XI ELEVEN makes waves with music

Chloe Lee

Standing in front of his studio microphone in a room filled with various recording equipment, senior Kai Tsao sings a few notes. His hands fly across the piano, trying out different keys to find the perfect melody. After recording his voice and the instruments, Tsao begins to fine-tune the song further by editing its beats and sounds.

Tsao has been producing music for two years as an outlet to escape reality and express his emotions. He first created his brand, xi eleven in May 2016.

First gaining inspiration from YouTube, Tsao started experimenting with music including other people’s beats and vocals to create a notable sound.

Tsao’s first two albums, “Undestroyed” and “Unidentified”, were produced in the middle of 2016 and the beginning of 2017 respectively and are featured on his website. Along with each song, Tsao includes an album song list as well as translations and interpretations.

Tsao’s third album, named “Unraveled” tells a story about dealing with failure.

“I sang with him on one of his songs and helped take his concept photos for the second album,” said junior Megan Yang. “The whole experience was something I had never did before and it was something new.”

Another one of Tsao’s close friends, senior Andrew Destin, played the trumpet as background music in his song, “Textbook Life,” which gave it a realistic backing track.

“While working with Kai, I got to use his recording set for the first time, which was an unbelievable experience,” said Destin. “It was my first time being recorded at something similar to a professional scale. To see how Kai makes his music come together with everthing was simply unbelievable.”

Growing up, Tsao felt connected with the number eleven.

“I felt like I just didn’t want to use my own name,” said Tsao. “My songs portray a different personality than I am in real life.”

Tsao’s music showcases hardships and feelings he would not normally talk about with his peers. His songs enable him to sing about significant events in his life that are personal and difficult to share with others.

“Music has given me a sense of purpose,” said Tsao. “In my first two years of high school, I didn’t really have any interests or idea of what I would be able to pursue, but going into music, I have one way to go.”

His friends and family support and appreciate his music, as Tsao often comes home to find his own music playing.

Tsao does not see his interests in music as a hobby, but rather something he is passionate about and dedicated to, since he plans to pursue music studies in college and onward.

“Even if I’m 60, I’ll still be jamming out to music. Music is definitely is something I would be doing in the future even if it’s not my profession,” Tsao said.