Xavier, an artist based out of Orlando, Florida, whose ideas and plans are broader than the city he currently resides in.
In 2018, he released his 7-track offering of 1447, a sincere body of work highlighting the ebbs and flow life brings, through that alone of existence. He raps about becoming an elite artist, acquiring assets for his people and past relationships.
“Use a pen to put emotions on a sheet so I can get big like Drake,” Xavier raps, on track five, “Big Like Drake.” Drake’s career is mentioned as an aspiration for Xavier’s career, but not the type of artist he wants to emulate. This proves to be true on the second-to-last track, “Lil Gardener.” The song rebirths 1447.
“I’ve been planting seeds since 17,” Xavier raps “Lil Gardener,” symbolizing his artistic highs and lows to create a reality out of dreams.
“There was a lot of doubt this would happen because the EP, released May 2018, was only recognized by a small niche. However, it didn’t feel right not to complete this project with something more than the music. Kamryn [Harris] (director/editor of the film) brought up that she really wanted to turn ‘1447’ into a film. At the time, I began to accept that the film was too ambitious for me to handle so early in my career. This is only my third music video.”
Nonetheless, the responsibility was not immense enough for Xavier to handle, as he worked with Kamryn to shoot a year’s worth of work in one day. The film, Lil Gardener, is the summation of work presented in 1447. Together, the songs help tie in a theme of harvesting, endurance, and patience.
“The hardest part of the process was shooting a year worth of work in one day. The largest piece of this project was figuring out what we wanted to do. How did we want to use music very personal to me (references to past relationships, family breakthroughs, and my heart’s desires) and translate it into a film for everyone to understand and relate to?”
Xavier sustained the ability to tell his own story and relate it back to the listener/viewer. Symbolic messages are unveiled as the film plays out. “Must be planted on a hill to grow,” became the exclamation point of Xavier’s film.
Craig: During the film, you find a pack of seeds for harvest. “Must be planted on a hill to grow.” I have my own interpretation of this, but I’d love to know yours.
Xavier: It can be interpreted a lot of different ways, which is why I like this question. I look at it as the goal or dream you’re working towards comes with its own set of battles, challenges, obstacles, and/or risks. The picture on the front of the package is the vision/goal. The instructions on the back simply say ‘getting to your goal won’t be easy unless you’re putting in the work and pushing through those obstacles.”
An artist’s absence can appear to be their demise, causing the manifestation of frustrations and anxieties. Whether the creative has taken a break for whatever the reason may be manifest for an artist who’s either taking a break or further expanding the creative vision. Nonetheless, the fear of being “out of sign, out mind,” can creep into the psyche.
“Honestly, there’s no rush on something that’s intended to be timeless. My homie AJ Bank$y told me that when I told him I felt bad about leaving ‘1447’ incomplete without the film. For some reason, I thought I was moving backward by not immediately dropping new music solely focusing on this film. For that reason, I’d say I learned not to be too hard on myself. Let loose and create.”
Xavier put energy back into his craft — investing in himself — helping shape the vision he had for the short film. Working alongside fellow creatives from college, Xavier executed his vision with a small team.
“I supported a large portion of the funding independently which is what pushed it out even further. My crew was 3 fellow creatives from college who I don’t think worked on a production of this scale before. We shot in March 2019 and took another 3 months in post-production while creating some promotional content. I’d do it again with this group; we’ve grown tremendously since.”
Xavier is an artist backed by patience, mindfulness, awareness and staying power. “Lil Gardener” is the results of an artist with a vision. “Lil Gardener” also showcases artistic advocacy for Him reaching the said vision.
Shortcuts only short yourself of a goal. Obstacles surface and we learn to go through it — grow through it — all while avoiding deep suffering. There’s sacredness in the advice that helps you along the way. But your story is unavoidable and growth must be harvested from the soil of your soul. May the trials and triumphant moments hold experiences you wish to be equal parts of your journey. Trials and triumphs are all a part of the story; don’t forget to enjoy your travels.