Get to know new and established San Antonio artists in our Keep SA Real Music Feature. This week we’re talking to Daniela Riojas, lead vocalist for local band Femina-X. Read their story and check out the schedule for their next live performance.
How would you describe Femina-X’s genre?
We’ve realized that Femina-X doesn’t really fall under any specific genre. Each song we play creates a surreal journey through a conglomerate world where genres blur and stack upon themselves. The same way you would try and recall a dream, you somehow keep misplacing exact time or place, but you know in your heart that you were somewhere very distinct, strong, and memorable – only placeable by sheer intuition. Usually a source of deja vu later in waking life. But, to list specifics, there are elements of jungle, trip-hop, industrial, punk, house, drum and bass, folk ballad, blues, and R&B in our music.
How did the band form?
Femina-X originally formed for a fundraiser show for my residency at the Vermont Studio Center. At that time, I had songs electronically composed with the main objective of adapting them into a live band atmosphere. Femina-X was formed with Alex Scheel on guitar, me on the keys, Jacob Burris on bass, and Jorge Gonzalez on drums. Femina-X is now me, Alex, and Jeff Palacios, plus our newest, fourth member, Darian Thomas, who we’re so happy to have as a collaborator! We met him when we performed with YOSA at the Tobin Center for Radiohead’s OK Computer Live. He was a spunky first chair violin and we noticed his vibrant and enthusiastic personality – he and Jeff became great friends. After Alex and I got back from our trip to Columbia, Darian was ready to rehearse and join us on stage.
Who or what inspires and influences your compositions?
Many different things! As a collective, we have a broad scope of interests and a vast love for many subjects. Anything from science, nature, heroism, myths, ancestral ties, cosmological connections, and philosophy to rebellion to systematic violence, romantic tales within our desert homeland, dreams, and sorrowful relationships. Our lives, brains, curiosities, need for answers, need for connection, our nerdy and fairy- like ways of processing our world go directly into each song.
What do you feel is unique about living in San Antonio?
Evolution! The amount of growth here is so undeniable! It’s a city inbred with strong core culture and a burning center. If continually meditated upon with positivity, San Antonio can burn so bright within the spectrum of other creative meccas in the world. San Antonio is quickly becoming a beacon of fresh, raw talent – not that it wasn’t before, but you get a sense that the underground nature of it is emerging with a lot of grace and purity. Many artists here aren’t hungry for the same cop off glory. For artists here, it’s a matter of being your own creature and emerging from that underground freely. It’s a matter of artists owning their true self without regard to the industry standards that can be very distracting and inhibiting to talent. It’s a brave thing. We’re going to hold onto our true selves no matter what.
Where is your favorite spot in San Antonio to play a show and why?
There are have been many fantastic places to play here: Arneson River Theater, 502 Bar, HiTones, Children’s DoSeum, and mostly recently, the Tobin Center! The Tobin Center was truly and utterly magical. Bottom Bracket has been great and so has the Koehler Cultural Center mansion at San Antonio College. It honestly comes down to whatever energy is happening at a given place. When venues treat artists with respect, the energy can lift even higher. I just know that when intentions are good, everything is good.
Where is your favorite spot in San Antonio to see a show and why?
My favorite spot to see a show in San Antonio really varies depending on the act that I’m watching, but 502 Bar never fails to deliver a quality experience. HiTones has an inescapable way of bringing out all grunge elements within a person.
How would you summarize the local music scene?
The local music scene is teeming with amazing talent that is bustling to the surface. A few acts have received national attention and I see it happening more regularly. We are very lucky to have been recognized in Vice Colombia! My hope is that together we can create a cohesive community that isn’t afraid to work symbiotically and support each other with open-mindedness about our future.
Favorite local musicians?
Xyloid, Ernest Gonzalez, Aether, Sugar Skulls, Levees, Something Fiction, Morris Orchids, Jai Roots, Azul Barrientos, Nicolas Valdez, George Garza, Jr, Nina Diaz, and Troy Peters.
When and where is your next show?
We are spacing out our shows so that we can finish up our music video! (click here to learn more about upcoming shows)
Where can fans purchase your music?
You can actually stream and download our music online for free through our Soundcloud. We also sell handmade CDs at our shows for very good prices!