Catching Up With Canadian powerhouse Xana

Canadian powerhouse artist, Xana portrays her inner, badass cowgirl in her new single, ‘Bad Bandits’. Ripping pages from her own country Western novel, the songwriter emerges you into this cinematic world, where characters from her mind come to life. Xana shares, “One of the first things I wrote was the first verse “Like Clyde and Bonnie, I want you on my body, bandits who aren’t sorry, a money hungry party” and that’s what sent us down this old western character pop-rock rabbit-hole. It was a song we got to have a lot of fun making.” 

The playful ‘Bad Bandit’ showcases the singer’s incredible vocal ability, coated with a soulful tone and brazen edge. Oozing attitude and a throbbing beat, the vivacious song is bursting with energy, making you want to get up and dance. 

We spoke with Xana about her new single, venturing into new musical realms and her plans for the rest of 2023 and beyond. 

Hey Xana! Congrats on your new single ‘Bad Bandit.’ This track is pretty different to your previous releases. Can you tell us about how this single came to be? 

I wrote “Bad Bandit” back in October of 2021 when I was wrapping up my debut album Tantrums and I knew that for my first post-album song I just wanted to do something really fun and different from my previous work. I went into that session not taking myself seriously and just wanting to see where it would go. The first thing I wrote lyrically was the “like Clyde and Bonnie” verse, so that threw us down the western rabbit hole, and pretty soon I had this character and her whole story forming in my brain and I wrote the rest of the song to follow along with it. 

You’ve shared how you have a love for country music. Are there any particular country artists or songs that helped inspire you? 

My parents loved country music so growing up there was a lot of Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts, Brad Paisley, Kid Rock playing in the car and so many more, so I definitely feel like I have a country/folk bone in my body for sure. So sprinkling a little bit of that country flare in with my pop-rock vibe was so satisfying. 

Known for your storytelling lyrics, ‘Bad Bandit’ delves into some interesting characters. Can you tell us more about any of these characters? 

‘Bad Bandit’ is about a woman who is clinically insane and is also a hopeless romantic with major trust issues and ends up murdering anyone who wrongs her. Picture an old western version of Harley Quinn. In the song we follow as she meets her new love interest and believes the two of them are soulmates, then we flash back to her past with her abusive father and husband and how she had no choice other than to “teach them a lesson”, then we come back to find out her new soulmate has betrayed her trust and now she must kill her, because what else are you gonna do when someone hurts you? Personally, I love her. She’s my favorite character I’ve created so far. 

Your music often touches on themes of LGBTQ romance, female empowerment, sex positivity, self-reflection, and discovery. How important is it for you to include these powerful themes in your music and what do you hope listeners will take away from it? 

One of the most rewarding parts about making music is seeing how it connects with people and watching them have their own experience with something that I put so much of my heart into. At the end of the day I want my listeners to feel empowered and confident and seen, that’s when I feel like I’ve succeeded in my purpose with music. We make each other feel as though we belong. 

With ‘Bad Bandit’ sitting in the pop/rock, country realm, are there any other genres that you hope to explore in the future? 

I feel like every song I make is not quite like the last and I’m always reaching into different genres and inspiration to experiment with new things, so it’s hard to narrow it down but right now I’ve been creating some really fun alternative/indie rock songs. Among others. I will say that my next song is nothing like “Bad Bandit”! 

The new single sees you giving out a rebellious energy. Did you have fun writing in this persona and were you in a certain mindset when writing this? 

I had a blast writing in this persona, and my mindset was really all about having fun and exploring every silly idea that came to mind! I honestly didn’t even know if this song would turn into anything, it just happened that every silly idea we had ended up being really cool. But any excuse to act a little unhinged and express some female rage and I will happily jump at the opportunity. Being dramatic is good for your health. 

You mentioned on social media how you have big plans for a music video for ‘Bad Bandit’ that hopefully you will be able to execute sometime in the future. Can you give us a hint of what this would entail? 

The music video actually came to me really fast and I wrote the majority of the song to go along with the video idea. We tried really hard to find a way to bring the video to life but it would have cost way too much for right now, so here’s to hoping this song makes a shit ton of money and then I can bring that vision to life because it definitely needs to see the light of day one day! It would include horses, money, murder, women and lots and lots of blood. 

What can we expect next from Xana? 

I’ve been working on so much new music it’s not even funny, including but not limited to my second album (!!) and come hell or high water, I will be touring this year. See you all soon!!!

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Photographer: Lindsey Blane

Words: Alexander Williams