xana told me! | music
Empowering, emotional, and ‘bratty’ (in a good way), are words that characterise Xana’s latest punchy releases. In conversation with the Canadian talent, she candidly speaks of her experiences, the behind-the-scenes, and the missed calls. Her songs are true anthems for the angry and broken-hearted. In particular, her new album, Tantrums, is cathartic and car-screaming worthy. For those that love throwing up their middle fingers in songs, Xana is the sound for you.
From dancing to sharing a stage, Xana is no stranger to the industry. Recent developments, however, have made her realise her desire for a solo project. Xana went on to completing a two-year programme in school, and then in 2018/19, she began writing in her room ‘like a fucking maniac!’
XANA: ‘…What is that show where there’s that meme of the bulletin-board-guy and he’s going crazy? Yeah, that was me for so long – haha!...
...In 2020, a friend of mine recommended two producers in Vancouver, so I reached out the them and they just so happened to be the loveliest people I’ve ever met. We gelled right away, and I’ve been working with them ever since. It has been a great journey... Then, at the end of 2020, I put out Goddess and, like, it’s been a whirlwind.’
The single from Tantrums, My Therapist Told Me, is powerful - not only in production but lyrically, too. With lyrics like ‘Carved your name in my bones’, Xana does not hold anything back. She bluntly communicates everything you don't want to admit when you’re missing a person.
XANA: ‘...Lyrically, too, I like to reference other songs. It’s fun. It’s all like a big puzzle to me. With Pray and Yellow, which are two different songs, but there’s a link. In Pray, I write, "there’s a fire in my ribs, You feel it when we kiss it’s something dangerous". In Yellow, it's 'You’re drawing on my skin with fingertip wildflowers bloom in the corners of my ribs'. You can see a transition from a more destructive, crazy love, that just feels like you’re burning from the inside out, to a calmer and healthier… something. There’s room for new things to grow...
'I can’t keep getting sober just to fall apart...'
'I can’t keep getting sober just to want you more...'
Lyrics from: My Therapist Told Me by XANA
XANA: '...The creative process was fun. It was a little different because I usually write my songs when I’m alone, I bring them to my producers, and we go from there. I write them acoustically – whether it be my guitar or piano. However, with [My Therapist Told Me], I knew how I wanted it to sound, but I couldn't recreate it just with a guitar. So, I wrote it acapella, basically, and then told them we’re gonna make it pop-punky. I said I wanted a smack-in-the-face vibe and they were like, okay!’
KIMBERLEY: Where do you get your inspiration from? For 'My Therapist Told Me', I’m guessing you drew inspiration from a previous relationship...
XANA: 'I would say that’s probably accurate. I think most of what I write comes from my own personal experiences, relationships or situations that I’ve been in. So, I’m pretty much an open book at this point.'
KIMBERLEY: What makes [My Therapist Told Me] song different from your others?
XANA: 'The only other closest song to this sound would be Prey, but those are still two different worlds. I think this song is pretty confessional. I feel like I could look back on it and say,"why did you have to say all that?"'
KIMBERLEY: You don't have to justify it - your feelings are valid!
XANA: 'No, absolutely! This song takes those gross and shameful feelings that you don’t ever want to admit, and turns it into something that, hopefully, a lot of people are gonna scream in a room together one day, and it’s gonna be really great.'
KIMBERLEY: Talk to me about Tiktok and Youtube, how have those platforms played a role in your career?
XANA: ‘I don't know that stats, but I'm pretty sure that 90 per cent of my listeners have come from Tiktok - it's crazy! My listeners are also the sweetest and nicest people in the world. It’s just really nice to connect and talk with everyone, which makes posting a lot easier. It makes putting out music a lot easier, too! It's nice knowing that there’s gonna be people who, like, take care of it and of me, in a way, you know?’
KIMBERLEY: What’s your proudest achievement as a musician?
XANA: ‘…Hearing and talking with people about how something I made affected them. It’s just very surreal and hard for my brain to process how, like, something as simple as writing a song in my living room, has helped people come to terms with their sexuality. For example, I've heard someone say that, "this has helped me tell my best friend that I have feelings for them." These people are having these big moments in their life and somehow my music is attached to that. That is just a really wild thing…’
KIMBERLEY: What are your goals?
XANA: ‘My goal is to release a lot of music. Hopefully do some touring, travelling and play some live shows, oh, and decorate my house better. Actually, you know what my proudest achievement is? Finding this fucking green couch – haha!’
Be sure to listen to Xana's new album, Tantrums, for a great scream or cry.
Xana's music recommendations: