Successfully venturing beyond the boundaries of classical piano into the fruitful waters of pop, Zoe Xandra is a talented singer-songwriter emerging from Toronto.
With live performances in a variety of North American cities, Xandra has recently unveiled a new single “Wish You Would”. Tackling difficult conversation topics, Xandra celebrates individuality and self acceptance in her lyricism, with an enticing vocal performance augmenting the message. The instrumentation offers a unique and immersive blend of electronic and pop characteristics, with the atmospheric sonic landscape proving to be the perfect backdrop for Xandra’s soaring vocals.
We caught up with the emerging artist to discuss her influences, finding her sound, her recent shows, and her dazzling recent single.
Listen to “Wish You Would”…
Read the interview…
Who and what inspires you?
I feel very inspired by my friends and family. I’m learning there is really nothing better than doing life with “your people”. This shows in my music, because I’m always writing songs from life experiences – the good, bad, and ugly – and everything in between. The older I get, the less I want surface-level relationships. I feel like the deeper my relationships grow, the more I am inspired by the ones I know best. It’s becoming a “quality over quantity” mentality for me as of late, with the connections/relationships I’ve been building. It’s these connections and relationships that inspire me most.
What are your musical origins?
I’m a classical pianist turned singer/songwriter. I grew up playing the piano, spending countless hours in lessons and practicing at home. I was the weird kid my parents never had to beg to practice haha. Then, in my adolescent years, I branched out into some different genres as my love for music grew. It started with Stevie Wonder and learning “Isn’t She Lovely” on the piano, and went from there.
How did you find your sound?
I had an amazing vocal coach who helped me to understand my voice – its strengths, and the parts that made it unique to me. The genre came more naturally to me because I’ve always been an alt-pop lover.
What is your essence as an artist and a songwriter?
I really try to wear my heart on my sleeve when songwriting – no topic is off-limits. My hope is that people will be able to relate to my vulnerability, and that we can create a community that appreciates each others’ sincerity. I find it’s more common these days to put on a face and only show your good side. I truly appreciate when people are honest, and when people are real about where they’re at, and what they’re working towards.
You’ve played shows all over America, is there a city that has stood out for you?
Austin, Texas was so fun! The buzz in Austin is contagious. Me and my band felt that the people at our show gave us even more energy and made it feel electric.
How did your classical music training affect the way you write and view artistry?
My classical music training affects every part of the way I write, and view artistry. It is how I came to understand music and it was my first musical love. It affects everything from patterns I use to chord progressions.
What lead you to move from classical music to alt pop?
I’m not sure there was ever an official move. I still constantly play classical music on the piano and am always learning new compositions. Earlier in life it used to only be classical, whereas now I think there is a balance between the two.
We loved your recent track “Wish You Would”! Talk us through the creative process of the tune?
So happy you like the track! This song was definitely a slow burn. I started writing it almost two years ago. It was a song I just kept coming back to and tweaking. Then I finally brought it to a place where I thought it was ready for production and cowriting. We produced this song in my living room. The piano that you hear in the song is actually me on the upright piano that I grew up playing, which is nostalgic and meaningful.
Is it a sign of things to come from you stylistically?
I think it’s definitely a sign of things to come stylistically. I feel with every release, my music feels more like me and I learn more about myself and my personal creative process.
What else is to come from you this year?
Hopefully more music! Maybe even an album. I’ve already started on the next batch of songs.