Gold Coast R&B duo CVIRO and GXNXVS have a lot more than their all-caps stage names in common. After a mutual friend suggested they link up and create together, a shared affinity for ’90s and ’00s R&B music was discovered, and soon enough a DIY at home studio was built to facilitate their prolific output. Their sound is smooth and sexy, a fusion of old school R&B sounds with modern neo-soul—it’s a sound that’s earned them a devoted fan base and attention from the OVO team, who made them the first Australian urban artists to be aired on Apple Music Beats1, OVO Sound Radio. Now, with an EP—2018’s Now You Know—millions of streams, and years of collaborating under their collective belts, they’re ready to take the next step. We caught up with them via email to chat about their new single ‘Negotiation’, their favourite producers, and the talent show moment that changed CVIRO’s life.
Hey guys! Your new single ‘Negotiation’ is a bit of a switch up from the harder hitting tracks on Now You Know. Can we expect more tracks of this nature from you on your next project?
CVIRO: Thanks [we] appreciate that, it is more of a slow jam this time around, something we have not really done before and we do have a few more geared for the bedroom. But you can also expect that C&G knock with some other releases coming up as well.
GXNXVS: I think with the evolution of our sound we can’t be locked into doing the same thing over and over so we’re aways trying to push and develop the sound into something new. ‘Negotiation’ is just the first taste of us moving into a new music space and solidifying our position in the game.
How did you first meet and when did you start creating music together?
C&G: For two guys that started out in a studio setup built in my parents garage we have come a long way. At the same time not much has changed, since the first time we worked together, we still have that same hunger and drive to be the best in the game.
What would you call your sound if you had to put a name to it?
CVIRO: There is still no name for the sound yet but what we do is a hybrid of new jack swing, neo-soul and hip-hop soul. We just need to figure out a smart abbreviation. Any suggestions?
GXNXVS: I think we’re just aiming to bring the spotlight back on R&B like it was back in the ’90s and ’00s. It’s like any genre—it’s not new it’s just evolved into something and we’re just trying to lead the way.
Who are your favourite R&B artists and producers from the ’90s and ’00s?
CVIRO: I might answer the R&B artist and let GXNXVS answer the producer questions. Let’s make it even a bit more interesting and go with [my] top five R&B groups of all time, something I feel no one ever discusses. [My picks are] Jodeci, H-town, 112, Dru Hill and Jagged Edge.
GXNXVS: I’m with all CVIRO’s picks. On the producer tip these guys are definitely who I look up to in all aspects of production and how they cemented themselves in the history books: Timbaland, Devanté Swing, Scott Storch, Darkchild and Teddy Riley.
Aside from music, were there any influential moments that made you want to make the style of music you do?
CVIRO: One of my first memories in life is going to a high school talent show and seeing my older cousin preform two songs which I still remember so clearly ‘Pony’ by Ginuwine and ‘Water Runs Dry’ by Boyz 2 Men. The way the crowd reacted especially the ladies in the audience, I instantly fell in love with [the] thought a becoming an artist and R&B music.
GXNXVS: For me I think one of my first memories was definitely the movie with Bow Wow, Like Mike. That shit got me locked on R&B and hip hop in general.
If you could pick three collaborators from this generation or the ’90s/’00s generation, who would you choose?
CVIRO: We have had a lot of dope artists reach out in the last year that I would love to work with and you should see some of those collabs come out later in the year. [But] If I had to pick 3 to work with right now: Puff, Devante Swing and Sonder.
GXNXVS: Damn, there’s so many people I want to work with over both generations but specifically for C&G I would say these guys: King Combs, Timbaland and Ginuwine.
What’s up next for you two? Is there a longer body of work in the pipeline?
CVIRO: Expect another EP this year as well as our first tour. The shit is going to be crazy!
GXNXVS: What he said.