Sam Harris of X Ambassadors Opens Up About New Music and Organizing Cayuga Sound Festival!

By: Victoria Moorwood//


X Ambassadors have been busy. The “Renegades” singers recently performed at Kaaboo in Del Mar, CA, along with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, T-Pain, Logic, Ke$ha, and so many more top-notch performers. They are also celebrating their successful organizing of the Cayuga Sound Festival, which allowed them to host a huge musical event right in their hometown of Ithaca, NY. The “Jungle” singers are also getting ready to release a new album, from which the single “Ahead Of Myself” has already dropped, along with a beautifully raw music video. Here, X Ambassadors’ lead vocalist Sam Harris opens up about the true story behind their new single, the challenges and joys of organizing Cayuga Sound, and the funny story that ended up being the highlight of their Kaaboo weekend!

Did the concept for “Ahead Of Myself” come from something one of you personally experienced?

There have been so many times in my life where I’ve found myself diving headfirst into something for which I am utterly unprepared. Times when I’ve either committed to something or someone before I was ready, or put my trust in someone before that trust was truly earned… almost all of these have ended in some degree of heartbreak. I’m an impulsive, passionate person, and oftentimes I forget to look before I leap. The inspiration from the song definitely came from that place. It’s also a song about admitting your faults and embracing your flaws—no one is perfect, and I’m no different than anyone else in that regard.

What was your favorite part of Kaaboo?

We got to meet Shaq backstage. He is the nicest dude and he is also HUGE! I had to fully crane my neck upwards to look him in the eye. I was very surprised that he fit inside his trailer.

What are you most looking forward to for your performance in the Cayuga Sound Festival?

Mostly I’m looking forward to being with my closest friends and family. But I’d like to be able to look out in the crowd and imagine a young kid out there who has dreams of being in a band, touring the world like us, and see that it’s possible. Even for a group of kids from a small town in upstate New York.

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Are you going to play any unreleased songs off your upcoming album?

Yes we will. And we’re SO excited / very, very nervous.

What was the biggest challenge in helping to organize Cayuga?

The biggest challenge was probably convincing ourselves that we could do it in the first place [laughing]… For the longest time I told my manager Seth he was crazy for thinking we could pull something like this off so early on in our career. But, by some miracle, we’ve actually made it happen. I couldn’t be more thrilled.

X Ambassadors, Photo by Catie Laffoon

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