You may not recognize this name now, but I assure you, you will soon. Ximena Sariñana is a young Mexican singer-songwriter who is already creating a lot of buzz and gaining an almost cult-like following, both in the US and Mexico. She is poised to be a breakout success.
Ximena was raised in a family of artists: the daughter of both a screenwriter and film director, she was almost predestined to become an actress – which she did. As a result, she became well known in Mexico as a young up-and-comer. Ximena satisfied her musical curiosity with her Spanish-language debut album, Mediocre, which explored the idea of the “perfect” woman in the 50s, and earned her two Latin Grammy nominations, as well as a US Grammy nod.
After years of promotional touring, she is back with her self-titled sophomore album, set to be released in August. The new album will be entirely in English, with the exception of just one track. Her first single, “Different”, hints at a feeling of otherness, perhaps due to the cultural differences between Mexico and the US, and a desire to be understood: “There’s still so much to learn, and things you haven’t heard. I want you to see beneath everything you’re no different from me, no matter the language we speak.” From what we gather, the forthcoming album shows great growth and represents a departure from her previous sounds, experimenting with more fun, up-tempo tracks, like “Shine Down.” She sways towards pop sounds, but there is always a hint of nostalgia in all her songs, and her lyrics have a wise-beyond-her-years quality.
It says quite a bit about her character to leave her native country, where she’d find all doors opened for her, and decide to go knock on closed ones elsewhere – this time as a complete unknown. But perhaps more importantly, the fact that she has made the transition so easily and gracefully, should say even more about her talent. Between sold-out shows and hundreds of fans lining around the block, hoping to watch her play, one can safely assume her crossover attempt can only be considered a success.