It can be so demanding, the life of the modern-day DIY artiste: finding and booking gigs (even tougher now that COVID has upended the industry); doing promo, conceptualizing and co-ordinating photo and video shoots, liaising with playlists, DJs, and music platforms (Spotify, etc) and media.

Music artiste/impresario Courtney Malcolm, who is on the rise as XO Tingz, is presently caught in that very same whirl, and all the activity to take his burgeoning career to the next level leaves very little time for social pursuits with the ladies.

Not that his work and growing popularity exclude them: case in point, “Rock With You” one of his latest videos, finds the singjay getting up close and very personal with a very appealing young female, including a “mock wedding.” While he’s not likely to be heading down an aisle (or beach) anytime soon, he is nominally open to the possibility of a relationship, but insists that the ideal partner would not only have to be  gorgeous but would need extraordinary patience and understanding (to deal with his frenetic, 24/7 work pace AND would also have to have that undefinable “extra” to hold his interest as, by his own admission, he “gets bored easily.”

Fortunately, not with music, which he says has been a mainstay of his life since his earliest childhood. It saw him on various choirs as a youngster (including during high school at St George’s College) and even led him into musical theatre as a member of the famed  AShe Ensemble and JMTC (Jamaica Musical Theatre Company)

It was only a matter of time before the recording booth beckoned, and having relocated to Bridgeport, Connecticut (like Kingston, a historic seaport and, essentially now a satellite of nearby New York City), he has been steadily increasing his presence and currency in that scene, along with other local up and comers (including Creeper Gang, with whom he collaborated on a number of features).

From that process, he birthed  “Inception” a five-track EP that, in typical fashion, he self-produced and released on his own Valcerio label. This approach, he emphasizes, leaves him as full owner of his music and the more in control when the “bigger break” inevitably happens. The aforementioned “Rock With You” and
“Elevated” is among the tracks helping the project to generate good feedback on the various current platforms which XO, as a 21st Century artiste, is naturally well-versed in making use of.
There is, however, a 20thCentury marker of success for which he is aiming. He sees himself, in the not too distant future, as part of the VMAs and other big awards show – both as a performer and recipient. That, he says, will be one sure confirmation that he has broken out of his current circle and into the big leagues.
Until then, XO is continuing to put in the work, physically and virtually: making music, making calls, making links, and constantly striving to become a better artiste, perfecting his craft with energy and enthusiasm. And, if in the midst of all that, the “very extraordinary young miss should come along and prove her mettle by keeping him interested, well……who knows?


XO Tingz

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