Xochitl was born to make music. Her parents met as church musicians, dad as a guitarist, mom as a pianist. They put headsets over mom’s belly while she was pregnant and played Xochitl everything from classical to classic rock.
Now 22, Xochitl (pronounced “so-chee”) was born and raised in Sacramento and attended Christian Brothers High School and Sacramento City College. One afternoon while sitting in math class, she realized she was fighting fate: Music was her calling. She signed up for a City College choir course and a short time later was on a plane bound for the Big Apple. While on the East Coast, she played a show every night for six months.
While performing may come easy to this natural entertainer, songwriting does not.
“It’s so difficult for me. I kind of hate it,” she says. “When I’m inspired, I have to stop what I’m doing and go write it.” Inspiration comes from travel, experience and others’ stories, in addition to fellow singer-songwriters John Mayer, Jason Mraz and Sara Bareilles. These influences are apparent in her debut EP, “Lion Heart,” which was released earlier this year. Her lower register lends a soulful edge to what could be straight pop. This jazzy pop fusion is an element that she hopes to push further into a funk realm on future projects. Her music evolution now includes a full band, with Casey Gross on bass and Alfonso Portela on drums.
“It’s more fun with other people. The attention is not all on you,” says Xochitl. But playing solo allows her more freedom to tour, including planned summer shows in California. Catch her set at Concerts in the Park on July 17. For more information, visit xochitlofficial.net.