Interviews

Q&A: XINA

Minneapolis-based artist XINA releases her captivating reflective new single “Lullaby by Whitenoise” with an accompanied cinematic music video. Known for her expressive and poignant lyrics woven through intricate synths, “Lullaby by Whitenoise” is the first track XINA has released in 2021 and the first from her upcoming debut — the self-produced two-part PULL/PUSH, inspired by the physicalities of pole dancing and the intersection of both. Lock spoke with the rising art-pop singer-songwriter about her new song & more.

​​Hey XINA, how’s your week been? 

So far so good! I checked into a luxurious Airbnb on a lake for a solo artist retreat. Working on some new tunes, I really can’t complain!

You’ve just released the brilliant new single “Lullaby by Whitenoise”, tell us more about it.

The track is a beautiful song that really showcases your artistry, but also taps into a myriad of genres. How does dipping into different facets of yourself and different genres help enable you to express yourself better than just sticking to one specific sound?

I enjoy a lot of different types of sounds and tend to dip into many sonic realms within a project and often within a song. Personally, I get bored of easily digestible music. For my own entertainment I like to be able to throw the listener around a bit – keeps them (and me) on their toes. 

You say this song speaks to your inner child in this song, reminding them not to forget about their own self-worth when falling in love with people who didn’t deserve you. What was it like writing a song so personal as this?

I feel like most of my music is as personal as this. Each song I write teaches me something new about myself. I’m just as much the audience as I am the performer in that sense. The meaning I might derive from a song once it’s done is often not the same as my thought or intention when creating it. It’s a form of self-healing with beautiful byproducts. 

Did you find writing it cathartic?

Extremely – there was great catharsis in the song and visual. Even a year or so after writing it, while putting it into the world I’m experiencing one last release. 

This single is from your upcoming self-produced two-part “PULL/PUSH”, which was inspired by the physics of pole dance. Tell us a bit more about that project and what you learned about yourself while making it.

PULL/PUSH was one big exploratory process on the technical and personal levels. It was me learning how to produce my own music and finding out what my sound is. On the personal front… PULL/PUSH is about the balance required to maintain a healthy relationship and the chaos that ensues when the give and take is not equal. A lesson I learned the hard way.

How does the art of dance & pole dancing in particular influence your music and vice versa? 

It’s really all the same to me, on a spiritual level. All of these things integrate seamlessly for me in the way I show up in the world. Dance being my first love, the connection between music and dance led me to pursue them in tandem. The process of creating dance is comparable to music making, or any other creative endeavor. Pole dance in particular has been a more recently acquired passion. It’s beautiful, but a lot of pain has to be endured to make it look effortless. The difficulty is inspiring to me and reminds me what I’m capable of. It also keeps me humble!

What inspires your songwriting?

Usually whatever the fuck is going on in my love life. Does anybody know what’s going on?! Let me know!

You’re preparing to release a few more songs later this year, what can we expect from them? 

PULL and PUSH are both seven songs. Sonically, they exist in worlds of their own. They’re my proudest works so far. I’m equally as excited about the accompanying visuals. A lot of this has been several years in the making. 

What was the first album you ever bought?

I think Miley Cyrus’s debut on the way out of Hannah Montana. I have a huge crush on Miley by the way, just putting that into the universe. 

What has been a big highlight in your career so far? 

Every day when I wake up and get to make art. 

What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

I actually don’t listen to music a lot… to avoid being influenced at first, but now it’s a hard habit to get back into. Send recommendations my way!

Finally, what’s your go-to karaoke song & why?

I don’t know if I’ve ever done a proper karaoke session but recently I’ve been belting Rihanna’s “Love on the Brain” every chance I get so that would be my choice today.

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Q&A: XINA
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