CSU student musician reflects on artistic growth

Miles Parrish

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Xavier Hadley, a 22-year-old Colorado native and English senior at Colorado State University, goes by the name of “Xavley” and is making waves with his music all over Colorado. Hadley has been making and releasing music over the past couple of years, and through music has found his own personal creative identity.


Man with guitar
CSU senior and English and ethnic studies major Xavier Hadley poses for a portrait on Oct. 15. (Colin Shepherd | Collegian)

Under his stage name, Hadley has put out an impressive catalog of music. With two albums and multiple EPs on Spotify, Apple Music and SoundCloud, the artist has much more in store. In his music, Hadley shows off production skills and vocals with hypnotic melodies over self-produced beats utilizing entrancing guitar notes. Through his music, he embarks on the pursuit of self-expression through one of its purest forms. 

“I feel like I have a natural drive to just create stuff and I like to see myself through different mediums,” Hadley said.

When peering into Hadley’s music, the organic nature of his creative process becomes clear. While he is not void of outside inspiration, he credits guitarist and singer-songwriter Steve Lacy as the man that got him started in music. Hadley is able to make a world of his own that he has allowed listeners to enter into seamlessly. 

“I’ve been scared to say what I want to say and be myself for so long,” Hadley said. “And now I think I want to use music to actually say the things that I want to say and talk about the things that I want to talk about.”

When asked what he uses to record his music, Hadley said “I use those headphones,” and pointed towards his pair of SkullCandy earbuds laid on the table. When in the process of bringing his musical concepts to life, Hadley uses his Fender guitar, amp and his laptop. It’s a humble setup, but he does much more than just make do with it and manages to produce music of a quality that surpasses the expectations of his resources. 

Xavley’s music is now streaming on Spotify, Apple Music, and SoundCloud.

It is evident that music has provided him a release for the things that occupy his mind. There is an inherent sense of a personal connection between Hadley and his music that is easy to appreciate. Hadley aims to provide a lens into the multiple experiences and emotional states that he goes through.

Songs like “Prsnlspce” and “Somethin'” are two examples of the different relationships he experiences with people. As time passes, these experiences, relationships and emotional states change, and Hadley still has plenty of room to grow both as a person and an artist.

“I guess a lot of my older music would be kind of angsty, maybe cinematic at times … It’s reflective of a younger me and doesn’t really reflect what I think about now, but it’s definitely growing,” Hadley said. “I guess I feel like the music has some catching up to do”.

Hadley released his first album under the Xavley name, titled “Ghost on the Run“, in December 2017. Immediately afterward, he got to work on his second project called “Oof.” and released it this July. 

“I have ADHD, and I have this thing where I hyper-focus for periods of time,” Hadley said. “On weekends I would sometimes work on songs from as soon as I woke up to the moment I went to bed. I have to keep using this skill that I’ve gained for as long as possible”.


Through his musical pursuits, Hadley has been able to make several connections within the music world, whether through time spent in the Denver art community, or forming connections with fellow artists on SoundCloud. He even reconnected with his old step-brother, who goes by “Dream-Like“, through SoundCloud and has formed a musical relationship with him, constantly sharing music between each other and exchanging feedback.

“I’ve been scared to say what I want to say and be myself for so long. And now I think I want to use music to actually say the things that I want to say and talk about the things that I want to talk about.” -Xavier Hadley, ‘Xavely’

Hadley has much planned for his future in music. An artist’s process brings new ideas and experiences, but as he matures, he also finds interest in expressing his origins. Hadley has another EP titled “With Love,” planned to release around January 2019. 

“Going forward I would like to explore topics relating to my relationships with the general population of people around me, the earth, masculinity, race, how it was growing up in predominantly white spaces, sexuality …, ” Hadley said. “I guess I’d like to talk about my story and what I’ve lived as a person. Music has definitely made me more comfortable in my own skin.” 

Miles Parrish can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @parrishm20