Weekend Recall: Roxiny

by Kylie Obermeier

Fighting against injustice is in Roxiny’s blood, literally. The NYC-based singer-songwriter’s grandfather was a revolutionary who fought in the resistance against Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo. On “9 Months,” the single from her forthcoming EP ”Rituals,” Roxiny leads the fight against injustice on a more intimate but equally important scale.

“You had me buried/buried alive/nine months,” the artist charges an abusive ex. But Roxiny has triumphantly clawed her way out of the hole that relationship dug her into, and you can hear it in the booming bass drum that builds to an incessant crescendo as the singer wails out the toxicity of her past. Outside of her music the fight against injustice continues; Roxiny also leads music workshops for GEMS, an organization that supports victims of sex trafficking.

The singer-songwriter first came on the scene in 2013 as a back-up singer for Sleigh Bells. A couple one-off singles followed, but the artist’s next big move was a collaboration with Tunde Adebimpe (TV on the Radio) and Little Shalimar (Run the Jewels) on the soundtrack for Rubble Kings, a documentary about gang culture in Bronx in the late 60s to mid 70s and the rise of hip hop as a solution to the violence. Roxiny reminds us that, 50-some years later, music is still a powerful tool to overcome oppression.

Before dropping her big debut, Roxiny felt compelled to return to her home on the sun-drenched shores of Spain. She was kind enough to give us a glimpse into her idyllic seaside retreat; next time we’re crossing our fingers for an in-person invite.


Any time I'm about to release something new or close a cycle and start a new one, I find this need to return home to the places of my childhood: Spain and the Dominican Republic. This time I returned to Spain. 

I had a short layover in Madrid, and I took my first picture while landing, because that always feels like an emotional, near psychedelic experience. Never fails—I start to get the faintest taste of nocilla (read: Nutella), mouth starts to water, and the memories start to rush. With that comes an incredible sense of nostalgia. Returns always bring deep secrets and things to the surface that I need to speak to, and end up writing about. Being in touch with nature has the same effect on me. "9 Months" and all of the songs that make up my forthcoming EP Rituals, would've never been born without moments like these. 

After a few hours in Madrid, I boarded the plane for Palma de Mallorca. Soon as I landed, I felt a third wind of energy come over me. Forget the jet lag, I wanted to see it all! I was traveling with my partner in crime, Rubble Kings' director, Shan Nicholson (side note: if you haven't seen Rubble Kings, time to Netflix and chill—it will blow your mind). Anyway, he spent many of his childhood summers in these islands, and we were hosted by his family on this trip. Soon as we arrived, we took a ride to Cap de Formentor, one of the most breathtaking views in Mallorca. 

Went for a swim in Cala Deia after visiting the village of Valldemosa, home to Nicaraguan poet, Ruben Dario, Frederic Chopin, and the mystic philosopher, Ramon Llull. Bijules barring on hand ;). Valldemossa sits amid the hills of the Tramuntana range.  Oh yeah, and they're known for some killer "coca de patatas." 

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Fish Market back in Palma de Mallorca. Spent the afternoon eating everything straight from the sea.

Wandering about the streets of Mallorca between tapas and Estrella beers, meeting locals, and checking out some street art.

After the pit stop in Mallorca, it was time to move on to the island of Formentera. There's an earthy mysticism about Spain that's always made me feel right at home. Formentera has that in spades. It's truly magical. I could stay forever. 

Home sweet home for the weekend. No electricity, no wi-fi, water from a well.

My first shower of the day was the ocean. I spent day break sitting on massive boulders, writing lyrics. 

And when the tide was low, I'd swim into caves in the sea: nature's mini amphitheaters with killer acoustics. I came out on the other end ready for another studio session with Chris and Jonathan. Jonathan produced "9 Months" by the way. For a split second I had an urge to go back to NYC to start something new, but then I took it all back. This day was the shit! 

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Nothing like natural bath salts and some Fever Ray while dancing in nature

"When I grow up/I want to live near the sea/Crab claws and bottles of rum/That's what I'll have/Staring at the seashell/Waiting for it to embrace me." Thanks Karin Dreijer Andersson ;)  . . . my feelings exactly. 

Rubble Kings' Shan Nicholson watching the last glimpses of the sun. Even a trueyorker can be mystified by Formentera.

There go the lights . . . cue in the party in my head. 

 

Last day of sea + homemade paella #thegoodlife

Making our way back home to NYC. Adios España . . . nos vemos, guapa!   


Check out Roxiny's "9 Months" here: