Born and raised near the Sea of Japan in the small town of Nakhodka, Russia, singer Ksenia (pronounced Ka-sin-ee-uh) draws inspiration from traditional Russian folk, R&B, and pop music to create her own distinctive and captivating very sound.
The daughter of a guitar player and pianist, Ksenia creativity was sparked when she was introduced to Bohemian Rhapsody–her first taste of Western music.
Describing her sound as having “the edginess of Rihanna, the soulfulness of Sam Smith, and the sensitivity of Ed Sheeran”, the singer is also driven to create using past relationships and the encouraging success stories of those in the spotlight as fuel.
The Russian-born entertainer is currently wrapping up her 7-track EP and working on bringing her newest song “Fire with Fire” to life with a beautifully orchestrated music video, with her latest single “Let Somebody Love You” now sitting on 90k listens.
Following the release of her single, Ksenia had a chat with IndustryMe about life as an independent artist and more.
Okay Ksenia, let’s start from the beginning. So you’re originally from Russia and then moved to New York?
Hello! Yes, I am from Russia! Born and raised next to the Sea of Japan, in the tiny port town of Nakhodka, Russia. So, you could say I was born on the beach (laughs) the cold beach! And then I grew up and got a visa and moved to NYC.
How long have you been singing?
I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember myself! I always loved it and people around me seemed to like it as well!
Do you remember the first song you sang in public?
The first song I sang was in kindergartens and was called “My Sister Natasha.” I practiced for a very long time and I somehow managed to confuse the lyrics when I was performing! However, it was still epic.
If you weren’t pursuing a career as an artist what would you be doing?
I’ve been thinking that I would become a nurse! I’d entertain everyone with my songs and make people feel better! In also enjoying producing. I am thinking that when I am 65 years old, I’ll become a film producer. I enjoy movies very much.
What keeps you motivated to pursue music?
I love music, especially the storytelling part of it. It’s hard to explain, but I have this drive to create and perform music… I really want to be heard! And when I hear people tell me that my music and the story of my life are so inspirational I really want to keep going!
Rumour has it that you also do a bit of acting?
I do! I love acting, I went to NYFA and got my MFA degree in acting for film. There, I learned how to make a movie from scratch! It is such a good school, I must say! And ever since, I’ve been creating my own short films and I even made a feature film, a romantic comedy entitled “This Much.” Again, I love the storytelling aspect of acting. I love the ability to put myself in somebody else’s shoes.
Your time is currently split between New York and LA, what are the music scenes like out there and how do they differ?
Music scenes are pretty good in both cities… there are numerous talented musicians, and many shows going on. However, most of the industry people, labels, and producers are in Los Angeles!
Is there one in particular that you prefer?
I love both cities, but I’ll be moving back to LA very soon.
Okay so let’s talk about your latest single. What is the story behind the song?
Let’s do it! The story is pretty simple.. we should all let somebody love us and not be so scared all the time! I feel like this is one of the greatest challenges lovers face. Nowadays everything is so casual, everyone’s been hurt so many times and it’s hard for people to commit to a relationship. To me, the song is also about not being sure where you stand in someone else’s life.
Was it inspired by a true story?
It was…I got pretty hurt. I was in a relationship where the person could not make up his mind about me. It doesn’t feel very good (laughs) so this song was inspired by that.
Why do you think people find it so hard to let others in?
I believe that lots of people are hurt, and they don’t want to put themselves in a situation where they feel vulnerable, so it’s easier to put a wall up and protect yourself. So, it ends up with people half-dating where they can be safe! This is because if you go all the way in, and then it doesn’t work out, one can get hurt. I just think we all are damaged creatures; we need therapy and somebody to love us.
What are you currently working on music-wise?
At the moment, I am working on visuals for my songs, and working on my next music video for the song “Fire with Fire” It’s gonna be fire!!!! I can’t wait to start releasing everything that I’ve been working on!
Where can your fans see you live?
Please follow me on Instagram @iamksenia, lots of live shows coming soon!
Any final shoutouts or plugs?
Thank you so much for this wonderful interview.