If you haven’t heard of Xenia Rubinos, it’s about time you do your homework. Her unique, electrifying beats are undeniably danceable. A pretty enticing way to start the weekend, if you ask us. In our latest interview with Xenia, we were able to get inside her head, and we absolutely loved it! Check her out at Tropicalia on Friday, March 13.
Your songs have been called “unclassifiable” and “outside of any known genre.” Did you begin writing music with any specific genre in mind?
Being free with your voice and recognizing it as an instrument opens you up to so many different possibilities. It’s this invisible machinery inside of you, non-tempered but temperamental. Most of the time when I start to write I’m just following a vocal idea down the rabbit hole to see where it goes. It can be a little scary, well, it’s terrifying really- following these sounds and ideas around feeling I don’t know where they come from but yet I know exactly where they come from all at the same time. It’s easy to be afraid of yourself! How long can I sing without opening my eyes? When you open them you’re actually closing them.
When you’re writing, do you ever envision the environment in which people will be listening to your music?
Sometimes I do, but they’re really improbable situations: Nature on the verge of disaster, a lonely one in a jail cell, a wise old smoking woman driving to the groceries, a mob of young punks in a ramshackle South American village rocking out, a tiny 5 year old dancer…improbable scenarios for my music to exist in, but hey, dreaming is free (mostly)!
Your sound is all over the place in terms of style and feeling – you have everything from silky soft songs to punky noise pop with lots of percussion. Most artists tend to stick to one feeling for the majority of their songs. Why do you think your catalogue is so diverse?
Catalogue! Woof, I really have to get to work cause I only have 1 album you can listen to but lots and lots of ideas. So, it’s not a catalogue yet, but when it is hopefully it’ll be just as diverse as we are cause this world and we are very many things and I’m positive I’ll never know all the ways to be!
Have you found any differences between your Spanish-speaking audience and your English-speaking audience in terms of how they react to or receive your music?
If my music had a storefront, in the window there’d be a sign that read “audience wanted/ se busca audiencia”.
For me, I mostly don’t hear or pay much attention to lyrics when I’m listening to music or seeing a live show. I think people’s reactions to my music has little to do with what language any of us tend to speak, and more about if they are listening and like what they are hearing and if i’m projecting anything worthwhile at that moment.
Where do you usually write? Do you have one specific space in your house where you explore your ideas?
The two big B’s… BATHROOM and BASEMENT!
If you could collaborate with one artist right now, who would it be and why?
My future self- like maybe me in 40 years, or even me tomorrow.
I heard Alejandro Jodorowsky is in town to premiere his new film, if I show up and try to have a conversation with him would that be considered collaboration? (maybe!) I just want to watch his films though.
Also… I’m crushing really hard on Archie Marshall right now (aka.King Krule) so I’d collaborate with him just for the excuse to hang out with him, listen to him make beats and go get chinese take out or something.
Also, similar feelings about Neneh Cherry and Shabazz Palaces.
What’s the most exciting part of being on tour for you?
Performing every night in a different place with so many changing variables- the sound of the room, how many steps to fall up and down on carrying gear, what did/didn’t you eat today, the people who are there (to listen/makeout/dance/get stoned/by accident/to work), how you feel, how many drinks did you spill on yourself?, there’s your music again tonight doing it’s thing and you like to sing and play it, how super-shero are you willing to feel tonight?, will you cry or hurt yourself or others onstage?… touring has so many feels!