Well happy Monday y'all. I hope that your week-end was as eventful as mine was:)
Tonight, I'm gonna get straight into things. I've spoken about this lovely female before on The Creative Mixx, but I've yet to conduct an official interview until tonight. Those of you who have followed me for a while, may remember that I randomly found Xtiin Jones surfing the net for 'indie' Canadian artists. This musical songstress has a voice filled with emotion that gets your spirit moving - hands down. So, I'd like to give a warm welcome to Xtiin (pronounced Kristen) Jones. Once you've gotten the chance to get to know Xtiin, please click on some of the youtube videos posted in this interview and experience her "soulful vibe".
What city are you based out of?
Grew up in Vancouver but now I call Toronto home. I am definitely looking forward to traveling where ever the business takes me and would love to go back to NYC or spend some time in LA or the ATL.
What made you decide to become a singer and how long have you been doing this professionally?
A few years ago I met someone who inspired me to take my dream of being a performer to the next level. Previous to meeting this person, I had been searching my soul trying to figure out what direction I should be taking in terms of embarking on a fresh career path. It was through the gift of meeting this person that I decided to get real with myself and do what needed to be done to start achieving the level of success I had been dreaming about since the age of 4. No regrets, no fear... a new life. I decided to focus my complete faith in the process, and within 6 months of changing my mental landscape I had found my producer and co-writers. I consider myself a professional since the first day I stepped into the studio to write and record with David Williams and Tom Mckay a year and a half ago.
What are your musical influences & can you describe your sound?
My influences are definitely broad because I have exposed myself to all genres of music. I love music, so I think that as people begin to hear more and more of what I will be releasing, they are gonna be surprised by my versatility. I have listened to everything from old to new, country to jazz to heavy metal and there are so many artists that I am feelin' I could go on for days here. How I feel about my own style I like to sum up in 3 words. R&B hip hop SOUL. How others feel? Well people have put my name in the same sentence with Aretha Franklin, Amy Winehouse, Mary J Blige, Keshia Cole, Janis Joplin and Sade.
Now I've done some research and know that you've performed quite a bit over the past couple of months - performing at The Toronto Artist Community Fundraiser for Haitian Earthquake Victims, David "Soulfingaz" Williams Tribute concert, Commffest and I could go on. Where can we expect to see you in the next couple of months?
I will be appearing as a musical guest on ThatChannel.com March 8 between 4 and 5pm for the launch of their new program "Buzz 4 Bizz". I am also scheduled to appear on Canadian Shine between 10 and 11pm on CKLN 88.1 fm April 15th. For anyone who wants to catch that you can listen online at http://www.ckln.fm/
There are a lot of other big things in the works as we speak, and the best way to find out where I'm gonna be is to link me on myspace and through my official facebook fan page. I always keep these sites updated with all the latest happs.
What is one item that you can't live without?
(Laughs) Two items... the internet and my lip gloss.
Your song "Reach Out" is a personal fave of mine. Tell me a bit about the inspiration for the song. And are you ever uninspired?
Trust me when I tell you that just when I think I have nothing to write about, the universe opens up and all hell breaks loose for better or for worse; So with that said, I always have something to say. Writing music is an amazing way to clear out all of your emotions and gain a new sense of freedom. Writing Reach Out was liberating with a capital "L", a true account. I wrote this song "for" a person, as opposed to it just being "about" a certain person... and I make no excuses for it. This track is about being real and having the courage to be honest with someone, and I spell it out point blank. I think that the man I wrote it for has a hard time listening to it, but in the process of exposing my feelings I have really been able to connect with people. This to me is amazing, and I feel blessed that people are really feelin' the track.
What other projects (other than music) do you have on the go right now?
Well I can't get into all the details yet, but I am in the process of registering my own corporate entity. I am currently developing concepts that I have for apparel and merchandising, and in addition to this I am in the pre-production phase with several video and web based projects. Many people don't realize that I also illustrate, paint, design, and take pictures, so these are also things that you can expect to see from me at some point down the road.
If we want to stay in touch and follow your journey, what social networking sites can we find you on?
You can stay current by joining my official facebook fan page here:
Here on myspace at: www.myspace.com/urban_artist
Here on youtube at: www.youtube.com/XtiinJones
Google me, there are a ton of results! Stay tuned for the launch of my new website coming soon...
Looking ahead, where do you see yourself in 5yrs?
I plan on traveling the world... big stadiums, big houses and fast cars (laughs). Seriously though, when I set my mind to something, there is no doubt in my mind that I can achieve it.
What advice do you have for aspiring singers?
Be real and expose yourself completely because the element of vulnerability is what allows you to completely connect with an audience. Study the singers that provoke the greatest emotion from you. Study their words, phrasing, intonation, personal style and melodic tendencies, practice these techniques and then practice some more. Then take what you have learned and apply it to who you are as an artist.
Now peeps, take my advice and follow Xtiin Jones. I have a feeling that she'll be a household name soon enough.
Oh and before I head out, just wanted to let you know that Xtiin's single "REACH OUT" was #1 on the top 5 for the THIRD week in a row on Canadian Shine. For those who don't know - Canadian Shine is a new radio show that looks for different genres of artists (from actors to comedians to dancers, dj's, fashion designers, musicians etc.) Tune in to http://www.ckln.fm/ or 88.1fm in the T-Dot every Thursday from 10pm to 11pm.
So to keep Xtiin at the top of the charts - all you need to do is play this track at www.myspace.com/canadianshine to cast your vote!