Xenia Ghali, a tripli apeili – songwriter, record producer and a disc jockey, has made a niche in the electronic music industry. A mesmerising Greek music personality, Xenia is the founder and owner of her own record label, Funky Sheep Records. In a fun-filled conversation with Smriti Raizada, Xenia tells us about her connection to music and how it changed her life at the age of 5.
Ex: Hi Xenia! You started your musical journey being classically trained at a tender age of 5. How have your early days shaped your music style?
Xenia: I have actually been classically trained on the piano and the flute at the age of 5 and later, when I was 15 I picked up the guitar and the drums. I formed an alternative rock band when I was in high school and began songwriting for the first time. I grew up studying and listening to a lot of classical Xenia Ghali of the month DJ music which enabled me to use music theory and harmony very prominently in the music I currently create. Rock music has been a huge influence on me especially with regards to bass lines and riffs! I use riffs and catchy melodies in most of the records I have released.
Ex: Your single, “Lay In Your Arms” and “Places” were a huge success! With Dopamine’s recent release, we’re eager to know what’s the process behind creating your music?
Xenia: With Dopamine I actually wanted to really push myself. This is the first ‘downtempo’ record I have released so it was something that was very interesting for me to do. Additionally, I wanted to fuse different genres including soul, acoustic and future bass. I started out by writing the guitar part actually and then everything else followed!
Ex: ‘Under the Lights’ hit the #1 spot on the US Billboard Dance Club Songs chart. How did things change after that?
Xenia: Honestly, I still can’t believe it. Things changed only in that I pushed myself even harder to better myself and to reach another milestone! Of course it is a huge honour and the industry as well as my audience have acknowledged that and have given me incredible love and support, but the real change I focus on is that I am more determined and inspired than ever.
Ex: How difficult has it been battling stereotypes being a DJ?
Xenia: Unfortunately, it’s quite common for people to perceive female producers and DJs as “less serious” and “less skilled” than men. For me one of the greatest challenges was accepting that this mentality does very often exist. Despite that, I have never let this hold me back and as long as I believe in myself, work hard and keep pushing my limits, things work out!
Ex: What kind of technology do you inculcate into your music?
Xenia: I use technology in many different ways in my music. Obviously, being a music producer I use hardware as well as software to actually create and produce the music itself, but I also use a lot of technology when it comes to visuals. For me, music and visuals almost come hand in hand, so between my music videos and my shows, I always love experimenting with the relation between the music and the visuals to create an overall experience.
Ex: Fashion and music is a sphere that is constantly been explored. What is your take on Tech and Fashion?
Xenia: Fashion is an art form just like music. I definitely think that Tech and Fashion have a very strong correlation.This stems from technology being used for runway shows to the fact that electronic magazines are currently bigger than print.
Ex: How do you overcome your creative block?
Xenia: The relationships I have with people are my source of inspiration, so thankfully that means that I am rarely in a situation where I have to overcome a creative block.
Ex: In a parallel universe, what would be Xenia Ghali’s calling?
Xenia: That’s a very tough question! It was always between being a musician and an athlete! So maybe an athlete? Specifically, a professional tennis player!
Ex: A piece of advice you want to give budding artist?
Xenia: As cheesy as this may sound, always believe in yourself. It’s incredibly important to have confidence and believe in yourself before expecting that others have it in you. Be prepared to work hard, to be passionate, to make sacrifices and never take no for an answer!