xSDTRK Creates Unique Sound on New Track, powDer

xSDTRK Creates Unique Sound on New Track, powDer

You know that moment when you first hear a song and without thinking you stop whatever it is you’re doing to just listen. Well, I had that moment a few weeks ago when a friend recommended xSDTRK’s track, powDer. This song will work its way in through your ears and affect you, which is just the way its creator, xSDTRK (aka Yonatan “Yoni” Ayal), planned it.

The track features vocals from Steph Bosch and from Yoni himself, and was started a year ago in the artist’s basement. The two got together to do some recording and were inspired by playing random sounds and melodies; he says, “We didn’t really take it too seriously; we just let it happen”. Since then Yoni has been tinkering on the track between other projects, sometimes while working at Starbucks, and released the track just a few weeks ago. So far he’s had a hugely positive reception, he said that people have reacted to the track in exactly the way he’d hoped.

“So far people have got it, they didn’t put it into any one specific genre. And most people allowed themselves to meditate while listening to it and that’s what I wanted. I wanted everybody to translate it into their own lives.”



So, who is this Yoni character? Well, here’s some background: Yoni started studying music when he was three — at the Toronto Royal Conservatory — and music, in some form, has been a part of his life ever since. However, his impetus for a career in the industry was when he discovered a now ubiquitous musical genre: “I told myself I was going to make music when I discovered hip hop.”

Although much of his award-winning producing work is in the hip hop and R&B genres, his solo act is a fairly large side step into a beautifully unique, creative and international sound. A sound which, he says, is the result of having full creative control over the music he’s producing. Drawing his inspiration from multiple sources — from film sounds and from artists like Björk, even Sarah McLachlan, and more contrasting musical genres like pop — Yoni is developing a mood to his music that is entirely his own.

“I listen to a lot of film sounds, and I go through the different sounds and then once something connects with me I put together the mood of it and then I write a song separately, either on the guitar or the piano, to recreate the story.

“I usually listen to a contrasting style of music when I’m creating. I’ll listen to more experimental music when I’m writing a pop record, or when I’m working on my own songs I listen to Taio Cruz or Labyrinth or Ellie Goulding. They’re in more of a conventional pop framework, so that inspires me and everything sort of comes full circle,” he added.


Images from left: photo by Julien Laperriere; powDer cover art.


As I listened to Yoni speak about his first solo release, it’s clear this is a musician who has found himself as an artist. He says PowDer is an example of the direction his future music will take. A direction which he hopes will also lead on to film scoring.

“This project started as a demo for film and now I’m gettting closer to that moment where I do get into film and I do start scoring. I’m open to it, and it’s something I’m really excited about. It’s definitely a part of my career — it’s going to happen!”

And, really, his music has such a storytelling quality that it doesn’t seem much of a leap for the artist to migrate his unique sound into films. And like many artists, he is passionate about the creating process.

“I enjoy just letting go on the piano and I enjoy when I’m just programming things. You get to create things that didn’t exist prior to you playing them so there’s instant gratification. You sit there and zone out for a moment and then the second you come back and you listen to what you’ve just created — it’s so gratifiying.”

We’ll keep you up-to-date on what Yoni does next, because one thing about this 23-year-old artist is for sure — this is just the beginning of his story.


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