OXZANA is a mix of hardcore energy, controversial lyrics and dark beauty. They bridge the giant chasm of east and west, it’s the revolution of Russian artists ready to make the journey across the long divide for a career changing the landscape of western music. OXZANA is ready to unleash their blend of tortured love songs, industrial dance grooves and metal guitars, displaying a powerfully sexy, Slavic femininity with the clear eyed realism and strength of character. They start off on this plane with virtue and sanity, and evolve to find a delicate balance between sinner and saint…
Interview Meikee Magnetic
Where were you born and where are you living now?
I was born in the small town of Ukraine (Mirgorod), my family was far from being musical or artistic. Now I’ve moved to New York, developed my own style and vision to form the band called OXZANA. I’m asked quite often where am I living now and I always say: ‘I LIVE IN THE WORLD’ I’m a human of the world with Eastern European roots and an American free spirit.
Tell us more details on what it was like to grow up there:
When I was 3 my mom was told I could sing (I was discovered in kindergarten at a new years celebration) and since then everything started. I’ve had several attempts to move to Moscow (RUSSIA) in the past it never seem to work out for me. I mentioned earlier that my family was nowhere close to be musical or artistic but my mom, after hearing me at very early age got me into musical school, dancing and gymnastics. So besides regular school I was in 3 other schools, just a very busy kid. I’m not from a rich or poor family, growing up I didn’t have much. At some point my mom made up her mind to become a sort of entrepreneur (as we say it nowadays) to support our family. My dad couldn’t work because of his disabilities after experiencing Chernobyl (he worked there after the explosion for several years). At age of 12 I asked my mom to bring me to an amazing musician/teacher and later my mentor helping me grow as an artist. These lessons wouldn’t be for free, I knew that it would be hard for us to pay but my mom believed in me. I’m forever thankful to her for this, she was my first producer!!! Since than I was on stage during every celebration at our small town. They were publicized in local newspapers representing the town in national and international competitions, tv etc… At age of 15 I moved to Kiev (Capital of Ukraine) to enroll in College of Verity and Circus arts.
What brought you out to New York?
I never dreamt to come to NEW YORK because it was just out of the equation to even think about it. It happened as an accident. I was heard in a club singing at someones birthday and got invited right away to sing in Brooklyn, NY. I was only 18 but I didn’t even hesitate for a second if I should go. I think that my mom saw how dedicated I was to what I do so she didn’t even try to stop me. She was sooooo worried, I remember. I couldn’t show her how scared I was having only $500, one suitcase, no relatives on the other side of the world, no home, medicine, different language (even though I studied English since 14) anyways it all seemed very unreal to me. At that moment I figured I was a gambler and was ready to do anything to succeed.
How would you describe your musical style?
OXZANA is a mix of hardcore energy, controversial lyrics and dark beauty. We bridge the giant chasm of east and west, and it’s the beginning of International artists ready to make the journey across the long divide for a career in between the East and the West. Now Oxzana is ready to let out their blend of tortured love songs, electronic grooves and metal guitars. Oxzana represents the mix of strong sexy Slavic femininity with the clear eyed realism and strength of the character!
What are the things you love about being a strong female artist?
I get to talk (through singing) and I’m being heard. I take charge on stage. I feel proud to be entitled to say something I’m strongly convinced about. I’m not someone to be ‘dancing’ to someones opinion. I have my own and I have my principals. Mainly, I love keeping everyone on their toes! Most bands and artists have those heart breaking or tear dropping stories! Well, I’m just like everybody else only we won’t whine about it. Because what is really extraordinary about me – comes from a different angle and different prospective. Tragedies happen in the world, that’s why I choose to rage and riot in music. Rather then killing or harming people lol as many would like to think aggressive music would stand for. OXZANA as a band was founded in 2010 by LizardKing records (The Killers, Shanti Gold, Martin Heath) but with one single (Isolation) that was never officially released – with me, as a the front person. I had to move on and look for other ways to write and perform. To deliver that desire that’s been sitting in me for years and was ready to be unleashed.
Who would you say inspired you to start your music career?
It was QUEEN and Celine Dion. I remember the first time hearing Celine’s Power of love – my mouth dropped open. At that time I didn’t know who she was. After discovering the name I started buying and renting everything I could find with her name on. Queen and Freddie has been with me throughout my entire life! I think that I’m a female version of what he was like (not too humble, right?)
You were on the Russian TV show ‘The Voice’, what were you feeling during that time?
The voice was quite an adventure, I don’t think I was ever this nervous in my life. I had doubts if I was making the right move and if this whole experience was something I needed. Mostly I was scared that it was making a step back from my big dream of becoming the worlds biggest rock star. Or stuck in the light of fame and the popularity of TV and not pursuing the music thats in my heart. Looking back on it, I think it gave me the option to start on a certain level in Russia. To go on and not to start from the bottom. I had to put a pause on my OXZANA project for a few years and I didn’t see how it would be of any interest to people in Russia. I was steered wrong, I must say. After breaking ties with my Russian producer I came back to myself. Finally after a number of years I decided to release the music I put my heart into, if someone didn’t like it well, they’ll just have to deal with it. That’s what defines me, music of OXZANA is who I am.
We’d love to know what you are working on now musically:
I’m working on promoting the album, I think it’s going to take some time touring, radio interviews and tv. I have a lot of material for a second album but I need some time to frame my mind to pull it all together. I need to figure out how exactly I want it to sound and how the album should be. I do want to experiment with the sound but still keep the vibe and initial idea of the project OXZANA.
Congrats on your ALBUM RELEASE PARTY November 21st. What can people expect to see and hear at the show?
Thank you, I’m looking forward to it, it’s going to be a club concert. Sort of an intimate introduction of the songs and the band to the Russian crowd. For a lot of people knowing me as a solo artist it might be shocking to see and hear what I’m about but hey, I’m an artist who wants to keep the crowd surprised and interested. As I said earlier, on their toes.
As an artist, how have you grown spiritually, mentally and artistically?
Analyzing my journey I must say it’s been very hectic. I realize I don’t remember sooo many things I thought were the most important until I see the picture or hear a recorded song from that period of life. I always look for new ways of expressing myself. I don’t think that I’m an artist of one genre. In my first year or two in Russia I had trouble adjusting to the mentality of the people living there. I think I still do and not truly understand it and I’m debating a lot within myself. Music business is so plastic in Russia that sometimes I just want to bail on everything here and comeback home to NY. I think the big awakening moment was when I decided to release this album and it brought me back to life in a way I didn’t think was possible. So my participation in the Russian Voice was good an bad in a lot of different ways but the bottom line is – it’s not where you are it’s who you are! Being this strong female artist I figured long ago that it’s not people who define me, it’s me telling them who I am and telling them not to be an animal herd.
Burrata, I love Italian food, truffle oil french fries!
What are some future plans and what do you wish to achieve?
I want to become this crossover artist that brings people of all nationalities together. I WANT THE WORLD. My future plan is to never give up on my initial ideas.
What does Dark Beauty mean to you?
It’s what I am, darkness evokes controversial feelings that wake our souls.