Xiamara Jennings knew from a young age that music was all she wanted to do. She started posting covers on social media in her spare time. She wanted this more than anything.” I’ve never loved anything else as much as music” In 2015 she finally got her opportunity to put her vocals to use professionally when she got the chance to be apart of one Atlanta’s most prominent young girl groups, CHARM. A member of the group named Payton, reached out to Jennings after the group showed interest in her vocal ability. As soon as she met the group, it was instant chemistry.
She went on to release an EP and a few singles with the group along with four visuals. Her favorite moments were the pratices. “We were always so tired after practice, but it felt good once we knew we had the choreo down.” Jennings started to acquire a fan-base of her own that fell in love with her original style and angelic vocals. She eventually decided after a year that it was time to explore her own artistry.
She was turning 18 at the time. “I think it was just time to do my own thing. I was turning 18 and becoming an adult and wanted to explore on my own.” While apart of the group, she learned a lot of things about the music industry and how hard it can be. “I had a lot of doubtful moments. But I kept good people around me, and it made the experience way better” I then asked Jennings her advice for the next girl joining a girl group.” Learn how to compromise. Make sure you get along with the girls in the group and be a team player.”
In February 2018, Jennings released her debut single “Hold On To Me.” It was a smooth Rnb masterpiece with angelic vocals fit for any late night vibe. A perfect introduction. “It was one of the first beats producer Tonye Ayeba sent to me. He’s the producer of my entire first EP. I knew for this particular song I wanted it to be kind of like an interlude.. not too many words.” On April 13th, 2018 she finally released her debut full-length EP, The Emotional Tomboy. “I’ve always been known as a tomboy, but people make it seem like just because you’re a tomboy, you can’t be sensitive and have feelings. The name is just showing people I’m both and so is this EP of mine. “She cites that the biggest misconception about tomboys is that they don’t have feelings. “WE DO. WE HAVE LOTS OF EM! “She said.
E: You seemed very emotionally open on this project. What made you decide to be so vulnerable with your fans? ?I honestly love being vulnerable. “I’ve always been open about my feelings to people. I never have a problem expressing myself. I feel like other people feel the same way there’s no way I’m the only one. So, let me give the people something they can relate to and see they aren’t the only ones feeling this way.”
E: What was the journey like making this project? XJ: “I loved it. I met my favorite musicians while doing this project. Bass player Wesley and guitarist Tonye. I feel like through making this project; I found out who I was musically.”
“Let me give the people something they can relate to and see they aren’t the only ones feeling this way.”– Xiamara Jennings
E: What was the hardest song to record, and why? XJ: “Forever (Fade to Black) I first recorded Forever track five a few months before Fade to Black. My engineer wanted to record again to fix a few things, but I wasn’t in the same headspace as before which is why I feel Fade to Black sounds darker. I felt it needed to still be on the project because of that…it gives you another look/perspective on the song. ”
E: What is your advice to up and coming artist since you have some experience? XJ: “My advice is it’s gonna be hard, and you’re going to doubt yourself a lot, but you’ll be okay.. keep pushing and finding yourself.” Aside from her solo endeavors, she is also apart of a co-op band entitled FriendofaFriend. It started after she met two musicians name Wesley and Tonye. “We clicked and just thought it’d be a good idea to be a band for like live performances, but they also work on a lot of my music. “She cites that the two have also produced some music on her debut EP as well. “We have music coming very soon.”
Jennings isn’t just known for her vocal ability but also her iconic style. Her most famous style is her hair cuts. She cites that cutting her hair makes her feel liberated. “I get it all from my mom. She’s such a free spirit. She taught me to always be myself no matter what. She always has had her own style and always switches up hairstyles, so I just learned from the best.” Jennings does all her own hair. Her secret is coconut oil, shea moisture, and miss Jessie’s products.”
Go Download ‘The Emotional Tomboy’ EP now or stream it on all streaming services.
Get the print version here
Read the online version of Issue 39 here