ XYLO:
War Child UK have been on hand throughout the developmental stages, and have been most helpful in offering information, setting up the official donations link we use, and sending out collection boxes, stickers and promotional materials. I will continue to work closely alongside them throughout the duration of the project, and I hope to be able to show them the potential that exists, should we receive major industry support from a prominent figure – for example!

TF: You hosted a charity event for the project to amplify the project’s message. Tell us more about it?
DJ XYLO:
Sure! We held a launch party for the album in Ipswich at a venue called ‘The Club’ on the 4th of November, Kleu, Conrad Subs and SOLA were our headliners on the night. The launch saw a strong turnout and a high energy atmosphere from start to finish. We all felt it was a real success, and everyone who attended enjoyed the celebration. It meant a lot to me personally, having worked for such a long time on the project, to see everyone coming together for the launch.

TF: How do you plan to take the project forward?
DJ XYLO:
We plan to ride on the momentum of the launch, the success of previous volumes from the album and trust in the power of word of mouth. We are a small label trying to do something inclusive, with positive intentions to inspire change. 

TF: Once again, the project exemplifies the scene’s ability to come together every time there is adversity. Doesn’t it?
DJ XYLO:
Yes, we believe that music has the power to heal, to unite, and to bring about positive change. ‘Rhythms of Empathy’ is not just an album; it’s a testament to the collective strength of the drum and bass community.

Follow Xylo Records’ socials for more information about the fourth edition of their ‘Rhythms of Empathy’ compilation.

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