xenia ghali

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Xenia Ghali

Xenia Ghali is a Greek DJ, producer, songwriter and classically trained musician who is busy shaking up the dance music scene globally.

Her debut single ‘Broken’, featuring Katt Rockell, was released on Pitbull’s Mr. 305 Records, whilst her second offering ‘Get Dirty’ was a collaboration with Grammy winning artist Wyclef Jean. However, Xenia’s breakthrough moment came when her summer hit ‘Under These Lights’ reached number one on the Billboard Dance Club Songs Chart!

Having truly established herself as one to watch in the music industry, Xenia will be hoping to build on her success with her latest single, ‘Places’. The track, which features The Voice’s Raquel Castro, is an euphoric dance track with an irresistible beat, guaranteed to remain in your mind after just one listen. Xenia recently released the official music video for ‘Places’, starring MTV’s Ryan Kelly. The visual is slick and choreography-filled, which will make you want to lose yourself in the music.

We recently had the opportunity to chat with Xenia Ghali about ‘Places’, being inspired by her Greek roots, getting words of advice from her collaborators and much more.

We love your new track ‘Places’. What is the inspiration behind it?

“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.

What was it like to work with Raquel Castro on the track, and how did the collab come about?

Raquel Castro is a truly wonderful person. We had amazing chemistry and our personalities really match! That is incredibly important to me when working with anyone. If the chemistry on a personal level is right, then the creative chemistry will be even better! The collaboration occurred after the record was done. Raquel heard “Places” and absolutely nailed the vocals!

The music video for it was released last month. What can you tell us about it?

It premiered on Perez Hilton on the 27th of January and is now available on my official YouTube Channel. The video stars Ryan Kelley, Raquel Castro and myself while also featuring some of the most incredible dancers I have met. It was shot in New York City which was a first for me, as my past music video were all shot in Greece. The video includes a love story, energetic dancing, extremely creative visuals and technique and awesome styling.

Your last single, ‘Under These Lights’, reached number one on the Billboard Dance Club Songs Chart. What did it mean to you to achieve this, and how did you celebrate?

I still can’t believe “Under These Lights” reached number one on the Billboard Dance Club Songs Chart. It truly was a dream come true and something I never would have expected to happen. It was released completely independently through my record label Funky Sheep Records, so really it was a project that took off through my personal efforts and of course through my team’s efforts and hard work. I still haven’t celebrated! I immediately went on a 3 month tour and then I was working on “Places”.

Your DJ sets are renowned for being incredible. How do you like to prepare yourself before a performance?

Thank you for the compliment first of all! I like to know the crowd I am playing for, I usually do some research on the actual club or city/country I am going to perform at. I never prepare my sets, I prefer feeling the energy of the crowd and the vibe and going with it.

You’ve remixed a lot of tracks, including some of Pitbull’s songs. How do you go about choosing suitable songs to remix?

I remix songs which I am inspired by or which I can imagine in my own way!

How have your Greek roots influenced your music style?

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.

As a DJ, producer, songwriter and musician, you’re a woman of many talents. Do you have a preference when it comes to any of these elements?

I could never prefer one element over another. They go hand in hand for me! They are all a part of me and make up who I am artistically and musically.

You are also involved in the fashion industry. Why is fashion so important to you, and who or what inspires your fashion sense?

I have always loved fashion. It is a beautiful means of expression and just like music, it has an incredibly history. I have worked very closely with my stylist Fani Polychroniou to establish my own sense of fashion which comprises of street, high end, feminine and edgy. I also have the honor of partnering with G Star RAW and Adidas in Greece.

You’ve worked with some huge music artists such as Wyclef Jean and Pitbull. Have they given you any words of advice over the years?

I have had the absolute honor of working with both Wyclef Jean and with Pitbull. Both incredible artists, musicians and personalities. Wyclef taught me a lot about thinking of music, breaking free from my comfort zone and about energy while Pitbull taught me a lot about believing in yourself and the importance of hard work.

What can we expect from Xenia Ghali in 2017?

My new single and music video “Places” ft Raquel Castro are now out so I am very excited to see the journey of this project! In addition to this, I am working on more releases, collaborations and of course on many shows!

Thank you to Xenia for her time! Keep up to date with her on Soundcloud, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

‘Places’ is available now.

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Written by Katrina Rees

I'm Katrina, or Kat to pretty much everyone. I'm an editor for CelebMix, a content writer, a boyband lover and an all round music fanatic.
Twitter: @lifeofkatrina
Email: katrinanaomirees@gmail.com