Let's Talk: Xenia (UA)

Xenia (UA) is a rising star on the European techno scene, playing regularly in Ukraine and its surrounding countries. Also, a resident of the online streaming platform Radio Intense, she is known for a high energy style that blends tough percussion with compelling synth work.

Making music for labels like Codex Recordings and Set About, her latest release is a collaboration with Spanish artist Gaston Zani which recently came out on his we(R)aw label. We decided to catch up with Xenia (UA) so we can learn more about the release and how she has been coping with the global pandemic, among other things.

Let’s talk about your new Anomaly release on we(R)aw, talk us through the original track?

The collaboration is a pleasant bonus from the unpleasant time spent locked up in quarantine. During the quarantine when all the clubs were closed and the DJs were no longer able to tour, everyone got more time to write music, including myself and Gaston Zani. It was then that I received such a wonderful offer from him to do something together. This made me so happy, because I love Gaston’s style, so we started working. It is an honour for me to create a track with such a great producer.

And how did you guys first make contact?

I’ve always admired Gaston’s music, listened to his tracks, sets and played his tracks in my mixes. We started chatting on Instagram earlier this year. I remember that I really liked his fluffy ginger cat, and I wrote a commentary on the story he shared about his pet. This is how our communication began, but then we talked about quarantine in Spain and Ukraine, and of course about music.

Besides this EP, which labels might we expect to see you on soon?

I am so pleased to announce that in November I will have another collaboration with Gaston Zani on my brand-new techno label Numen. I want to concentrate on this label in the next few months, so I’m working on my own EP for Numen at the moment. I also plan to release something special on Codex in 2021.

In the past you’ve released on Stickrecordings, Codex Recordings, Set About and others, is there a label you would love to one day add to the list?

There are lots of techno labels on the market that release really cool music these days. I like the style of Octopus, Odd Recordings and Suara, which has had a huge number of great releases over the years, but there are many more I also love. In future I hope to add each of them to the list of labels I’ve featured on… fingers crossed.

And what is your favourite label of all time?

I can highlight Codex Recordings. All tracks released on it work really well on the dance floor. The label always has great artists on board, so I was incredibly happy to have my debut release as a producer on Codex. I love the way the label team works and the fact that they do showcase nights. I was able to take part in two of the showcases at Kiev and Odessa just before the lockdown started in March, and they were pretty cool.

The world is in a bit of a weird place right now, especially for people in the music and nightlife industries, how has your 2020 been so far?

Yes, the current music and nightlife industries situation is mad. A lot of events were cancelled, and everyone was shocked. It’s incredibly sad that this has been going on for a long time already. Fortunately, I was able to take part in some open-air parties like Deepcode and Svet in Ukraine this summer and early autumn. I also travelled to Croatia where I played at an open-air event in Dubrovnik, and on the beautiful island of Brač. Not a lot, of course, but it made me a bit happier in this difficult period.

And how much are you looking forward to being able to tour and play to crowds again?

Oh, this is my biggest expectation. I cannot wait to finally be able to travel with ease, and when clubs can operate without the restrictions, and festivals that had to cancel last summer can run. I have high hopes for next year, and I’m hoping that soon everything will be as it was before quarantine.

I understand you have a residency with the online streaming platform Radio Intense, could you tell us a little more about this, and how it compares to playing in a club?

Radio Intense has a large reach on social media. More and more listeners can enjoy the artists playing without leaving home, this also increases the artist’s recognition among fans of club culture. Thus, being a resident of this platform, I get a lot of views on my streams, which is very nice, and a great way for me to engage with my fans.

If we compare playing in the club and live-streaming for Radio Intense, then I can say that during the streams I always feel more responsibility to do everything perfectly, because anyone can watch me at that moment, and even more so the video records are stored on YouTube plus other social networks, so I feel like I don’t have the right to make a mistake, in a club we always have fun, people cheer me up with their dancing.

During lockdown, is there an album or mix you’ve had on repeat?

Actually no, I can’t name anything that I would listen to on repeat. I am a person who is looking for something new all the time, and who gets bored of everything quickly. That is why I mostly only listen to new music, and I spend a lot of time producing something new for the world.

Xenia UA & Gaston Zani’s Anomaly EP is out now on We(R)aw.