Why Not Show Love To New R&B Girl Group, XSO
R&B groups have such a long and storied history in urban music. But these days groups are nearly a distant memory. Before you interrupt me, yes it’s true that groups like Jagged Edge, SWV and TGT have released albums in the last couple of years, while New Edition and what’s left of Dru Hill and Blackstreet seem to always be on the road. But new, successful groups are few and far in between. But a new R&B girl group may just be the type of shot in the arm R&B needs. That’s exactly what new trio, XSO is banking on. Pronounced eX-Oh, these ladies are hoping their unique balance of exotic looks and trendy rhythmic sounds will help them reach a level of success not seen by a girl group on a large scale since Destiny’s Child (unless you want to make an argument for Danity Kane or Cherish).
It should be noted that girl groups are currently trending. Recently emerging are Fifth Harmony, and Matthew Knowles’ company just revealed their new group, Blushhh, while BET is getting in on the fun with a new television show searching for ladies to create the next great girls group, hosted by Kelly Rowland, titled, Chasing Destiny. Still, right now, Fifth Harmony may have the early lead, but it won’t be long before XSO has the edge.
XSO is comprised of three multi-talented ladies, Mia, Jaz and Paije. [appearing left to right, above]
Originally from Detroit, Michigan.
Prior to being added to the group she was working on her solo music career and designing clothes for her fashion line, Front Paije Designs.
Dates NBA Champion, Mario Chalmers, who most recently played for the Memphis Grizzles.
Full name: Olayinka Mia Noel
Raised in Atlanta, Georgia.
Prior to the joining XSO, Mia was an international model, working out of NYC, she traveled doing print modeling.
Mia replaces former group member Vii in the group, Vii appears in the group’s “Why Not” video but was replaced by Mia before they hit the road on tour with Monica.
Attended Kennesaw State University before her modeling career took off.
Cleveland, OH native
The rapper of the group, JAZ is a natural artist.
Prior to the group she attended Georgia State University. She graduated shortly before joining the group.
The group was put together by their manager, who brought the ladies to the attention of longtime music executive, Devyne Stephens. Stephens then signed them to his Upfront Entertainment imprint. Stephens is most well known for discovering Akon, buy he also played a role in the careers of Usher, Destiny’s Child, TLC and T-Pain.
The transition into a trio, according to the ladies has been pretty smooth considering that they didn’t know each other prior to forming the group. The process came together pretty quickly as well, and since the merger to form XSO, they’ve had to hit the ground running. “It kinda happened overnight,” Paije admits. “All our attitudes and personalities are really positive though, so it wasn’t something we had to work on.”
XSO released their single, “Why Not” featuring Trybishop towards the end of the year. “Why Not” is an edgy, upbeat track with Hip-Hop spirit. The ladies put out a video for the song, which also provides listeners with a visual introduction to XSO. They released a couple of buzz singles as well, including, “It’s Whatever”.
Watch XSO “Why Not” here:
The music they’ve released has led to some misconceptions however. “People think we all rap and that we don’t really sing, but we actually do,” Mia shares. “It’s just that the music we’re putting out now is moreso Hip-Hop. But we can all really sing!”
XSO set out on the road in December as part of Monica’s Code Red Tour with Rico Love. That gave them an opportunity to bring their sound and swag to fans across the country. I personally got to see the ladies at their New York City performance. Watching their distinct style and stage presence assured me that they have a bright future in this music industry.
The ladies admit that there are difficulties and struggles with growing a brand and a fanbase for a new group. Even though opening up for Monica was a huge stepping stone, setting up their stage show for new audiences was tricky considering that their music is still new to many listeners. “People don’t know that our show is set up for people to hear what they’re already familiar with in the midst of hearing things that are new, because we’re new and our music is new to them,” Jaz revealed about the thought process behind their set. “We have to mix in other people’s songs to bring you in and keep you captivated because if we got up there and did all of our songs, you wouldn’t know anything, you wouldn’t even care about the show,” Paije added, a direct comment to social media critics who’ve called them “karaoke singers”.
Up next for XSO? More shows, of course and look out for more music, coming really soon.
More info at www.xsomusic.com