Xenia Rubinos Contains Multitudes

Photo by Michelle Arcila; Illustration by I/C

Photo by Michelle Arcila; Illustration by I/C

Xenia Rubinos is an incredible musician who carefully infuses rhythms from jazz and punk, to neo-soul-like Carribean-influenced styles. Born to parents of the Latin Diaspora, Rubinos provides a window into her experience as a multicultural artist and as a woman of color. According to her Bandcamp, her “ecstatic songs feature layered beats, crunchy keyboards and driving syncopated rhythms.” Her voice is vast and her range reflects the mountains.

Her latest track was released this year titled, “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” Her previous albums include Black Terry Cat and Magic Trix. Below we ask Xenia five questions about music and art, plus she makes a playlist of five songs that currently inspires and excites her. — Ari Attack, Abstract Music Editor

1. What is your earliest memory of listening to or making music?

My earliest music memory is being in my crib as an infant and not being able to speak yet. The tv in front of my crib was on Sesame Street. They were doing fundraising week and the characters on the tv show kept asking me to call my parents into the room so they could donate money and I got really annoyed bc I just wanted to watch big bird. I liked the color Yellow so much and he was so big and yellow. I thought if I threw a huge fit somebody would come running in and do what the people on tv were asking so I could get back to Yellow. I went to town screaming and crying and jumping up and down going hysterical until somebody came in. When they came in I started trying to speak to them and pointing at the tv. They started laughing so much at me, they couldn’t stop laughing, their eyes were mocking. They patted me on the head, said something, turned off the tv, and left me in the crib I couldn’t get out of. 

2.What role do you want your music to play in society?

Multitudes. We are all many things and there is nothing wrong with that. The only situation where it is a problem to contain multitudes is when you have to sell something. This is in part because it is widely accepted that in order for people to buy something, it needs to be exactly the same every time. I was having a really hard time the other day so I decided to go for a walk. I went into a small shop to buy something to comfort me and a man behind a counter smiled at me and asked “Do you need help?” To which I replied “Yes, a lot of it!” He very kindly explained all of my options to me and was super transparent about the prices of everything. I was surprised to find out this kind man had this small humble shop for 15 years in the same location in a completely gentrified part of town I can’t afford to live in anymore. I was so moved by how gentle this man’s energy was that I was inspired to ask him “What was the hardest thing for you in having this business?” he smiled and assured me it was very easy, nothing to it really, “I guess the hardest thing to understand was that I’m not selling the product, what I’m really selling is myself. Once you understand that, the rest is easy.”

3. Where is music headed?

Music is headed everywhere as it always has been. It is moving away from capitalism because capitalism as we know it is crumbling and that’s just incompatible with music which is eternal. Music shared in a collective consciousness may be more compatible to all the many powerful ways people receive and transmit all the multitudes of energy they contain and possess. It can take a long grown ass time to understand things but we must always try because we are the sum of our options and we are much more capable than we are lead to believe. 

4. What do you want the algorithm to solve?

nothing

5. Who is a living artist that we should know about and why?

XENIA RUBINOS. BECAUSE...

     I AM A PERSON

     I AM ALIVE

     I AM AN ARTIST 

     I AM ENOUGH. 

Check out more of Xenia’s work at xeniarubinos.com

 
 

Ariana Beedie (Ari Attack) is a freelance journalist, audio producer, community leader and facilitator. She created a publication called Face A Face, focusing on promoting marginalized voices in her community. She has contributed to projects for AFROPUNK, Sidepiece Magazine and WFYI. Find her online at @ariattack on Instagram and @ariattack_ on Twitter.