American singer Xenia Edith Martinez, best known as Xenia, was born in 1994 in Southern California. Precocious from the very start, Xenia began composing her own songs and poems at the age of 7, and by 15 had taught her-self how to play the guitar, piano, harmonica, and ukulele. Xenia played the instruments off and on throughout elementary and middle school, but it wasn’t until she heard Jon McLaughlin’s “Indiana” that she decided to try singing.
While listening to the likes of Billy Joel and Johnny Cash, she’d sing around the house quietly and despite her mother’s urging, the soft-spoken girl tried to initially hide her gift. While in her first year of high school, Xenia reluctantly entered a local singing contest and won.
“I’d listen to music and dream about it,” she reveals. “I didn’t know that I wanted to pursue it as a career until that contest. I always tried to keep it a secret.”
The secret was out, and she began to chase that dream actively. She found out about The Voice auditions in Los Angeles on Twitter, merely two weeks after starting an account. Her parents brought her to the audition, and she nailed it. The NBC show became a massive hit, garnering incredible ratings and soon adding a second season. For Xenia, it was a monumental event. She cultivated a fervent fan base and grew immensely in the process as a result of being on the show. “It really changed my life,” she exclaims. “Everything was different, and I learned so much about myself, music, and what I wanted to do with my life.”
Music has always been an important part of Xenia’s life and, as a result, delivers honest and soulful pop songs with palpable vitality. That energy landed her in the Top 8 on NBC’s hit television show, The Voice, as the youngest finalist. Previously signed to Universal Republic Records, Xenia released her debut EP Sing You Home on December 20, 2011. It peaked at #2 on the iTunes Pop charts, and #10 on the iTunes overall charts. The music video for her EP’s lead single, “Sing You Home”, along with her robust, raspy voice gained the attention of celebrities like Justin Bieber, Jennifer Lopez and Avril Lavigne, who shared her music video on their YouTube channels. “Sing You Home” has now gained over 700,000 views on YouTube.
She has since continued to write, record, and collaborate with other artists. In 2012 she sang a duet on singer-songwriter Jon McLaughlin’s album, Forever If Ever, called “Maybe It’s Over”. Xenia was also featured on Blake Shelton’s first Christmas album, Cheers, It’s Christmas, providing guest vocals for the song “Silver Bells“. Now we await the release of her forthcoming EP, Artemisa, which is titled after her grandmother. Across the landscape of the EP, Xenia paints haunting and unforgettable pictures that are heartbreaking and eloquent beyond her years.