Miami's XYZA Collective Celebrates First Anniversary: "It's About Unique Sounds"

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

A year ago, Telescope Thieves' Mario De Los Santos was feeling pretty lonely.

"I always felt like the odd guy out," he says. "At the time, if you were a producer or a beat maker, you'd get booked for shows and be the only beat maker among guys with bands."

He was looking for peers to push and inspire him, like-minded musicians with whom he could talk shop or share a rough draft of a new track. And then, XYZA happened.

Neither a band, nor a record label, it is a collective of independent electronic music producers who come together to share tricks of the trade, help each other find bookings, and feel like they belong to something. Founded by four dudes in March 2014, the group has since expanded to include a dozen musicians. And next month, XYZA will celebrate its first anniversary with a proper showcase at Bardot Miami.

See also: Meet the XYZA Collective, Miami's 12-Member Electronic Music Crew

"All of a sudden, we're at 12 members, and I'm like, 'Where were all these guys?," De Los Santos says. "We could have been doing way cooler shows."

Though Telescope Thieves and a couple of others were around for the formation of XYZA, De Los Santos gives all of the credit for the group's direction and vision to Matt Palma, AKA Palmdays.

"It's his baby," he says. "I can't speak for him, but just from watching, I think he's really about finding unique sounds. He doesn't want to have a bunch of people that sound the same, and his other level is just having it be a really Miami thing."

XYZA is unique in a sea of sonically-driven, border-crossing dot-com collectives. Instead of basing XYZA around a sound, Palma puts geography at the center of the mix, capturing and mentoring the many facets and volumes of Miami's emerging musical spectrum. The result is a diverse line-up of 12 musicians blending their influences and pooling their knowledge for the benefit of each unique voice.

"It's very eclectic, so for the show it's going to be pretty cool," De Los Santos says. "If you come in from the beginning, you're going to hear a lot of different electronic sounds."

Not to say there isn't a common element.

"We party like crazy," he laughs. "Every time we have a show, we get live, so be able to come get drunk with us and get wavy."

New Times' Top Music Blogs

-Miami's 25 Best Electronic Music Acts

-Downtown Miami's Five Best Dance Clubs

-The 10 People Who Won't Make It in Miami

XYZA 1-Year Anniversary with Telescope Thieves, Lautios, Brightwing, Phantasman, The Gamma Bot, Pazmal, and more. Sunday, March 8, at Bardot, 3456 N. Miami Ave., Miami. Ages 21 and up. The party starts at 10 p.m., and cover is free. Call 305-576-5570, bardotmiami.com.

Follow Kat Bein on Twitter @KatSaysKill.

Follow us on Facebook at Miami New Times Music.

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.