XNilo is a U.K.-based singer, songwriter, and producer; one of the first urbano voices to emerge from the British Isles. XNilo sings in Spanish and English; he is possessed of a smooth yet reedy baritone, and is equally at home with reggaeton, Latin trap, funky soul, and hip-hop. His 2019 debut single, "Que Paso,'' registered at streaming and on European club floors due to its weave of briny Latin trap and funky, break-ridden, dancehall before a pair of English-language singles were released, including the sultry R&B ballad Your Way" featuring U.K. soul sensation Etta Bond. His trap-inflected R&B jam "Bodyline" featured Modulo Thegabwoy & Ambizius, and hit the Top 100 in France and Spain, thanks to its animated video. In 2020, XNilo issued his debut album, Long Time Coming, as a mixtape that included his singles to date as well as unreleased cuts.
XNilo was born Luke Towler on the Spanish island of Santa Cruz de Tenerife to British parents. His father is a guitarist and a professional musician. XNilo picked up the instrument's rudimentals by watching him perform, and eventually learned enough to accompany him. He attended a Spanish elementary, then a performing arts school. At ten, encouraged by his parents, he competed on the national TV show, Got Talent España. At 14, he took LAMDA exams to place out of eighth grade. His mother took ill with breast cancer (she eventually recovered) and the family returned to the U.K. XNilo began writing his own songs to cope with the stress and continued to compete in local, national, and European talent competitions. His early influences were Pharrell/N.E.R.D, Tenor Saw, and Chronixx, U.K. grime, drum'n'bass, and Afrobeat. He began competing and performing wherever and whenever he could. He cut demos with local producers and even got some high-profile gigs playing between periods at football matches.
At 17, XNilo flew himself to Atlanta in the United States where he began working with a slew of producers including Parker Ighile (Nicki Minaj), and briefly went to the West Coast to work with Justin Bieber's vocal coach, but none of it amounted to much. After three months, a humbled XNilo returned to Spain and took a break from music. After working odds jobs, he returned to songwriting and recording demos. XNilo was scuffling, trying to create his own sound. He met Afrobeat artist and producer Davidio, who mentored him for a time and got him work in Spain, Nigeria, and the U.K. Upon returning to the U.K., XNilo connected with producer Raf Riley (Etta Bond, Avelino) and others on England's urban scene. Riley helped him score a deal with Front Page Recordings Limited, and XNilo issued his debut single "Que Paso" in 2019. The track got the attention of club DJs and was soon charting at streaming. A couple of months later he re-teamed with Bond for the silky R&B single "Your Way," and with Jahlani for the English-language meld of trap, dancehall, and R&B on "Fire."
XNilo returned to the States, this time relocating to Miami. He now moved between residences in the U.S., U.K., and Spain. During the spring and summer of 2020, XNilo was deeply affected by the rash of police shootings of Black people that resulted in coast to coast protests. He wrote and recorded the R&B single "No Hay Amor" in tribute to and solidarity with Black Lives Matter. In July, he wrote, produced, and appeared on Danny Avila's charting Sony Music single "Save You (No Advice)" that also featured Famous Dex.
In August, the singer issued the single and video for "Bodyline," featuring rapper Modulo Thegabwoy and singer Ambizius. The video was created by Swedish illustrator, director, and animator Magnus Carlsson (Radiohead's "Paranoid Android"). The visuals propelled the song's meld of Latin grooves and 21st century soul to the European charts; it registered inside the Top 100 at streaming and received priority airplay at BBC Radio One and OneExtra.
XNilo issued his debut long-player, the bilingual Long Time Coming, mixed by Grammy-winning engineer Manon Grandjean. The 13-track set crisscrossed reggaeton, R&B, soul, funk, hip-hop, and trap. It charted inside the Top 20 on the streaming Latin pop and urban charts. In January 2021, XNilo teamed with Tainy's reggaeton crew in Miami for the single "Quedata con Elle" featuring Jey Blessing and Andrez Babii. ~ Thom Jurek