XAXO: Evolution As Music Fans to Latin Music’s Hottest Upcoming Artists

by Natasha Melina

Dav and Johnny Julca are the two brothers that form the Miami-based duo “XAXO.” Originally known as the Julca brothers, Dav and Johnny Echo are no newcomers to the music industry. The Grammy-Award winning brothers are both extremely well-versed and have had much of their success from being writers and producers for music’s first-class talent including Ricardo Montaner, Mau y Ricky, Farruko, Justin Quiles, and that’s only to name a few.

 

XAXO put a lot of thought into their artist name and ultimately drew inspiration from family. Their father’s name is Eduardo and the brothers share that same middle name. They say that everyone calls their father by the nickname “Lalo,” essentially making them “Lalo’s” as well. To give it more visual appeal, Johnny thought to change the “L’s” to “X’s.” According to Dav and Johnny Echo, their artist name being personal is a constant reminder to them to stay true to who they are. 

 

 

Family being a heavy influence on XAXO’s lives have shaped them in many crucial ways. Dav and Johnny were born in Panama to Peruvian parents but eventually moved to Ohio where they were raised. Immersed in culture, both brothers found themselves having an intense obsession with different music (punk, pop rock, hip hop) throughout their evolution as music fans. They humbly admit that they will always be students of music because it’s something that is much bigger than just them. XAXO says “we’re a team creating things that didn’t exist yesterday and now people are listening to it today. It’s a humbling process and we will continue to learn how to evolve in music.”

 

XAXO carries a lot of what they learned throughout their childhood with them today. Both of their parents being pastors essentially provided them with a broader picture of the world we live in. Dav says “them being spiritual leaders influenced us a lot in our leadership. It has inspired and challenged us. Thankfully we learned a lot of things that we still put into practice with our team. From the way we lead our team, to releasing music, and finishing songs, it’s a whole process.” 

 

For years, both Dav and Johnny Echo have garnered lots of attention and success from their work in the studio. Their work writing and producing has won them Grammy awards and nominations. They have participated on many noteworthy projects including writing with high quality artists like Ricky Martin, Jason Derulo, Marc Anthony, Paulina Rubio, and Alejandro Sanz, amongst many others. 

 

 

They have had a successful journey doing their share of studio work with big name artists but when Dav and Johnny made the decision to venture out as artists themselves, it was a new challenge but one that they were certainly able to handle. The music that XAXO makes has a distinct and catchy sound that can’t be replicated. Although Dav himself calls their music “weird,” it has an eclectic sound stemming from their love and work with various genres of music. 

 

In 2020, XAXO released an EP titled “MMXX.”  The EP’s title are the roman numerals for 2020 which Dav and Johnny Echo share was a definitive year for them and their band. In Dav’s words, “se activó la cosa en 2020.” XAXO’s latest EP “MMXX” consists of six tracks including a few collaborations. Featured on the EP is one of their latest viral hits “Bebe,” alongside Lalo Ebratt and Mike Bahía. Also on the EP is their collaboration with Mau y Ricky and Rudy Mancuso “Anda Pal Carajo.” 

 

 

After putting the Julca brothers in a tough spot by asking them if they had a favorite song, Johnny Echo shared “each track to me is very special because that’s more or less how my brain and life functions. To me, it’s a little boring to repeat the same thing over and over. ‘Delincuente’ is a track that sticks out and I think I like that the most because I feel like it ties the whole EP together.” Ironically, Johnny Echo is a self-proclaimed rebel so it adds up. The “angelito” Dav and “rebel” Johnny both had “Delincuente and “Dudas” as their top two off the EP. 

 

The “Delincuente music video was directed by both Dav and Johnny Julca at the beginning of quarantine. Witnessing what was happening in the world, Dav says that when creating the vision for the video “fue una sopa de ideas.” XAXO knew that they wanted the video to relate to what everyone was going through at the time. That’s where Johnny got the idea to lay tarps on the ground and have his brother completely shave his head since people were no longer getting haircuts and it had become a trend to rock a shaved head. Since there was only one shot, Dav says he was mainly focused on trying not to mess it up although I don’t see how that would have been possible. 

 

 

XAXO’s new release “Fogata” featuring Mario Puglia just dropped today. Prior to its release, Dav and Johnny shared that they had previously worked with Puglia and he’s one of those people that they just knew immediately that they would want to collaborate with him again. When they were all creating this song, Dav says that they all vibed out so hard and it was an organic collaboration that flowed very well. 

 

The XAXO brothers are ready for the new year with Johnny  saying “we have a lot of new music coming, literally dropping a song every single month. The dynamic of throwing stuff that feels right to us is the dynamic that we’re going to keep up so it’s going to be a surprise every time.” Dav chimed in that we should expect “awesome unexpected collaborations.” One thing is certain, this is just the beginning for XAXO and with an impeccable track record, we anticipate tons of new and catchy records from them.

 

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