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A Look At Xenia Sky

By Gary Wien


Imagine being asked to write a new song in a matter of minutes now imagine that the song has to be centered around a ridiculous title and you're not only asked to perform it but to do so on live television with millions of people watching. That's the scenario Xenia Sky found herself in last March when she was one of three artists on the Jimmy Fallon Show in a segment entitled, "Battle of the Instant Songwriter". Her mission? To write a song based on the title, "Turtle Sunrise".

That was Xenia's first appearance on national television, but chances are it won't be the last. Xenia (pronounced Zen-ya), is a singer-songwriter from New Jersey that is currently living in New York. She's in the middle of a crazy month that includes releasing a new EP, graduating from college at The New School, and seeing where the road takes her.

The new EP is called "Ghost of Jupiter" and will officially be released on April 15. Production was entirely paid for by a crowd funding campaign at PledgeMusic.com. The campaign was nothing short of a success, raising 150% of its initial goal! Funds raised went into the costs of recording, hiring studio musicians, mixing, and mastering the record.

Seeking a professionally sounding release, Xenia sought out the services of producer Jon Ashley (Band of Horses, Dawes, Azure Rey) because she had been a fan of many of his previous projects. The record was recorded with Ashley at Echo Mountain Recording Studio in Nashville a wonderful studio created in a former church and at Lakehouse Music Studios in Asbury Park, NJ.

"I was so nervous about doing the PledgeMusic campaign," says Xenia. "Doing a campaign is sort of nerve-wracking. It's directly asking people to contribute to what you're doing instead of going through a middle man like a label or distribution. I was really excited that I made it; people were so supportive."

One of those supporters earned the right to hold a house concert from their pledge incentive. Learning they had access to a barn in Shrewsbury, they held the show there. The lineup included two musicians from Xenia's early days as part of the Red Bank songwriting scene - Eric Ginsberg and Lance Scott Greene.

"That scene was very important for me when I was younger," recalls Xenia. "My first performance ever was during an open mic at the Internet Cafe in Red Bank when I was 14. I kept coming back and eventually got a show there."

Xenia remains part of the Jersey Shore music scene despite living in New York. Her connection to the Shore allows her to maintain a following at clubs like The Saint and The Stone Pony, and coffeehouses like Espresso Joe's. The two scenes are so important to her that she made sure to hold a CD release party in each area. On April 4, she held a release party at Rockwood Music Hall (NYC) and on April 11 she's holding one at The Saint (NJ).

While the crowd funding campaign paid for the production, Xenia is on her own with regards to marketing the record and booking shows. She laughs when she thinks of the timing of releasing an EP in the final weeks before graduation. "Good time to release an album, huh," she says. "Right now things are really time consuming, but there's nothing I'd rather be spending my time doing."

And she's definitely working it. She's been doing radio interviews on stations like WBJB and WRSU and was a guest on Danny Coleman's "Rock On Radio show". She's been featured on several blogs and is finding her way into music newspapers. Meanwhile, she's extremely active on social media, often conversing with fans on Twitter throughout the day.

Her songs on the EP showcase an artist willing to experiment. Her poetry background (she's majoring in Literary Studies with a concentration in poetry) is apparent from her lyrics. There are hints of a spiritual outlook and words that seem built upon personal experience. The music is layered with instruments such as pedal steel, rhodes, and cello alongside the more traditional guitar, bass, drums, and synths. The effect is rather ethereal as if you're listening to a dream. Fans of Tori Amos or Kate Bush should definitely check her music out.

She's currently working on getting on a tour with another artist to support the EP, but is already looking forward to the future.

"Hopefully, I'll be recording again soon," she says. "It's really exciting to finish something and then just keep recording, keep writing."

For more information on Xenia, visit http://www.xeniasky.com or follow her on twitter @xeniasky.



CD RELEASE PARTY
The Saint
601 Main Street, Asbury Park, NJ
Friday, April 11, 2014
9pm $10 Cover
http://www.thesaintnj.com






For more by this author, click here



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Event calendar
Saturday, Oct 19, 2019


MUSIC

MELVIN SEALS & JGB FEATURING JOHN KADLECIK @ The Stone Pony, Asbury Park - 7:00pm

THE BILSBY BROTHERS @ The Saint, Asbury Park - 7:30pm

Reock & Roll Revue | A Tribute to Chicago II @ The Millstone Performing Arts Center, Millstone - 7:30pm

Eaglemania @ The Levoy Theatre, Millville - 8:00pm

Last Whispers @ Alexander Kasser Theater, Montclair - 8:00pm

RICK SPRINGFIELD & RICHARD MARX @ The Wellmont Theater, Montclair - 7:00pm

KIP MOORE: ROOM TO SPARE ACOUSTIC TOUR @ Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC), Morristown - 8:00pm

American Song -Disney and the Boys: Will and Anthony Nunziata sing the Sherman Brothers @ The Chase Room @ New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Newark - 6:00pm and 8:30pm

Soulshine: An Allman Brothers Experience @ Victoria Theater @ New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Newark - 8:00pm

TOTO @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 8:00pm

Floyd Pink @ Lizzie Rose Music Room, Tuckerton - 7:30pm

Annie Sing-Along! @ Kelsey Theatre at Mercer County Community College, West Windsor Township - 10:00am







THEATRE

East Lynne Theater Company presents POE BY CANDLELIGHT @ First Presbyterian Church (Cape May), Cape May - 8:00pm

Monster Princess Tales @ West Hudson Arts & Theatre Co, Kearny - 3:00pm

House on Haunted Hill (World Premiere) @ Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts, Maplewood - 4:00pm and 7:30pm

Chasing Rainbows: The Road To Oz @ Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn - 1:30pm and 8:00pm

Theater of Fear @ The Mill Race Theatrical Company, Mount Holly - 1:30pm and 7:30pm

Our Town @ Jay & Linda Grunin Center For The Arts At Ocean County College, Toms River - 8:00pm

The Late Christopher Bean continues at WCP @ Westfield Community Players, Westfield - 8:00pm


COMEDY

Get Happy! Hollywood Hits from Harold Arlen @ The Avenel Performing Arts Center, Avenel - 8:00pm

Comedian Kevin Downey Jr @ Brook Arts Center, Bound Brook - 8:00pm

THE JIM BREUER RESIDENCY @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 8:00pm

Jo Koy @ Prudential Hall @ New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Newark - 8:00pm


DANCE

Nimbus Dance: 15th Anniversary Crystal Gala 2019 @ Harborside Atrium, Jersey City - 7:00pm


FILM

A NIGHT WITH CROSSROADS THEATRE COMPANY FEATURING DENZEL WASHINGTON @ State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick - 8:30pm

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