Ximena Sariñana may be a relatively new artist to people in the United States, but in her native Mexico, she’s a child star who’s adult career is starting to take. In some circles, she can be considered the Mexican version of Alanis Morrisette, but rather than taking the angst route, Sariñana’s music is more indie and a reflection of her current city of Los Angeles.
The 26-year-old fuses elements of jazz, pop and alt rock into her sound making for the perfect blend of indie music. When we caught up with her at Outside Lands last summer, the singer had a lot going on. Her self-titled sophomore album was just released via Warner Bros. Records and she was excited about the prospect of where the album would take her. Now, nearly a year later, she’s evolving into an international star who has performed all the major festivals including Coachella and SXSW, and appeared on the massive Bob Dylan tribute album earlier this year with a stirring electropop version of the bard’s “I Want You.”
However, she isn’t ready to stop quite yet. Her live shows are peppy and energetic, just like her music. The song that best sums up where this talented musician is headed is “Echo Park.” As an ode to her neighborhood, yet a scathing critique of the hipsters that encompass the area, this song has poppy, indie dance beats that showcases her rhythmic vocals. Also, having excellent production from the likes of TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek and her ex-boyfriend, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez of the Mars Volta and At The Drive-In ffame, sure didn’t matters either. Regardless of production, Sariñana’s bubbly personality along with her brand of catchy electropop has endeared her to the hipsters she makes fun of in the video.
What’s funny about the singer’s new found fame in the States is that she’s already huge in her native Mexico. She started acting when was 11 on telenovias, which Mexican dramatic programming. Though she retired from this sector when she was 17, she made the natural transition into film and subsequently music. She earned a scholarship from the Berklee College of Music for their decorated Five Week Program, which gave her the foundation to what has become her infectious brand of music.
Her 2008 debut, Mediocre, was far from that. It reached No. 2 on the Mexican charts, selling more than 100,000 copies and earning her two Latin Grammy nominations. After the success of her debut, which was entirely in Spanish, the American arm of Warner wanted her to do an English album, and that’s how her sophomore record came to fruition.
While other primarily Spanish-speaking artists have crossed over into the mainstream with Latin-pop infused flair, you’re more likely to find Sariñana on a NPR station than a Top-40 countdown. Being that’s still in her mid-20s, expect for the Mexican-born singer to eventually become one of the first Latin American female indie rock darlings. She already is, but once the masses become infected by her peppiness and see her already talked about live shows, the sky is the limit for this talented artist.