Mon, 20 Sep 2010 09:05:27
Xhoana will make you want to get up and dance.
Her music is hyper-charged infectious dance pop that sits somewhere between the European panache of Tiësto and Madonna's sexy American swagger. "Blow My Mind," released via Moonbeam Records, volleys seamlessly between Xhoana's seductive crooning and propulsive production. It's spacey, elegant and über catchy. Right now, Xhoana is in the midst of cutting more tracks in Los Angeles, but she's already carved out quite the sound.
Xhoana sat down with ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino for an exclusive interview about blending American and European sounds, drawing influence from The Scarlet Empress and why she's about to blow minds everywhere…
How do songs typically come together for you?
I'll either write to an existing track, or I'll compose a melody and lyrics without a track. I don't play an instrument but, when I write, everything will come together as a melody in my head. That's how it usually goes.
Your music mixes classic American pop and modern European dance. Would you say that's the case?
I started as a dancer before I got into music. However, I began writing poetry when I was in high school, so it all came together within the songs. I'm a dancer, so my music definitely has to have roots in dance. When I relate to music, I like something that has a beat and makes me move. I try to do that when I write as well. It has a catchy feel, and hopefully you're thinking about it later [Laughs].
What's the story behind "Blow My Mind?"
It's really weird! I wrote that in about 15 minutes. I'd just met these two producers and we got together in the studio. The track was completely different than it is now. I came up with a hook very fast, and it happened really quickly. Sometimes, words just come together, and it was one of those sneak-up-on-you moments. Often when I write, I'll look at images of things I like, and those bring out words and stories in my head. I always see a video going along to a song. That's how it starts.
What are some of those images?
I love a lot of old movies like The Scarlet Empress and dark stuff like that. At the same time, I love high fashion. There are some photographers that have amazing images like Helmut Newton. Every time I look at a picture, I try to think of the story behind it. There's something going on, like some sort of mini-movie or short.
What's up with "The Greatest"?
It's an empowerment song. The people who didn't believe in you the beginning always eventually say, "I knew all along" when you do make it. It's directed towards all that L.A. bullshit [Laughs]. I want to get shit done like yesterday, I don't want to wait on anyone flakey. Things lose their energy if you don't ride the momentum you initially have.
Which artists shaped you?
I'm Euro, so a lot of European pop music [Laughs]. Then there's The Pet Shop Boys, Freddie Mercury and George Michael. I used to listen to a lot of that when I was young and a lot of the early '90s dance groups. My taste is eclectic though. I don't stick to any certain styles. I like anything from Kings of Leon to Sade to Korn.
It's funny because it seems like these days dance music and metal are getting closer together.
A lot of DJs like heavy music! I know one DJ who spins electro, and she loves heavy music. It's funny. I'd love to mix different genres and flavors.
Have you heard Xhoana yet?