.: Biography

XEW has been singing since she could make a sound and absorbing a wide range of music from her father's hard rock albums to her mother's pop and gospel records. Growing up in Louisiana also provided a unique influence through the Acadian and Cajun folk music that embraces its people.

Throughout elementary and high school XEW studied voice and sang in the chorus. She began studying to be a recording engineer in college but then turned her back on music feeling it was more of a curse than a blessing. The harder she tried to run from it, the more it consumed her thoughts. This began her search for answers to explain her "burden".

Cracking open the family history, she discovered many family members were avid musicians in their youth. But it still wasn’t enough to explain how deep the music ran. By chance one day a little family secret emerged. Her great-grandfather was a prolific songwriter and singer in the purest traditional unaccompanied Cajun style. Ceasar Vincent was recorded several times by the legendary folklorist Dr. Harry Oster, who included Ceasar’s songs on various compilation albums. These recordings proved to be more important to French and Acadian culture, and certainly to XEW, than Ceasar might have ever imagined. The world-renowned band BeauSoleil discovered one of those compilation albums in France and recorded Ceasar’s song "Travallier, C'est Trop Dur", which was later also covered by Zachary Richard and other artists as diverse as reggae musician Alpha Blondy. From the 1950's, no one could have imagined how far his songs would travel.

Six years had passed since XEW touched any music...until this discovery. Finally understanding where the drive came from, with strength from a friend, XEW gained the will to try music again. In 10 months time she created a large catalog of work that she held in all those years.

Following the family tradition twenty years later, XEW focuses on songwriting and vocals, applying her unique musical sensibility and pure style to a wide range of genres, often working together with similarly creative musicians, and continues to go back to Ceasar’s recordings regularly as inspiration.

Among the furthest traveling of her collaborations are several songs done with J-Punch, which were picked up by many top DJ’s and remixed onto various projects and compilations by R:Tem, Fretwell, Micah, Presslab, Gee and Lighter, and Mike Hiratzka. The acappella version of “Amazing Grace” from her debut project is enshrined in the Library of Congress as part of the Chasanoff/Elozua collection, believed to be the world’s largest collection of recordings of a single song.

Other collaborators featured on various prior (or perhaps future) recordings are: dj:Kable, Private Asylum, Audiodef, Luke James/Spaz, Post Modernist Music (PMM), Jon Larson, Steve Lee of Essell, Tim Dwyer of Full Source, Matt Nolan, Joey Muniz/The Bedroom Rockers, Mike Stone of Future Renaissance, and Joe of Sensory Deprivation X.  During FAWM she collaborated with rapper G Slade, pianist Nadia Cripps, and Psy-T.  Interviews include Echo Hall Studios, Motivational Radio (coming soon), and Whohub (coming soon).  XEW has also contributed to a songwriting publication, been quoted in a workshop presentation at SXSW, and was an Artist Launch reviewer.

Her 2009 release with The Lounge Lovers, Post Modernist Music and Private Asylum takes a more organic jazzy direction and is the fullest statement (yet) of the diversity of sound, style and feeling XEW strives for.  Several new projects are in progress, including In the Nude (a covers/acappella project) and a new as yet untitled concept project currently being written to be released in 2011. 

 

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