The beautiful Xenia Ghali has just dropped the music video for her latest single “Places”. This called for a perfect opportunity to chat with the Greek DJ, songwriter and producer.
SRS: Tell us how your latest single with Raquel Castro, “Places” came about.
XG: “I produced and co – wrote “Places” with Abby Diamond and Kyle Patrick. It was very interesting because I produced the track while in New York and then we worked on the topline (lyrics and melody) while I was in Greece for my tour and Abby and Kyle were in the US. After the record was done, Raquel heard the record and absolutely nailed the vocals.
“Places” ft Raquel Castro is a very interesting record for me. In the past, my singles comprised of deep and intense feelings. “Broken” is very heart felt and emotional, “Under These Lights” speaks of a very inspiring and optimistic message to people, however “Places” is a more ‘fun’ single. It speaks of taking the person to ‘Places she won’t go’. The definition of “Places” is up to the listener and that’s what I love about this single. It could be referring to physical places, to places in their minds, to circumstances or experiences or even to fantasies. It could be a very sexy song but it could be fun or innocent and exciting. “
SRS: The video features Teen Wolf’s Ryan Kelley and some incredible dancers! What was filming like?
XG: “Yes, the video does feature the amazing Ryan Kelley as well as some of the most incredible dancers I have met! My stylist, my hair, my make up and my accessories team also flew in from Greece for this shoot.
Filming was absolutely crazy however. The video was shot in New York and to our luck, on the two coldest days of November. Hand warmers didn’t even save us! Shooting began in the morning and ended at night. Due to the weather conditions, it was honestly one of the hardest shoots I have ever experienced.
In the music video, you will notice stop – motion being used. This is typically used in animation and involves movements in small increments between individually photographed frames. This meant that we had to sit perfectly still in the cold for every single micro movement in order to take the individual pictures for a sequence.
Despite the conditions, I was so proud and touched at how strong Ryan, Raquel, the dancers and the crew were. The were all incredibly passionate and believe in the project. We battled the cold and the result is truly something I am unbelievably proud of.”
SRS: How did growing up in Greece and being a classically trained musician affect your artistry?
XG: “Being classically trained on the piano and the flute while also having studied film scoring and composition in university has helped me tremendously. I am able to push the boundaries of my imagination when I create music, while also knowing what rules I am breaking and why I am breaking them. It has also enabled me to arrange sounds and instruments very effectively.
Growing up in Greece influenced my love for electronic and dance music. Greece has a very strong Dance and House culture and that is what I grew up with. “
SRS: What do you hope people take away from your music?
XG: “Music should be a means of expression. Not just the creator’s but also the listener’s. I hope that people can listen to my music and interpret it in a way that is their own. My dream is for people to relate to my music and my songs, become inspired based off of their own experiences.”
SRS: If you could collaborate with any other artist, who would it be?
XG: “That is an incredibly tough question! There are many artists I would love to collaborate with which makes picking just one impossible!”
SRS: You’ve partnered with G STAR RAW, ADIDAS, H&M, Yves Saint Laurent and more. Is there a dream brand to work with?
XG: “G Star Raw and Adidas are two brands which I personally love, so it is truly an honor to have a partnership with them.
In addition to that, I have worked with H&M a number of times and I recently worked with Yves Saint Laurent. Working with all of these brands are beyond anything I could have dreamed of.”
SRS: How would you best describe your fashion sense?
XG: “My stylist has done an incredible job working with me on that. We have created something that really defines me which is a fusion of street, feminine, high end and edgy”
SRS: How did X Hour and House Sessions come about?
SRS: What advice would you give to someone who wants to break into the music business?
XG: “Never take no for an answer. If you do then that’s when you fail. As long as you believe in yourself, work hard and want it bad enough you’ll succeed. There are going to be many times when you feel like it’s too hard but as long as you keep pushing and working it will work out.”