Xira is an Australian singer-songwriter who had considerable success with her first two singles, just months after beginning to write music. She was Matthew Carey’s guest on Episode 21 of his Studio Time podcast, and as always on this podcast, there were some great insights.
1 – The right words, from the right person, can make a huge difference. Xira’s grandpa was a professional musician. After her first singing performance in high school, her grandpa complimented her on it. Because it came from him, it meant an awful lot to her, and helped to set her on the road to being a professional.
2 – It can be tough to to start learning a new skill, to go back to being bad at something, especially when you’re good at something else, but it’s worth it. In her mid-twenties, Xira felt established as a singer, felt she was good and that there was a future for her in it. She was impressive, and people began to ask her for her original stuff. She insisted that she wasn’t a writer and wasn’t interested in writing – she just wanted to sing other people’s songs.
Very honestly, she admits now that this was a defence mechanism. Because she didn’t know how to write songs, and equally because she was good at singing, she felt that she didn’t want to start again from scratch, to go back to being bad at one thing when she was already good at something else, and so she said that she just wasn’t interested in writing. She finally took the step, got some help, wrote some terrible songs, but eventually started to write some good ones, and is glad that she did.
3 – Names matter. The lady who now calls herself Xira was born with the name Tamika, and sang professionally under that name for years. Having the name Xira sets her free in her own mind to explore new projects and new sides of herself without alienating the people who enjoy the Tamika stuff.
You can listen to this episode, or any of the 22 episodes of Studio Time here.