LXVI is a Los Angeles-based recording artist returning home to Cape Cod to perform at The Boathouse in Falmouth with Crooked Coast Saturday.
LXVI (real name Levi Bazillio) grew up in Falmouth, spending his free time hanging with his friends and playing basketball. At 14 he began writing and recording music. “It started as a joke,” he recalled. “We just wanted to see if we could figure out how to do it.”
Realizing he had a knack for it, he found himself spending more and more time in his friends’ home studios. “At one point I realized instead of going to the rec to play basketball every Sunday, I was recording music. I got kind of addicted to it,” he said.
His early influences were the hip-hop and country music his dad listened to, as well the rock and pop music his mom favored. “She played a lot of John Mayer, The Fray, Phil Collins, stuff like that,” he said. “The first CDs I got when I was really young were Avril Lavigne, Kanye West and the Game but that was the unedited version, so I had to bring that one back (laughs.)”
These wide-ranging influences come across in LXVI’s music, which I would call modern pop for lack of a better term. He goes from singing to rapping effortlessly, and acoustic guitars are as present as drum machines in his catalog.
While living in Boston last year he and a music producer friend wrote a song called “Let Go” and shot a quick, simple music video. “We put it up on Instagram and did a little promotion behind it to see what it would do,” he said, adding the song gained some attention from record companies in New York and Los Angeles. He even had some interest in Canada. Eventually he settled on making a trip to LA for some meetings and studio sessions in the spring.
“I went out there and had one meeting with APG scheduled and one studio session with Atlantic Records booked,” he said. “After that studio session, the guy from Atlantic booked me for like a month. He had me in the studio every day. It was crazy.
“I was sick as hell, too. I went out of there with pneumonia and I was in the studio for months just cutting records every day,” he said. “A buddy I knew from Boston who lives out here came by a studio session and was like, ‘You should stay.’ He invited me to stay at his place, so now I’m crashing on his couch. I’ve met with Warner records and we are working on song placements (ghost writing) for other artists and building up my fan base.”
Life as an up-and-coming artist in LA is pretty demanding. LXVI broke down his day-to-day routine.
“At first it was get up, go to the studio and look for a job. I got a job at a bar, so now I work every night. I get up and write and record music all day in a studio I set up at home, then go to work at 9 PM till about 3 AM. I come home, sleep in and just do it again the next day.”
Social media is a vital component to any artist’s career, and LXVI is fairly prolific, particularly on Instagram, where he keeps his fans updated on music he’s working on as well as sharing his journey.
“Honestly it’s kind of a chore,” he said, “I know it’s something you have to do but, until I’m making my living just off music, it’s hard.”
Long term, LXVI has his sights set high, “Ideally I’d like to be an artist with a band that’s touring but I’m always open to writing for other artists, ‘cause I’ll just write another song tomorrow. It’s hard because I’ll be at a bar and I start thinking I really need to make club music because people love it and I can rap, but honestly I’m picturing stadiums. I want to make something that’s not just for the clubs. I want to fill arenas.”
The future is looking bright for Cape Cod’s own LXVI. Catch him live at The Boathouse in Falmouth on Saturday, when he performs with Crooked Coast. Doors open at 9 PM. The show starts at 10 PM. This is a 21-plus show with a $10 cover charge.