Genre-twisting Bay Area hitmaker

Who they?

Three years ago, you had better odds finding 26-year old Alyx Henderson in a concert hall than a club. She left Houston in her late teens to study French horn at San Francisco’s prestigious Conservatory of Music, but a mild existential crisis resulted in her taking an “Intro To Ableton” elective. As Henderson’s first dalliance with electronic production, it was a lightning bolt moment. She quit her job and relocated to Berlin for an after-hours education in music, and by the end of 2019, was celebrating the release of her debut single, a funky rework of DJ Gant-Man’s ghetto house classic ‘Juke Dat Girl’, on San Francisco’s Leaving Records.


We had to wait two years for her debut full-length, but it was everything you hoped it might be. Released in October 2021, the eight tracks on ‘Ways’ tie together opposing strands of music. Syncopated footwork rhythms wind around melancholic ambience, while muddy acid gurgles and gut-busting breaks dart between a litany of jazz samples and nostalgic R&B vocal samples. It transfigured the dancefloor as a space for introspection. After enough people like me shook their fists at Leaving Records to demand a vinyl run, we were duly rewarded, and they have now almost sold out. Bag one while you still can.

Tell us more…

After another year-long hiatus, Xyla has finally returned with new single ‘On & On’, again released on Leaving Records. More of an out-and-out banger this time, with fewer compositional permutations and less cross-genre pollination. While the beat hits a clearer four-to-the-floor rather than the jerky footwork, it’s right at home on your springtime playlist. Xyla is probably a name you’re going to hear more of in the coming years, and we’ll all be better off because of it.

‘On & On’ is out on Leaving

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