Xavier BLK is one of the most recognizable disc jockeys in Atlanta’s urban music community. Renowned for his vibey sound selections and Caribbean-centric sets, the Puerto Rican, Brooklyn-born turntablist has been a central figure in Atlanta’s burgeoning DIY nightlife landscape since the early 2010s, having curated popular monthly dance parties alongside his WERC Crew collective, including Sound Table’s Shade, The Basement’s The Groove, and Music Room’s Whine. Yet, while many may currently be familiar with his sound, few know the details behind his rise to prominence and the struggles he faced earlier in his career.
In episode 5 of cultural purveyor Elijah Watkins’ Finesse Worldwide podcast, BLK sheds light on his beginnings in the music industry, the challenge of balancing artistry with fatherhood, and creating safe spaces for a number of unorthodox artists, such as Father, ABRA, Keith Charles, and many more.
“I don’t see problems, just solutions,” BLK says. “I could sit here bitching about what we don’t have here in Atlanta but what’s that gonna do? We’ve all been around and assessed the issues about what we lack, but how can we counteract that? This was my way of counteracting that.”
Listen below for an in-depth discussion between Watkins and Xavier BLK about Atlanta’s nightlife evolution, life as a first-mover, and the importance of creating communities in which like-minded individuals can cooperate and coexist.