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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






NJSO presents 2019 Winter Festival, 'Music Speaks'
(NEWARK, NJ) -- A trio of renowned guest artists with distinct musical voices—pianists Emanuel Ax and Daniil Trifonov and soprano Dawn Upshaw—headline the NJSO’s Winter Festival, “Music Speaks,” in January 2019. The Orchestra’s signature artistic event takes place across three weekends, January 10–27, in six New Jersey venues.
RVCC Chorale to Perform Annual Holiday Concert on December 8th
(BRANCHBURG, NJ) --The RVCC Chorale will give its annual holiday concert on Saturday, December 8 at 8:00pm in the Welpe Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College’s Branchburg campus. The program will feature Johann Sebastian Bach’s cantata, Das Neugeborne Kindelein, as well as a cappella pieces from by Sergei Rachmaninov, Zoltan Kodaly and Giuseppe Verdi. The program also will include an audience singalong of traditional carols.
Classic Stones Live! The Complete Rolling Stones Tribute Show Comes To SOPAC
(SOUTH ORANGE, NJ) -- The Rolling Stones, the greatest Blues band of all time, couldn’t make it to SOPAC on their 2018 tour. Instead, the acclaimed tribute band Classic Stones Live! makes an appearance on the SOPAC stage December 15 at 8:00pm for those who like to hear their Rolling Stones hits live.
Tony Trischka Presents "Of a Winter's Night" at the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship
(MORRISTOWN, NJ) -- Of a Winter’s Night is Tony Trischka's acoustic celebration of the holiday season. Based on his CD release of the same name, this concert features Trischka’s considerable melodic inventiveness on a wide variety of seasonal tunes. He turns his inventiveness loose on bluegrass and Americana music for the holidays. This one of a kind concert will take place at the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship on Saturday, December 8 at 7:30pm.
Idle Wave To Hold Record Release Party At Asbury Park Brewery
(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- Pop-punks Idle Wave will celebrate the release of their self-titled EP on Saturday, December 1st at Asbury Park Brewery.  The record release show also includes performances by Skyeline, Roderick, and Pollyanna.


"An Amazing Musical Genius!" Brian Wilson LIVE! at the State Theatre
In the music room in the back of our house, there’s an electric bass and amp, two acoustic guitars, a microphone and PA speakers, several pieces of music recording equipment, and a bookcase filled with books on music, not to mention a slew of assorted music memorabilia. But, perhaps, one of the most highly prized items in the room is hanging directly above the piano next to the college music diplomas.
Jazz Saxophonist Don Braden LIVE! at Toms River’s Grunin Center
It’s a breezy day for a new installment of the Jazz On a Sunday Afternoon concert series at Toms River, NJ’s Grunin Center of the Arts this Sunday Oct. 27, 2018 afternoon. Today’s special 3pm performance is entitled Earth, Wind and Wonder and is presented by jazz saxophonist Don Braden.
Charlie Thomas’ Drifters, The Classics IV, and The Brooklyn Bridge LIVE! at The Strand, Lakewood
The stars are out this Saturday Oct. 26, 2018 evening in Lakewood, NJ for a “Golden Oldies” concert featuring Charlie Thomas’ Drifters, The Classics IV, and The Brooklyn Bridge!
PODCAST: Grammy Winner Terri Lyne Carrington At TD James Moody Jazz Festival
Drummer, leader, and composer Terri Lyne Carrington made history as the first woman to win a Grammy for Best Instrumental Jazz for her album “Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue.” Now, she brings her interpretation of Duke Ellington’s “Money Jungle” to the TD James Moody Jazz Festival at NJPAC on November 11, 2018, as part of a program called “Jazz Vinyl Revisited.” Producer Susan Wallner talks to Carrington about her connections to the jazz greats Clark Terry and Max Roach; her newest project, the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice; and why she thinks drummers make natural leaders.
Sha Na Na LIVE! at the Newton Theatre
The audience is streaming into the Newton Theatre auditorium in Newton, NJ this Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 for a live concert starring Sha Na Na!










Event calendar
Thursday, Nov 15, 2018


MUSIC

New Politics @ House of Independents, Asbury Park - 8:00pm

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

TOTO @ Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC), Morristown - 8:00pm


THEATRE

An Actor's Carol @ Cape May Stage, Cape May - 7:30pm

ANNIE, The Musical @ Axelrod Performing Arts Center, Deal Park - 8:00pm

Apples In Winter @ Centenary Stage Company - Kutz Theater of the Lackland Center, Hackettstown - 7:30pm

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat @ The Levoy Theatre, Millville - 7:30pm

Spring Awakening: The Rock Musical @ Black Box PAC, Teaneck - 8:00pm







DANCE

PARSONS DANCE @ State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick - 8:00pm


FILM

Crybaby Matinee: March of the Penguins @ Hopewell Theater, Hopewell - 11:00am

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