Check out our interview with New York-based singer and songwriter Xondra who just released her debut EP, ‘Tedious & Brief,’ on November 4th.

Blending elements of pop, rock, R&B and indie-pop, Xondra’s music explores feminist themes with heartbreakingly honest delivery. Her upcoming EP, ‘Tedious & Brief,’ examines the experience of being a woman trying to survive in a man’s world with her latest single, “Inner Child,” focusing on healing from childhood trauma.

Follow Xondra @xondramusic

Hi Xondra, please tell us a little about yourself?

Hiya! Thanks for having me! I am a singer songwriter, actress, and professional renaissance woman from Long Island, New York. I love all things creative and I’ve been writing songs since I was about 7 years old. I write really sad songs so that I’m able to maintain my sunny Gemini disposition most other times.

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Vulnerable, silly, and multi faceted

We’re sure you have been asked this million times but how did you first decide to pursue a career in music?

Hahaha yes but I don’t mind telling it again! I probably have my first boyfriend to thank for me getting serious about going into music. My first heartbreak rocked my whole world. I was 18 and didn’t know how to cope other than writing music. I had always written songs but didn’t think I was good enough to truly do anything with it until I was heartbroken on my bedroom floor, writing songs for 8 hours a day the summer before I started college. I started at SUNY Purchase in August of 2015 and by the new year, I was admitted into the Music Conservatory as a Studio Composition Major ( Contemporary Songwriting).

How has music changed your life?

Music has always been a friend I tell all my secrets to. It is where I turn to whenever something significant happens in my life, whether it be happy, sad, etc. Music has made me a more reflective, self aware, and expressive person. It has helped me meet some of my absolute favorite people in the world. It has reminded me how much magic I have within myself in moments I’ve almost forgotten.

How would you describe your sound in 3 words?

Vulnerable, genre-blending, and timeless

Who influences you?

I am an OG Swiftie and still take a lot of inspiration from her. I started learning how to play guitar because little me wanted to be more like Taylor Swift. When I was writing “Tedious & Brief” I had all my fave sad girl artists on repeat. I took influence from artists like Lucy Dacus,Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Julia Jacklin.

Do you play any instruments?

I play guitar, piano, and a little bass.

Do you ever get nervous before you perform?

I do! I’ve been performing in front of people my whole life but I have pretty bad stage fright up until the moment I start singing. I always get an anxiety stomach ache before I perform but it goes away once I start performing. It’s always this feeling of “Oh, yeah. I remember who I am” once I get into it.

Tell us about your single “Inner Child?”

Inner Child is about lovingly embracing your pain so you can walk through the other side more healed. It is about coping with the fact that sometimes you are on your own on your healing journey because it may be too hard for others to walk through that pain with you right now.

What’s the story behind the song?

I was doing a lot of Inner child healing work in therapy and examining the things from my past coming up. I realized that siblings who experience the same trauma may cope with things in different ways. I was sick of spending so much of my life pretending the things going on around me were normal or okay. I wanted to write a song about refusing to be in denial of the issues that caused so much pain. It isn’t vindictive, though. It is me allowing myself the freedom to break away and heal , even if other people in my life are not there yet.

And tell us about your EP ‘Tedious & Brief?’

Tedious & Brief is a deep dive into grief. It’s about betrayal, disappointment, and wrestling with the love you still have for people even after everything they put you through. It is me screaming to be heard after spending too long trying to stay quiet and be a “nice girl”. I really wanted to capture the complicated feelings of mourning past versions of yourself and relationships that can never go back to how they once were.

What is the most rewarding part of your work?

The process is the best part for me. Creating music is such a labor of love. I love the ups and downs of the journey to putting something out in the world. I love getting to take a small idea and expand on it until it is something even better than I imagined. I enjoy world building and connecting songs through lyrics. Tedious & Brief is my first body of work that is a concept project and I’ve learned how beautiful creating a world for your music can be. I cannot wait for you to hear what me and my collaborators have made for you.

What would you say are the greatest lessons you learned so far?

I learned that we all have everything we need to succeed , heal, and thrive within us. We do not need to look to outside validation for what we are experiencing. I think sometimes it is hard to trust ourselves because we are too focused on everyone else. If we slow down and really listen to that inner voice within ourselves, it will always have the right answer for what is best for us. You deserve just as much love, time, and energy as you give to others. It is not a bad thing to save some for yourself instead of giving until you’re spent.

What advice would you give to your younger self and why?

You are not here to be everyone’s band aid. Stop using all of your energy solving everyone else’s problems and start using that energy to invest in yourself. You have so many great things to express and the world needs you in it. You are good enough. Just start chipping away at those dreams of yours instead of questioning whether you have what it takes. You do. Things just take time. Stop trying to control the outcome and start enjoying the process. What is for you is already yours. You just have to be brave enough to start taking it.

How would your best friend describe you?

I asked my group chat with some of my closest friends in it and these are the responses I got:

Jorge: You ever meet someone who gets high off making lists and organizing stuff? Or better yet someone that turns pure depression into a grind set?

AJ: You have friends?

Shubham: 17 cartoon characters in one that all mostly sing and write very emotional songs. Funny too.

Shelby: the human personification of “The Sound of Settling” by Death Cab For Cutie with all your joyous energy and then emo spirit.

If you are a book, what would be the title of the book and why?

Only Up From Here: Turning Rock Bottom Into A Launchpad For Success

What’s next for Xondra in the last months of 2022 and for 2023?

My video team and I are almost finished filming Tedious & Brief : The Film! I am beyond excited to finish up and get to editing. The film will be out early next year. I’m also working on some super special Tedious & Brief merch that should start being available by the end of the year. 2023 is also looking super busy because I have so much new music and perhaps even a *gasp* album?

What is your own definition of happiness?

I define happiness as making room for more of what lights up your soul. I am most happy when I am prioritizing the things that make me feel good. Things that make me happy are time with friends and family, writing music, dancing in my kitchen, long drives with good music, learning new skills, watching my favorite comfort shows, listening to Crime Junkie on my commute to work, hanging out with my dog, talking on the phone with my boyfriend, going to concerts, baking, etc. I think it is easy to be caught up in the responsibilities we have but don’t forget that you also have a responsibility to yourself to live this one life to the fullest, not just get stuck in survival mode.

If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?

I would love to meet the shame and vulnerability researcher Brene Brown. She is my favorite author and I learn so much about how to show up more wholeheartedly in my life just by looking at her work. I would love to just talk to her and pick her brain about shame resilience and how to protect your energy in a field where you are facing all different types of criticism daily.

What would be the dream holiday, and who would you go with?

I would love to visit the Cayman Islands by myself. I have always wanted to go on a big trip by myself just to relax and do whatever I want on my own time. I’d love to just sit on the beach under an umbrella and read all day. I think a solo trip would be wonderful to get more in touch with myself.

Best advice you’ve ever been given?

Don’t own other people’s crazy. Most of the time when someone is acting out or doing something that hurts you, it has less to do with you and more to do with how they feel about themself.

Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?

I see myself as a full time creative, writing music, touring, acting, writing and releasing poetry books. I hope to be creating with old and new friends and reaching a larger audience of people that connect with my songs.

Favorite song of all time? Why?

This one is so hard and changes frequently for me. Right now I’d say it’s Motion Sickness by Phoebe Bridgers because it never fails to describe the complicated feelings of loving and hating someone at the same time.

Where can we follow you?

@xondramusic on all platforms!