Singer-songwriter Alexondra O’Connell, aka Xondra, has caught the attention of listeners & critics alike through her unique musical versatility & emotive visual storytelling.
Coming off her multiple film festival nominations for “I Wrote This Instead of Calling You,” an official selection of the Aphrodite Film Awards, The London Music Video Festival, & the We Make Movies International Film Festival, Xondra is looking to take a larger exploration into creating visual storytelling to go along with her music through her new visual EP, Tedious & Brief.
The E.P. covers the story of a young domestic violence victim going through the challenges of survival while reclaiming her voice. To fully execute this film, Xondra has curated a crowdfunding campaign. If Xondra’s campaign surpasses its goal, she has pledged to donate a portion of the proceeds to The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Xondra has kindly taken the time to speak with Fierce & Fabulous Revolution regarding her latest visual project & crowdfunding campaign. You can find the full interview below.
Hey Xondra, thank you for this interview. Can you start by telling readers about yourself?
Xondra: Hello! Thanks so much for having me! Sure! My name is Xondra and I am a singer-songwriter born and raised in the suburbs of New York (specifically, Long Island). I make pop music that has elements of r&b, rock, & singer-songwriter in it. I earned my undergraduate degree in Contemporary Songwriting at SUNY Purchase’s Conservatory of Music. I earned my Masters’s degree in Music Business at Berklee College of Music. I have been performing in New York and the tri-state area since I was 16 years old. I love vulnerable storytelling and at the heart of all my music are the lyrics. Since graduating from my Master’s program, I have been focusing on elevating my career and entering the music industry now that I feel I have the tools to carry out my artistic visions. When I’m not doing music, I love gardening, reading, anything true crime, astrology, and learning Spanish.
When did you first discover your passion for music?
Xondra: I first discovered my passion for music as a child. I had my own radio in my room that I used to sit in front of for hours. I would sit at my desk with an open notebook and jot down small bits of lyrics from songs played on the local pop station in Long Island. Then, I’d put the lyrics from a bunch of different songs in a new order to create a new song altogether. I didn’t play an instrument yet so I’d just sing the songs I created over and over to remember them. That was my first introduction into songwriting. After that, I started turning the poetry I wrote into songs. I started vocal lessons at the age of 8 and I still have a recording of an original song I sang to my vocal coach about the woes of my 8-year-old life (lol).
How would you currently describe your musical style?
Xondra: My music is very genre-blending, incorporating elements from pop, rock, indie and r&b. I think the best word to describe my music is vulnerable. I love writing lyrics that are true to what I’m going through. I love capturing details of the world around me and how they make me feel. I take a lot of inspiration from artists like Taylor Swift, Phoebe Bridgers, Kehlani, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus.
You recently received nominations for “I Wrote This Instead Of Calling You” in the Aphrodite Film Awards, The London Music Video Festival, & the We Make Movies International Film Festival. How did it feel to receive these nominations?
Xondra: It felt amazing to be recognized for all the work my friend/collaborator Joy Fillmore Greene ( @joyphulness on Instagram) and I put into the making of the “I wrote this instead of calling you” visual. We had so much fun bringing the story of the song to life. It was so amazing to work with someone with just as much attention to detail as I did and could see the vision I had in mind. She is absolutely incredible and I feel lucky to have made something that we are both really proud of.
Now, you are looking to release the EP, Tedious & Brief, along with a horror-musical short film based on the EP itself. How did the idea for this come together?
Xondra: I always had a visual in mind for this project. A lot of the songs were inspired by nightmares, flashbacks, and media I was consuming at the time. This is the first body of work I’ve written where I had a storyline in mind as I was writing . There are so many lyrical connections/foreshadowing in the songs that I placed there purposefully. I chose the order of the songs for a very specific reason. I saw the story unfolding in my head as I wrote the songs. I needed a way to express the pain I was feeling by taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture. The real pain I was feeling was for all women/afab people that are neglected, abused, hurt, or killed without remorse. I wanted to write the story of a girl that could be any one of us. Someone that got dealt a bad hand in life but is trying to move forward/heal. Someone that is trying to find her voice in a world that tells her they’d be more comfortable if she stayed silent. The visual was something that would come to me randomly and started as just random thoughts in my notes app. It didn’t become a reality until I started working with a video team that I really trusted. Together, we have come up with a film that will hopefully resonate with anyone that watches it. I think we all want to be heard and seen for who we are. This is the story of a girl who is fighting for just that.
What does this short film/EP mean to you?
Xondra: This EP is the most vulnerable I have ever been in my music thus far. It is the backstory of why I am the way I am. It is all the pain that has led me to find my strength. Both the film and the EP feel very empowering to me. This is my story and I am ready to let myself be heard. I have been so afraid to go this deep emotionally in my music but now that I have, I feel stronger for it.
What are you hoping listeners/viewers will take from the short film & EP?
Xondra: I hope it makes people feel less alone, more understood, and more empowered to walk in their truth.
You are currently looking to crowdfund to create this project, what are some of the ways that readers can help to get this project made?
Xondra: Investing in our campaign will ensure that the production can afford food, travel, locations, film festival submissions, and other miscellaneous costs that may arise during filming and post-production. You can donate on the following platforms :
Here are the list of incentives for each contribution :
THE MIME $10 – Social media shoutout
THE ESCAPE ARTIST $25 – Thank you clip from the cast and crew
THE RINGMASTER $35 – Personal handwritten Thank you letter
THE TIGHT ROPE WALKER $50 – Signed On Set Photos From Cast and Crew
THE FORTUNE TELLER $75 – Special Thanks Credit In Video
THE LION TAMER 100 – Producer Credit in Video with early access to video ( free physical copy of EP)
THE FIRE EATER $150 – Ultimate Thank You Bundle (Letter, Photo, Credit, early access to video ) (free physical copy of EP) * Surprise additional gift*
You can also help by following my Instagram account (@xondramusic) as well as Natural Multimedia, the company producing the film (@natural_multimedia_llc)!
Be on the lookout for updates and tell your friends and family about our film whether you’re hanging out at a party together or resharing our posts on social media. We’ll give you some support back!
If your campaign to create this project reaches its target, you have pledged to donate a portion of the profits to The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. What does this organization mean to you?
Xondra: The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence is an incredible organization working diligently to support legislation that empowers survivors, holds abusers accountable and supports advocates. I really love and appreciate the work they are doing to help women around the country. As a survivor, It would mean the world to me to be able to contribute to an organization that is doing such amazing work. I think it is so important to elevate the voices of survivors/help them in any way possible to heal or get back on their feet.
8. Finally, is there a message you would like to share with the readers of Fierce & Fabulous Revolution?
Xondra: It would mean the world to me if you checked out the first single off the EP titled “Dead Girl”. It’s out on September 30th on all streaming platforms.
You can find out all the information regarding the crowdfunding campaign behind the visual EP right here.
XONDRA: Website / Facebook / Instagram.