5 Questions With XTIE

Words by Josh Abraham. 
Photography // XTIE – press.

Hong Kong Singer/Songwriter, XTIE, has always been one to explore different cultures and figure out her musical journey whilst hearing different soundscapes.  However, in this interview it’s time to get to know the talented artist in her life between Hong Kong and others as well as offering up her own advice for those starting out in the music world. 

You seem to enjoy writing music from your experiences in different countries – is there a dream country you’d like to visit?

If possible, I would like to travel around the world! There are so many countries I want to go to visit. But if I had to pick, it would be places that I could see the wild animals! Kenya of Africa is a dream, I want to visit the safari watching the wildebeest and zebra crossing the Mara River! I visited Iceland (another dream country) last September, and didn’t have a chance to see the aurora so I will definitely come back too. And one more place (not a country because it’s borderless) on my bucket list (I have a long list ;p) it’s Antarctica! But it’s still a dream as it is costly to go and really takes a lot of planning and I am a bit worried about the sea-sickness.

Listen to “Flower Town” below:

What’s the difference between the Hong Kong music scene and the U.K’s music scene?

I have stayed in the U.K for less than a year so my view might not be as accurate. There are so many talented ones from both places. There are more live houses and performance venues in the U.K catering for different types of art happenings. Speaking of the process of making a song, it is very common to co-write as a team in the U.K, where writers, lyricists, beat-makers sit together to produce 1 song. While in Hong Kong, the record company tends to start with or choose a melody/topline, then they find a lyricist to write, and then arrangement and so on. So most songs produced commercially in HK are written by 3 different parties while they don’t have much communications during the process, but this is getting changed in recent years. 

Audience from HK is getting more open to explore new music, but this is still bounded by our mother-tongue Cantonese, which is a language with fixed vowels, so the demand on lyricists is even higher cos there’s not much choices of words of that particular melody written. I feel like U.K audience are more open to accept more experimental music, while in Hong Kong most audience tends to focus on whether the song is “sing-able”, like if it’s catchy, easy to memorize, not too hard to sing, etc due to the strong karaoke music culture in HK.

What is one thing you can’t live without?

The ability of self-healing

During the pandemic, what tv shows/films have you been binge watching?

I’m a big fan of Korean TV shows and dramas, and some Netflix sitcoms

Any advice for aspiring musicians who are beginning their journey?

I used to chase for the so called “perfection” but I realize it only exists when you accept your flaws. Go for it, release it, and let’s improve on the next one.