Read Below for A Glimpse of Rubinos' Heritage, Home and Inspiration
Not only is Xenia Rubinos MTV Iggy’s Artist of the Week winner, but she has also captured the attention of The New Yorker, Fader, VICE, WNYC, and more in her brief career. She has only released her seminal debut album, Magic Trix last year, but luckily she’s already planning another one.
Magic Trix is built off the foundation of syncopated percussion and heavy keyboards and manic craziness that will knock you sideways.
In the interview, Rubinos told us all about her Cuban and Puerto Rican roots, her music, her fans, and even her family. She told us about Aunt Rosa, the melodic complexity of her music, and Brooklyn. Read on, read on, read on…
How does it feel to have fans voting for you like crazy?
My mom is what in Italian they might call, “la serietà”- she’s serious, fierce, and loves me. She def rallied the troops! Fans and friends alike were very competitive and had fun participating in democracy with their electronic devices.
We’ve talked some about the element of surprise in your music. Meandering melodies, wandering beats, etc. Obviously there’s a method behind the madness, what can you tell us about it? Why not settle for a simple catchy pop melody everyone can whistle?
My melodies aren’t meandering, they’re singing forward in your direction. They actually happen to be whistle friendly and catchy as well, so give ‘em a try! Do you know any whistlers?
What inspired ‘hair receding”?
That song has been around for a long time in many different forms, it used to be the ending of this little instrumental suite I wrote a few years ago. Lots of things inspired it- loneliness, passing of time, heart pains, experiments.
Tell me about your Aunt Rosa.
The story goes that she was a kind of witch doctor who healed people, she had six sons and lived under a bridge with them. She’s this mystic, mysterious character in a kind of old fashioned way. The kind of person who doesn’t want to get their picture taken because they believe it steals their soul.
Where’d you get a voice like that?
My grandmother Carmen has a beautiful voice, I’d like to think that maybe I inherited some of it from her.
How do you feel that your heritage informs your music?
Well, I’m just looking at where I come from so I can try to understand where I am and where I want to go. My Cuban, Puerto Rican and American cultural experiences are very rich places to draw inspiration from. Some of my mind is in Spanish only, so that’s where some of my ideas live.
How is the Brooklyn scene treating you? Are your fans in skinny jeans?
Brooklyn can be real and mean and lovely, I LOVE IT. There are many inspiring artists around to befriend, play, work and learn from. It’s such a vibrant place, always changing and growing.
What’s it like in Hartford for musicians?
I don’t really know what it’s like, I moved away a while ago and never really took the time since then to go back and figure it all out. Every time I’m there it kind of baffles me, it’s a peculiar place, moves at a slower pace. Sometimes it feels just like what it is; somewhere in between two greater destinations- Boston/New York.
What are you afraid of?
What’s next for Xenia Rubinos?
Touring, writing lots of new music, and making new media content. My co-producer/drummer Marco Buccelli and I will be debuting a few new videos soon, and are working with our allstar team at Jaba Jaba Music to keep the good stuff coming. You can join us for our adventures on Twitter (@xeniarubinos) or Facebook.
Watch Xenia Rubinos videos from her album, Magic Trix,
- Ronan Daly