#MISSGUIDEDDISCOVERED: XENIA GHALI| August 31, 2016
Xenia Ghali isn’t just a DJ, she’s a producer and songwriter too. We caught up with her to chat getting into the industry, dream collaborations and what she’s got on the agenda for the rest of the year…
Tell us about yourself?
I have been classically trained on the piano and flute since I was approximately 5 years old. When I was 15 I went through a huge rock phase and taught myself the guitar and drums. I formed a high school rock band in which I played lead guitar, and took my first steps into songwriting. That was when I realised that I had a huge passion for creating music.
After I graduated high school, I went on to receive my Bachelor’s in Music Composition and Production in the UK. During my time there, I began going to a lot of House music parties and became infatuated by the whole scene. I invested in buying a couple of second hand Technics 1210 turntables and 5 vinyl House records and taught myself how to spin. One thing led to another and I began performing at local clubs until eventually I was doing shows at the Ministry of Sound in London.
Whilst doing shows, I began producing a lot of House and Electronic Dance Music as well. After I graduated from the UK, I received a Master’s in Music Composition, Production and Film Scoring from NYU and simultaneously started to professionally produce and DJ both in the States and in Europe.
What travel essentials can’t you live without on tour?
Music, phone, laptop, headphones, hygiene products, perfume, clothes and fashion accessories
The video for ‘Under These Light’s is amazing, how did you come up with the concept?
“Under These Lights” is a vocal House/EDM record but what is more significant is the song’s meaning. The world is in a very negative place at the moment and there is a lot of hate, anger, racism, discrimination and aggression. “Under These Lights” is about the importance of unity and love amongst all of us. It depicts a very optimistic and euphoric message, one of which I feel the world is missing right now.
This is what I wanted to communicate through the video as well. The video is action based with fights scenes, chase scenes and a motorcycle scene! I actually did all my own stunts and action scenes (with the exception of the motorcycle scene). That was quite challenging and required a lot of training but I wanted to be a part of it as much as I physically could. The video also has beautiful imagery and styling (created with the help of my stylist and art director Fani Polychroniou). In addition to the entertaining and action experience, I wanted the video to depict the message the song speaks of in a subtle and discrete way. That was perhaps the most challenge thing about the making of the video.
How would you describe your aesthetic and how does it inspire your music?
Melodic, passionate, driving. I’ve been listening to a wide range of music since I was very young. My inspirations come from different genres ranging from classical to rock and pop. In addition, I’ve been classically trained on piano and flute since I was five and received a Bachelors and Masters degree in Music composition and production. I like to fuse all these different styles and create something I consider “my own”.
Who’s the coolest person you’ve met so far?
I’ve met a lot of cool people! It is really hard to pick just one!
What’s the best gig you have ever played?
When the energy of the people is so intense and powerful then every gig is special to me. One of my most memorable events to date is my first ever ‘big show’ at the Ministry of Sound a few years ago!
What’s on the agenda for the rest of 2016?
After the summer tour I’m heading back to the US. I’m going to be working on my future releases as well as collaborations!
Who would you like to collaborate with and why?
My dream collaboration is with a musician who I can learn from and I can also offer something to. When you get to share your inspirations and at the same time learn from the other person then it’s a magical moment.
Why do you think the relationship between fashion and music is so strong?
Both are forms and means of expression and the combination of the two generates a beautiful result.
What’s your favourite music video?
There are tons of videos I love! If I had to pick one then Michael Jackson’s Thriller!
What’s your spirit animal?
Sheep. I know it’s ridiculous but I always thought they looked like little clouds and for some reason, I love them! My first teddy bear as a kid was a sheep, which I still have to this day!
Who are you currently stalking on Instagram?
Jeremy Scott Moschino
What makes you laugh?
Well I recently saw Zoolander 2 and I couldn’t stop laughing!
What’s your secret addiction?
What would be your superhero power?
What was the first thing you did this morning?
It was pretty boring. I took shower, had some coffee and checked my emails
Tell us something weird about yourself…
I have double jointed shoulders
Who are you listening to at the moment?
I am really into Michael Feiner – Mantra (Axwell Cut)
What’s your song to get you ready for a party?
‘No Money’ by Galantis
What has been your favourite place you’ve travelled to?
I loved my trip to Dubai
If you were a Spice Girl which one would you be?
Sporty Spice! I used to try to do backflips after having seen the ‘Wannabe’ video
What do you love about Missguided?
I really like the Peace & Love line!
What item of clothing can’t you live without?
I couldn’t live without my G-Star jeans! They fit me just right!
What items do you make sure you pack on your travels?
My laptop, headphones, my makeup bag, chargers, sunglasses and accessories.
Who is your style icon and why?
Alexa Chung because there isn’t a single outfit of hers I DON’T like! I love the way she mixes and matches things.
Where do you look for fashion inspiration?
My stylist Fani Polychroniou always has incredible ideas for outfits and looks.
What best describes your style?
Edgy, fun and sometimes slightly eccentric!
What’s your favourite fashion trend this season and why?
All types of chokers because they are a small accessory that makes a huge difference to the outfit.
If you could steal anyone’s wardrobe who’s would it be?
You can only wear one outfit for the rest of the year, what is it?
If it’s for the entire year then probably my G-Star jeans, a t shirt and my converse shoes!
Which city has the best fashion?
Wanna know more? Follow Xenia on Instagram @xeniaghali
…and listen to her tracks on Soundcloud: