This is Xana.
We sat down for a Q and A with Wheelhouse Cycle Club motivator and music artist, Alex B., also known as Xana, to get her take on everything from music to motivating and, of course, the growth mindset.
Alex, you have a pretty unique life as a model, singer, and motivator, among other roles. What does your day to day life look like?
It kind of just depends on the day. If I'm not working at Wheelhouse or doing make-up, because I also do make up artistry, I'm at home working on music stuff. I self-manage and book and play all the roles that come with being a musician, so in my spare time I work on that, but sometimes I'm working with clients on make-up or teaching rides. Those three things on the go keep me pretty busy. I've taken a step back from modelling because I don't have the time right now, but I still do the odd shoot or do runway sometimes. Make-up has been busy this summer... then I'm working at Wheelhouse and doing lots of music.
Wow. That's a lot of variety in a day! How do you maintain balance in your life while motivating, starting a singing career, doing make up, etc.?
(Laughs). Honestly, that's something I've still be trying to fine tune, and I've struggled with. Even though motivating is a job, for me it helps me unwind when I'm stressed out, and I find that I can let go of everything happening in my life when I'm on the bike. So I use that to cope with stress. It's convenient because it's beneficial for me in more ways than one. I just try to make time to be social and be with friends and family when I know I'm getting stressed out. I rely on good people in my life to keep me going.
How do these two passions of yours - leading spin and performing music - overlap?
In a lot of ways. I almost didn't realize going into it, but motivating is so based on music, which is really neat, because I also have a dance backgroud and danced competitively growing up. It's always been in my blood, so it's a strength of mine that comes to me on the bike. I think that the performing aspect is huge for both motivating and performing music. My confidence as a performer has grown since motivating at Wheelhouse and performing helps with being comfortable in front of people. Motivating is also great training for breath control when I'm singing. It's helped my endurance as a performer.
We've been talking on the blog a lot this week about the growth mindset. Tell us about your video-a-day goal and how it exhibits this mindset.
My challenge was to write 100 songs in 100 days, which is very ambitious to take on and kind of turned into having to sort of slow down on the challenge and post-phone it for now with everything going on my life and the album release and things happening in my personal life all at once. Even though I wanted to keep it up and wanted to continue doing it, it was too hard to keep up with and maintain my mental and physical health too, so I had started to burn out and had to take a step back. I took on the challenge with the mindset that I'm going to grow from it. That's totally the goal with it - to get better at what I love to do and to hopefully grow my skills as a songwriter. I'm hoping to pick it up back up in the fall, depending on how things go for me with other things in my life. (She got to 30 songs!!)
Awesome. That goal of growth is a powerful one, as it helps you focus on the process rather than the outcome, which is where growth really can take place. So yesterday I got to feature one of your songs in my ride, which was really cool. (Sidenote: You can hear it linked below!) Will you ride to your own music in the future?
I've had a lot of people ask me that, but I don't really think I will. Part of me feels like it's cheesy to do that. I think I would feel kind of silly. I mean, self promotion is okay and I'm about that - and I love my music - but I just don't know if I want to use it in a ride. There are some good songs for the vault and others can definitely use it. I try to be humble about it.
That makes sense! Your artist name is Xana (Zaa-nah). Tell us about the evolution of that name for you.
I wanted to do a name change instead of using Alexandra, which is generic. I also thought it will be better to have a stage name, as it's more of an act and a show, rather than just a person. I was trying to think of a name not too drastically different or controversial, so I tried to remake my name into something else. So I took my name and shortened it from Alexandra into Xana. There's a godess that was written about that had the name Xana, and she was blonde haired and blue eyed and had a lot of characteristics similar to me too. I read lots of information online and thought it was suitable for me.
You have a show coming up this Friday, which is so exciting. What are the details we can pass on to the Wheelpack?
The show is at the Owl. Tickets are $10 in advance at Wheelhouse, online (www.thisisXana.com/tour) or at Soles of Whitmore. The doors open at 8 and the show is at 9. I'm also starting a Western Canada tour this fall, which will have dates coming soon.
What can people expect from your show tomorrow night?
It's a great line up of Trifecta artists, which is a non-profit organization in the city that has a collective of niche genre artists. It's lots of artists that aren't common around here. We team up and put on shows that give us a place to perform. I'm playing with a lot of those artists. As far as my own set goes, I have about 30 people in my show alone. It's been crazy doing rehearsal and coordinating it all. I've got lots of singers and dancers and collaborations with other artists on stage as well.
You can follow Xana at www.thisisxana.com. She's on Instagram and Facebook as @thisisxana.
There you have it, Wheelpack. Local talent, Xana, along with Trifecta have their show tomorrow evening. Be sure to get your tickets as I'm sure it will be a packed house. A big thanks to Xana for taking the time to share with us today on the Wheelhouse Blog!
Check out one of Xana's latest releases right here!