Introduce yourselves- where are you from and who plays what?
We are XSARA (pronounced as ex-sar-ruh) named after myself. I formed the band and am the songwriter, vocalist and pianist and my band are made up of talented musicians and arrangers Anna Rawlings on the Trumpet, Timothy Morgan on the trombone, Ed Kontargyris on the drums, Greg Miller on the harmonica, Simon Paton on the bass and guests for Guitar and backing vocals live on stage. We consist of 8 people live and more when recording.
Describe your sound and lyric style?
Blues, Jazz, Cabaret inspired Pop! My lyrics tend to be imaginative based with strong imagery reference (so I have been told!). Our band set up is unusual for a Pop act doing original songs. We take inspiration from Blues and Jazz legends and mix them up with modern day references.
Who are your main influences? What else inspires you?
I was influenced by Blues growing up in Mississippi so this is always at my heart and in my soul regardless of what musical direction my music takes.
Women with strong passionate, distinct singing voices who don’t hold themselves back and let their creativity shine inspire me. Betty Davis, Janis Joplin, Big Mama Thornton, Ruth Brown the Queen of R&B, Koko Taylor, the amazing Ella Fitzgerald, Bessie Smith Empress Of the Blues, Nina Simone, Sista Rosetta Tharpe.
I also respect the following women who have been strong influences to myself ;Kate Bush, Tori Amos, Fiona Apple, Annie Lennox, Bjork, Ani DiFranco, Bonnie Raitt, Grace Jones, PJ Harvey, Grace Slick and Florence & The Machine.
I am also influenced by 70’s funk and legends like James Brown, Ray Charles and Prince.
What are you working on now?
We’re busy completing rehearsals for the new songs off the upcoming album and preparing ourselves to record in the studio. Release date is the 22nd May for the new album so there’s a lot to do!
Are you touring now? When/where?
To date we have the upcoming Album Launch Party on the 15th June. Before that we have the Cavendish Arms in Stockwell on the 10th May, The Cambridge Junction on the 5th April as well as the Portland Arms on the 22nd March as part of The Strawberry Fair, and will be playing 24th April with Miss 600 at Surya.
I am currently in the process of arranging a tour for the future but as a band with 8 members that is independently funded and managed solely by myself it will depend purely on external sponsers and funding- watch this space!
What can people expect at your live gigs?
To be entertained! I think it’s important for acts to treat their audiences like royalty when it comes to music. Dress up for them, make an effort for them, wine and dine them with your best performance with no short cuts or laziness, give them everything you’ve got in your heart and soul, create another world full of beauty, colour, fantasy and fun as an escape from daily life.
Where can people check out your music?
They can check out our music on iTunes, Bandcamp, Soundcloud and enjoy our new video that’s now up on YouTube.
Our website is always updated with new releases and info:
YouTube channel: XsaraTube http://www.youtube.com/user/XsaraTube?feature=mhee