The XOL Factory Biography

Currently Eduardo is involved in an array of projects that represent his career experiences including design, music, entertainment, fashion and food. Together with a social networking and communications entity he is involved with, he hopes to bring this experience and a team of creative partners to the international market with a new television show.

Philanthropy

Eduardo works with several charities, including The Lupus Foundation of America and GLAAD, but the most important is The Alumi Media Group, a Non-profit group he founded benefiting children in underserved communities by sharing with them alternative education theories through media.

The Teen Years, Musical Theatre and Europe

eduard designerAs he approached his high school years, Eduardo joined the Mexican Dance Theatre directed by Miguel Delgado. While with the MDT, Eduardo made his professional dancing debut in the film “Zoot Suit”. While learning the art of the “Puchucos”, Flamenco, the dances of Jalisco, Vercruz and of the Aztecs, he clearly discovered he had a talent for dancing. He would then bring his dancing experience back to his high school as he ended up starring in most of his high school musicals.

Already being a musician and a dancer, singing came naturally for Eduardo and before long the song and dance group, The Young Americans, recruited him. He toured the country performing with the likes of Donny and Marie and Liberace. While a senior in high school, an audition for a job in the south of France would change his plans significantly. Eduardo was given permission to graduate high school early and begin his studies at UCLA late when he accepted his first professional stage experience and traveled to Europe to work at The Palm Beach Club in Cannes, France.

Establishing Life in Los Angeles

When Eduardo returned from Europe, it became obvious that his passion for the arts would extend beyond playing music. While studying theatre arts at UCLA, he also produced and choreographed several hit musical theatre and comedy revues that toured throughout the U.S. It is during this time that he recognized an interest in business. He was asked by a friend to assist in opening a retail-clothing store, which would require another extended trip to Europe, but this time it would be to one of the fashion capitals of the world, Milan, Italy.

Modeling

While in Italy, and during his free time, Eduardo began experimenting with Modeling. “It really was a hands-on education in fashion from the inside out.” After several months, he returned to Los Angeles and opened V.M. 18 on what was then the trendy La Brea Blvd. As he continued to assist at the store as well as model a bit back in L.A., Eduardo realized a void in his life and formed a band he called “The Running of The Bulls.” It was during this time that he began experimenting with the concept of being a songwriter.

Restaurants and Records

During a modeling job in San Francisco, Eduardo met the successful restaurateur Jesse Acevedo. Acevedo had strong relationships with the artistic and musical community in San Francisco and convinced Eduardo to move to San Francisco, run one of his restaurants, POZOLE, and really focus on his musical ambitions. Without a second thought, Eduardo relocated himself to San Francisco and began managing POZOLE. Not a few months had gone by before Eduardo began spending time with the musicians he would meet at the restaurant, including many of Carlos Santana’s crew. They began playing music and writing original material and Acevedo knew that the time was right to formally launch Eduardo’s career as a recording artist, but the strategy would not be predictable. Understanding the power of the Spanish speaking market, Acevedo convinced Eduardo to record a bilingual, but mostly Spanish record. They formed a production entity called Xol Co. and singed a record deal with BMG, but the record would be released in Mexico first. Eduardo’s next chapter would take him to Mexico City.

Latin America

Eduardo’s partnership with BMG Latin produced his first solo album, “La Pasión,” for which he was nominated for Premio Lo Nuestro’s Artist of the Year, alongside Gloria Estefan and Ricky Martin. His representation of the United States at the International Music Festival at Viña Del Mar, Chile brought his appeal to a worldwide audience. Soon, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar and Somos magazines featured the charming and down to earth Eduardo as one of Latin America’s most eligible and gorgeous bachelors.

During his time in Mexico, Eduardo also found time to produce music, videos and stage productions through his company with Acevedo. Together they worked with artists like Luis Miguel and Pilar Montenegro.

The Telenovelas

While promoting his music during his many television appearances, which included being a regular guest VJ, producers took note. It was a natural transition when Eduardo was cast in several worldwide-syndicated telenovelas (soap operas) produced by Televisa, including “Sentimientos Ajenos,” “La Jaula de Oro” and “Acapulco Cuerpo y Alma.” After completing his run with the telenovelas, Eduardo’s final project in Mexico would be a role in an independent film called “Bravo” before deciding to move back to the U.S.

Coming Out and Crossing Over

Although Eduardo was already “out of the closet” to his close family and friends, as Edi Xol, he was selling a different image. It all changed in the fall of 1998 with the brutal murder of Matthew Shephard, a 22 year old man targeted for his sexual orientation. This event prompted Eduardo to abandon his image as Edi Xol and move back to San Francisco. Taking advantage of the “dot com boom”, and together with a group of investors, Eduardo started his own record label, Mythic Music Group (MMG), which would focus on electronic and dance music. His first release, “I’ll Be There for You”, inspired by the Matthew Shephard incident, received great reviews from Billboard magazine. While traveling the country promoting the single, Eduardo publicly came out of the closet in a 1999 article published in The Advocate.

When the “dot com boom” became the “dot com bust” Eduardo decided to have a different strategy. He wanted to move the company’s operations to his native Los Angeles and change focus. He knew there was a growing business opportunity in the Hispanic urban market and felt the company could prosper from it. Although he and the company made the move, the economy dictated that it wasn’t the right time for Eduardo’s new vision so Eduardo and Mythic Music Group parted ways.

Re-discovering Plants and Becoming a Designer

After leaving Mythic Music Group, Eduardo decided to take a break from the entertainment industry. At about the same time, his father, Eduardo Sr., had begun his retirement and was exploring the art of creating bonsai. Eduardo Jr. found that spending time with his father and the bonsai plants was a perfect way to find a new balance in his life as it reconnected him to plants. Simultaneously, he decided to intern for several local landscape architects and designers and also started working for nurseries. He began to experiment with plants and volunteered designing gardens for family and friends. He discovered that his experience in musical composition was transferable. “Whether it be in a concert or in a flower garden the importance of harmony in composition is universal,” explains Eduardo.  Over the course of the next year, Xol Design, an exterior and landscape design company was flourishing.

Back to Television

As his design company brought Eduardo closer and closer to the physical proximity of Hollywood, it begged his friends and colleagues to ask whether Eduardo would ever return again to entertainment. Eduardo stated, “The only way back on television for me will have to be with plants involved.” As fate would have it, Eduardo received a call from the producers of “Extreme Makeover Home Edition” during it’s second season and said that they were looking for an exterior designer and in 2004 Eduardo joined the design team. It was during his first season on the show that Eduardo would clearly define his design philosophy. During his last show of the season, the design team was given the challenge of building a home for a young man who had recently become blind through a tragic set of circumstances. Eduardo came to realize the true design had to take all of the senses into consideration. From that point forward, he would be designing for the senses.

Becoming a Household Name

As a star designer on Extreme Makeover Home Edition, Eduardo’s compositions have been on display for millions of people to view around the world each week.  The opportunities that have followed his joining the show have been culturally significant. In addition to his monthly column that he authored in People en Español and his blogs for AOL LATINO, appearances on Good Morning America, his countless newspaper and magazine covers and articles including being named one of the 50 Most Beautiful, by People en Espanol and among the 100 Most Influential Hispanics in America by Hispanic Magazine, Eduardo has become a respected and coveted voice in the growing multilingual market of the Americas as well as an international voice through social networking.

Renaissance Man

Eduardo has been a spokesperson for companies such as Ford, Sears, Waterford, Lowes, DIRECTV and Hayneedle.com. Further, Harper Collins published Eduardo’s first book in April 2007 titled Home Sense, which was awarded the Best Self-Help Book by the 2008 International Latino Book Awards. His second book, Extreme Entertaining Made Simple, was published by the Penguin Group in the fall of 2008, and focused on entertaining for the senses and is one of the few lifestyle entertainment titles to include a CD of originally composed and licensed music, befitting various events.