The Recording Academy Texas Chapter played host for GRAMMYs On The Road At South by Southwest during the conference's 26th annual installment from March 9–18 in Austin, Texas. The Chapter conducted exclusive backstage interviews with artists participating during the music portion of the conference, including seven-piece chamber pop group Hey Marseilles Latin GRAMMY-nominated singer/songwriter Ximena Sariñana.
Hey Marseilles vocalist Nick Ward discussed performing in the band's hometown of Seattle, musical influences, the band's formation, social media, and their biggest career moments, among other topics.
"Social media has been pretty instrumental in helping us get the word out," said Ward. "Most recently, our Twitter followers and Instagram followers have all really allowed us to connect pretty well with fans. It's always fantastic when you can get emails or online music orders from other parts of the globe."
Formed in Seattle in 2006 by Ward and guitarist Matt Bishop, Hey Marseilles eventually grew to a seven-piece outfit featuring cellist violist Jacob Anderson, Samuel Anderson, multi-instrumentalist Patrick Brannon, pianist/accordionist Philip Kobernik, and drummer Colin Richey. In 2010 the band released their debut album, To Travels & Trunks, featuring 13 orchestrally augmented tracks. Hey Marseilles have performed live at other festivals such as Bumbershoot in Seattle and the CMJ Music Marathon & Film Festival in New York. The group is currently on tour throughout the Pacific Northwest, with select dates scheduled through May, including a performance at the upcoming Sasquatch! music festival in George, Wash.
Sariñana discussed her career beginnings, performing at South by Southwest, musical influences, social media, and music she's currently listening to, among other topics.
"Creatively, I'm influenced by everything," said Sariñana. "Everything [I] see, what [I] read, what [I] watch, who [I] surround yourself by, [and] traveling. All of that really influences [me] and makes me grow as an artist."
Mexico native Sariñana was born into a creative family as the daughter to both a screenwriter and film director/producer. She began acting at age 4 and appeared in several Mexican films. Inspired by jazz artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, at 15 Sariñana began studying at Mexico's Academia de Música Fermatta. Two years later she attended a five-week program at Boston's Berklee College of Music. After relocating to Los Angeles, Sariñana released her debut album, Mediocre, in 2008, peaking at No. 10 on Billboard's Latin Pop Albums chart and earning her a Latin GRAMMY nomination for Best Latin Rock Or Alternative Album. A self-titled release followed in 2011. Sariñana is currently on tour throughout the United States and Mexico, with select dates scheduled through June.
Come back to GRAMMY.com on Monday for more exclusive backstage interviews from GRAMMYs On The Road At SXSW.
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