XHOSA is a multifaceted artist and producer who hails from New York City. Influenced by the hip-hop and post-punk generation, she blends genres creating a unique strain of art-pop. Music has been a consistent part of her life since she began taking piano lessons at the age of 6. She now plays guitar, produces beats, and writes songs that reflect her diverse upbringing. She aspires to create music that feels universal yet is authentic. Inspired by mastermind musicians such as Missy Elliot, Bjork, Sade, & MIA, XHOSA forges her own path into the future convergence of music + art.
What do you want a listener to walk away with after hearing your music? I would want them to walk away feeling imaginative, inspired, and emotionally refreshed.
How did your interest in music begin? I’ve been in making music for as long as I can remember. I have memories from as early as two years old that include me singing, performing, and playing around on instruments. I started taking piano lessons at the age of 6, and by that point, I was very confident that music was going to be a huge part of my life.
Most embarrassing moment on stage? I performed at an art gallery a few years back and there was a lot of tension between the crowd and me. People came to the show expecting experimental performance art, so they maintained this serious glare throughout my set. Determined to fix the vibe of the room, I picked up a prop from the floor and threw it into the crowd hoping to create a fun exciting moment. I ended up hitting a member of the crowd in the head. I felt really bad, but luckily she was very nice about it.
How has living in Brooklyn affected your music? Brooklyn has had a huge influence on my music because it’s where I’m from. I am a proud Brooklynite and New Yorker in general. I grew up listening to HOT97 and PWR105.1 a lot and that informed me of the connection between my city and the music it produced.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do. I am a multidisciplinary artist that puts the music first and foremost. Even within the realm of music, I wear many hats as the producer, singer-songwriter, rapper, and instrumentalist. On a more personal level, I am a girl from BK who has had a very diverse and unconventional upbringing. Instead of allowing these different parts of myself to clash, I am giving them the opportunity to work in harmony through my music.
How long have you lived in Brooklyn and what brought you there? For 21 years and my parents brought me here lol
What kinds of things are influencing your music right now? Ever since the release of the New Edition biopic, I’ve been delving deep into Ralph Tresvant‘s work! Since he has so much boy band experience, the background vocals on his tracks are super impressive. It really opened my eyes to how impactful something so subtle can be.
What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on? Right now I am working on a remix EP with Doom Dab for my latest single LET ME GO. It’s going to be great to see the song take on new forms and be revitalized by the summer.
If you were a drink, what drink would you be? A tequila sunrise; because I’m sweet, strong, colorful, and a lot of fun.
What were you like in high school? I was a good balance between shy and awkward and eccentric and fun. I got flamed a lot because people thought it was funny how seriously I would respond. I went to a pretty small schooI, so everyone knew each other too well to act like we were something we weren’t. I am the same now as I was then, I just overcame the crippling self doubt and insecurity.