Nomination Caps Young Mexican Singer-Actress’s Banner Year of Crossover into the U.S. Mainstream
In a banner first year of her recording career, Ximena Sariñana, the young Mexican singer-songwriter-actress, has not only become one of the most acclaimed and popular new artists in Latin music, but also made an extraordinarily successful crossover into the mainstream U.S. market. Building upon months of increasing acclaim here, she has garnered a GRAMMY nomination for Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album.
The accomplishment comes on the heels the Best New Artist Award Sariñana received in the Premios MTV Latinoamérica 2008 (the Latin MTV Awards, in which she had four nominations) and three awards for which she was nominated in this year’s Latin Grammys.
Sariñana’s crossover was further evidenced this past weekend as she earned significant accolades at the key online music retailers: She is the only Latin artist in iTunes Best 10 Albums of 2008, and her debut, Mediocre, was the only album by a Latin artist in Amazon’s Top 50 MP3 Bestsellers for Thanksgiving weekend.
Sariñana has earned a warm embrace from critics in the U.S. Rolling Stone recently proclaimed Mediocre “one of the strongest debuts from a female singer-songwriter since Norah Jones’ Come Away With Me.” The New York Times has said that, although Sariñana is just 22, “her music [isn’t] kid stuff. Her voice mixes a reedy, brooding streak-akin to Fiona Apple’s and Édith Piaf’s-with touches of Brazilian insouciance and jazz scat singing.” The Los Angeles Times calls her “a perfect exponent for her generation. To borrow a political slogan, she’s the change we’ve been waiting for.”
Sariñana made her performance on U.S. radio on the highly influential KCRW show “Morning Becomes Eclectic”; has been the featured “Ignition Artist” on Microsoft Zune; had the Single of the Week on iTunes Latino; and spent six weeks as MTV Tr3s’ “Descubre and Download” featured artist.
By the time Sei Track International/Warner Music Latina releases Mediocre the album has already achieved a level of success in Mexico that was unprecedented for a new artist: The album debuted at the top of the albums chart and remained there for five weeks, earning her Gold sales status in the recording’s first few months on sale. Now the disc is certified Platinum. The labels just released “No Vuelvo Más,” the second single from Mediocre. The first, “Vidas Paralelas,” received airplay on both English- and Spanish-language radio stations.
Sariñana received her musical training at Berklee, having been a famous actress in Mexico since age four-has won over discerning critics, tastemakers and audiences with music that is extraordinarily mature and distinctive recording while being a unique product of her generation: Sariñana’s MySpace page has surpassed 1,000,000 views, she has been featured on the site as “Artist of the Week” twice; and she met the Brazilian composer Leo Minax, who co-wrote one of the album’s songs, via her MySpace page. A team of highly accomplished collaborators-one that evidences Sariñana’s sensibility-helped Sariñana create the recording, including Argentinean producer Tweety Gonzalez (Soda Stereo, Gustavo Cerati), and Uruguayan producer Juan Campodonico (Jorge Drexler, Bajofondo) who convinced the singer to undertake further vocal studies before interpreting songs like “Sintiendo rara” (“Feeling Weird”) by Erik Couts and “Gris” (“Gray”) by the famous Uruguayan rock band Loop Lascano. The album was recorded in Buenos Aires with a skilled ensemble of Argentine players.
Sariñana’s maturity as an artist is probably due, in part, to her having grown up in a family full of filmmakers. Her father is the famous Mexican movie director Fernando Sariñana, and her mother the screenwriter/producer Carolina Rivera.
Ximena made her first serious forays as a singer at the age of 14, in the film Amar Te Duele. Aside from her role in the film, her band Feliz No Cumpleaños (Happy Un-birthday) had a hit with a song on the movie’s best-selling soundtrack. She was already proving herself to be as influenced by Björk as by jazz. Sariñana is especially beloved for her live show, in which her training as an actor is apparent in her charisma and theatricality. She will tour the U.S. soon in support of Mediocre (dates and cities TBA).
ABOUT XIMENA SARIÑANA
After a lengthy career in film and television, the Mexican actress and singer Ximena Sariñana finally releases her first studio album titled “Mediocre”. This young lady has art coursing through her veins, with a famous Mexican movie director for a father (Fernando Sariñana). Furthermore, her aunts Angelica Rivera and Veronica Castro are both actresses, and her uncle Jose Alberto Castro is a producer.
The album consists of 12 tracks that fuse rhythms such as jazz, pop, rock and funk. Produced by Tweety Gonzalez (Soda Stereo), Juan Campodonico (Bajo Fondo, Jorge Drexler), and Mood-Fu, “Mediocre” is an honest album that lacks pretention and makes evident Ximena’s incredible musical talent. The first single, “Vidas Paralelas”, quickly reached top popularity within just a few weeks of hitting radio in Mexico. The video for this single was recorded in Iceland, under the direction of Pablo Davila (Motel, Los Dynamite).
This long awaited album will surely be welcomed by this artist’s large fan base; her MySpace page has over 680,000 hits, and awarded her the title of “Artist of the Week” in under a month’s time.
Ximena has managed to develop a very peculiar musical style that goes from jazz to pop while dabbling through rock and funk. The result is one that is pleasing to anyone who enjoys good music with interesting content. A look at her MySpace page (www.myspace.com/ximenamusic) will make evident the large fan base that is following this artist, with a number that surpasses many of the big musical stars of today.
- Over 760,000 profile views on MySpace
- Over 600 new profile views every day
- Over 800,000 total plays
- In less than one month’s time, she was featured twice as MySpace’s “Artist of the Week”
TRACKLISTING FOR MEDIOCRE
2. Vidas Paralelas
4. La Tina
6. No Vuelvo Más
7. Cambio De Piel
8. Sintiendo Rara
9. Un Error
11. Pocas Palabras
13. Pajaritos (digital album only)