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Back when they formed as teenagers in the mid-00s, The xx’s early interviews and gigs were defined by their anxiousness.They admitted that they never dreamt of, nor searched for, fame.The band was formed when Croft and Sim met during their time at Elliott School, with Baria Qureshi joining the same year and Smith a year after.After posting demos on their Myspace page, they drew the attention of the Beggars Group-owned label Young Turks.The group has however downplayed the influence of the school on its career: "A teacher from Elliott who had never even taught us said how great we were. We were left alone, more than anything – although I'm sure that helped us in its own way." Oliver Sim and Romy Madley Croft started the band as a duo when they were 15.Guitarist Baria Qureshi joined once it began performing in 2005, with Jamie Smith, also known as Jamie xx, joining a year after.After their debut, Qureshi was released from the group and their second album, Coexist, was released on 5 September 2012 to positive reviews, peaking at #5 on the Billboard 200.After a four year lapse between releases, including Smith's solo debut in 2015, In Colour, the band released their third album, I See You, on 13 January 2017, which debuted to critical acclaim and peaked at #2 on the Billboard 200.
To them, the oncoming limelight looked terrifyingly bright.
By the time 2012 follow-up ‘Co-exist’ arrived there were flickers of confidence – like the trio were finally inching themselves into their stardom as if it was a steaming hot bath.
Five years away and their self-belief has transformed. Romy Madley Croft challenged herself by taking part in pop songwriting camps in LA.
While in prison, he became a member of the Nation of Islam (NOI) and after his parole in 1952, quickly rose to become one of the organization's most influential leaders.
He served as the public face of the controversial group for a dozen years.