XOV is a Stockholm-based artist known for his poetic songwriting and dark, hiphop-infused pop sound.
XOV first gained attention in 2015 when he was chosen by Lorde to contribute to the Hunger Games: Mockingjay soundtrack. His debut single, "Boys Don't Cry," received critical acclaim, with critics describing him as "the lovechild of James Blake and the Weeknd." He followed this up with the hit "Lucifer," which achieved Gold and Platinum status in Sweden and charted in Europe. Since then, his music has been streamed over 100 million times.
XOV's music is deeply rooted in his personal journey,reflecting his life. Born in Iran and raised in Sweden as a refugee, the contrasts between these worlds have significantly shaped his artistic voice. Growing up in the diverse suburb of Tensta, Stockholm, XOV was exposed to a rich blend of cultures and sounds, which is echoed in the multi-dimensional nature of his music. His early struggles, including coping with his father's tragic fate, have infused his songwriting with a strong sense of vulnerability and resilience. This emotional depth is evident in his lyrics, which often explore themes of loss, hope, and identity. The fusion of these personal experiences with his exploration of different musical styles, from hip-hop to dark pop, has resulted in a sound that is uniquely XOV's – a reflection of a life lived across different worlds, yet united by the universal language of music.
XOV made a strong debut in the music scene in 2015, performing at shows worldwide and culminating in a highly-acclaimed performance at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate on New Year's Eve 2015/2016 in front of millions. In 2016, he took a break from music to focus on human rights work. He founded the grassroots organization I AM YOU, which grew into a global movement with hundreds of volunteers from over 30 countries providing relief and aid to thousands in makeshift refugee camp in Greece. XOV's humanitarian efforts were recognized by Stanford University, which invited him to speak on campus in 2017. Since then, he has founded and led several philanthropic initiatives, including serving as an advisor for Human Rights Watch.
In 2018, XOV returned to music with the Nebula EP, an audiovisual project featuring striking visuals of human monuments and performers from the world-renowned dance and theatre company Troubleyn Jan Fabre in Antwerp, Belgium. The video was directed by XOV's long-time friend and mentor Phil Griffin, who also made Amy Winehouse’ Back to Black and Rehab music videos.
XOV is currently based on an island in the Stockholm archipelago, where he works in his music studio and atelier. He is actively recording new music, and updates about his projects can be followed on Instagram.
Non-musical art by XOV