[Exclusive Interview] XTIE Inspires Us to Feel Beautiful in Our Own "Skin"

XTIE is an independent singer, songwriter, and producer from Hong Kong who pours her artistry into her own work as well as producing for other artists. 

XTIE recently released her deeply personal single "Skin" on November 18. The music video for “Skin” explores body positivity through contemporary dance, song, and movement improvisation through a “Dance Listening Party” initiative. Emily Lu, a Hong Kong and Los Angeles-based choreographer, choreographed the main piece of this video and performed it herself. Like XTIE, Emily is also a performing artist suffering from Eczema. 

Check out the music video here! 

KpopWise was able to chat with XTIE about her new single as well as gain some insight into the talented artist's perspective on her work. 

Nice meeting you XTIE! Can you tell us about your latest release "Skin"? 

Hello! Nice to meet you too! My new song “Skin” is a love letter to my own body, my skin, and my soul. I’ve been dealing with body image issues due to my eczema at a young age, and I wish to share this story with listeners that we all deserve to feel beautiful regardless of how we look.

You make music with stories personal to you. What are the positives and negatives of putting your stories out into the world?

It is more positive than negative! The way I create songs is to write about my point of view for a certain issue / stories that happen around me. After releasing the song “Skin” I was thrilled to receive a lot of supportive messages from fans and they told me they can relate to the song well. Which is sad in a way because it seems that a lot of people are also dealing with body image issues – but on the other hand, I am very happy that my song “Skin” is kinda making a difference and it can serve as a companion along our way. It has been a very heart-warming moment.

What does your creative process look like?

As I write and produce on my own for my artist project, my creative process can be as freely as I wish. I can start with a melody and an idea I jotted down earlier. I also like to start to produce a track and topline on it. It really depends! I think I’m very lucky to be able to produce and write at the same time so I can make artistic choices without limitations. On some occasions, I love to write and produce with others as well! Working with others gives me a different perspective to my own craft and it helps me grow as an artist!

What is a moment you felt the proudest?

I used to think a proper measurable achievement, like getting awards/ hitting milestones would make me most proud. But nowadays the moment I feel the proudest is to have gratitude for all the good things happening around me and I can have a healthy heart and body to embrace them.

As a producer for other artists, is there an artist that you would love to produce for someday?

I do! Taeyeon and Chungha! I have been listening to a lot of K-pop since I was a teen! Apart from my own artist project, I also team up with writers and producers in Finland, US, Japan, Sweden etc to write for Kpop! Currently, I’d say I’m a Cpop producer/writer, but I really want to expand my artistry to Kpop. I hope one day I will have the chance to see my name on the credit page. Kpop always fascinates me creatively. 

How do you balance between producing and working on your own projects?

To be honest, when there’s deadlines, there’s no way you can prioritize your own project. I always push my releases because of a lot of deadlines and work from my full time job as an art event producer and a music producer for Cpop. Creatively, I do not stress too much about it – I usually leave myself more headspace for doing creative work, like I’m more creative during the day time, then I’ll arrange songwriting/producing sessions in the morning and in the afternoon. At night, mainly doing music business stuff like planning and administration stuff. I hope it can be balanced in a better way in 2023!!

You are multi-talented, but is there something that you would like to learn?

I still have a lot to learn, it’s a never-ending process to me and I always stay excited about getting better each day. Musically, I wish to read more books about music business. As an independent artist doing everything DIY, I have to have a strategic mind. I also want to practice more on my piano – it’s been a while since I've been performing with piano as I spent a lot of time writing and producing. And actually, I want to pick up my Korean!!! 

Is there a musical genre you haven’t tried yet that you would like to?

Pop punk and musical theatre! I grew up listening to Avril Lavigne and a lot of Disney shows, and Broadway shows! They gave me a lot of influence musically but I haven’t really tried out doing that!

What is one message you want to give to your fans?

Everyone deserves to feel beautiful regardless of how we look. We have the power to love ourselves first. 

What can we expect from you next? 

I am releasing my EP in 2023 Spring time! It’s a digital EP to wrap up my journey as an artist since 2020. And then I will release a few singles before I drop my debut album “Oxymoron” where I wish to celebrate my fellow women and non-binary creators in music. From 2020-2022, my songs are mostly self-produced and I’m doing everything on my own. Along the journey I met so many talented friends and I wish I can work together as a team instead of on my own. I'm very excited!

Follow XTIE 

Ciera Reeves

Ciera is the founder of KpopWise. She has been a fan of Korean pop culture since 2005 and writing about it since 2009. Her bias groups are VIXX and OnlyOneOf. She is a 2nd-3rd generation K-pop fan, but she is actively keeping up with the current artists. twitter instagram

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