The prefix Xen- means foreigner or stranger, and the suffix -Ne means ‘not.’ We are strangers to our own essence until we face the mirror and suffer the eyes of humanity.
Erica Xenne poured herself into songs and diaries as a child, which evolved to novels and a music career in her teens. She spent ample time in the woods, singing to tape recorders or writing, and collected gemstones, beginning with one she was gifted by a piano teacher at age four. Between her favorite authors, Hermann Hesse & Carlos Castaneda, and her most beloved Les Misérables & Phantom of the Opera, she was drawn to themes that mirrored her own interminable yearning. Music tore through her, breaking her into catharsis.
Cycles of resurgence wove through Erica’s lyrics, and also, her life. At sixteen, she fell ill and found herself on her death bed. “I may die,” she told herself, “and that is out of my control. But I am going to fight for life with everything I have, because I still have songs to sing.”
Though her battle with illness would continue indefinitely, she recovered most of her faculties – but there was one loss she could never reclaim. She emerged with vocal cord damage and was left speaking in a whisper permanently, wondering: what was the purpose of her life, if her striving was for naught, and who was she, now that she was bereft of her greatest passion?
Erica devolved into isolated musings about past lives, dreams, and anything else that could reunite her with her most burning desires. As she lost sight of humanity and purpose, she was consumed by insatiable hunger; a vampire feeding on the blood of the living. By ripping herself down to the animal within, she embodied her most primal energy, but shut down her vulnerability. She could desire, inspire and consume, but she could not love.
This lifestyle fueled a volcanic fury that erupted at age 21. As Erica rode in the car with a friend, both holding a crystal orb, an entire trilogy unfolded in her mind. It was a story of death and resurrection, love and war, self-exploration and transformation. After delving deep into themselves to discover their connections with nature, the characters join with the elements to determine the course of the world.
Though Erica had completed novels before, she was never a talented writer – yet the story felt more real than her life. She resolved to gain the skills and insight to give birth to this vision, and thus, began. Exciting though they were, her early drafts revealed she could not nourish her protagonist’s voice until she resurrected her own.
Burning with conviction, she summoned the ghost of her voice to rise from the ashes. Her sound was elusive, broken and raw, but she persisted, building it up for years despite recurring health setbacks. She fought with blood, sweat and tears to capture any shred of potency, and beat the odds senseless.
“My powerful voice was reduced to a whisper, but I am still a vessel through which passion emerges,” said she. “Take my voice, my hair, my mobility, my memory… but if you want my fire, you will have to kill me.” Her humanity was reborn.
True to her hope, when Erica resumed her opus, she infused it with beauty and love. She is now in the process of preparing the first book for publication.
Her passion is to explore passion itself and her purpose is to be a vessel through which it emerges. This vessel is her very being, and she tweaks and refines it, forever honing the skill to capture the insights that erupt from the aether. She strives to mirror the forces that drive all beings at base, so that through her designs, others may see their own reflection. She hopes to strip them down and break them open until they bleed their animalism, humanity, and divinity.
“On a deeper level, I live to expose my true self through my work. I feel I’m a vessel through which songs and stories emerge. The content serves as a mirror. It exposes parts of myself that are buried deep within my subconscious, and which might otherwise remain unnoticed. In sharing my work, I hope to function as a mirror for others. What success means, to me, is knowing that my fight to sing on my album, despite speaking in a whisper, has inspired someone else to create her own artwork. Success is hearing someone quote my lyrics or reference my stories because it expresses something SHE is feeling. I want people to see themselves in my work, rather than merely seeing “me.” I want to touch on something universal. And, through bearing my own soul, I hope to inspire others to express themselves honestly, and to pursue their dreams against all odds.” -Erica Xenne, 2012