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Photo of Xenia Rubinos in blue sequined dress - by Shervin Lainez

Xenia Rubinos - by Shervin Lainez [1]

Birth name: Xenia ? Rubinos
Born: date (age)  ??
Birthplace:  birth city, state, country ??
Genres:   jazz [20], soul [29] [4], indie[4], punk [4] [18], alternative [28] [30], pop [18], rock [20][30], experimental [18], afro latin [29], beats [29]
Occupations: Singer-songwriter, musician, pianist …. ??
Instruments: Vocals, piano
Years active: 2011–present
Labels:  Ba Da Bing [2], Everlasting Records [3]


Xenia Rubinos is a Brooklyn based American singer, songwriter, composer, and pianist.  [4]  She has been described by critics and fans as having a “simple yet complex” sound [6] that is consistently praised for its originality. [13][6][9][14][10]  Rubinos draws from a wide range of influences from Caribbean rhythms and beat music to minimalism and indie rock, all delivered with a soulful punk aura. [4]  Live, Rubinos plays with only her drummer Marco Buccelli, along with a bit of sampling and effects.  She fills out the rest with her hard-hitting vocals, raw keyboards, and her songwriting, which has confounded nearly everyone who has tried to describe it. [16]


Rubinos was raised in a multicultural household in Hartford Connecticut by her Cuban father and Puerto Rican mother.  [5]  When asked how her heritage informs her music, Rubinos said, “I’m just looking at where I come from so I can try to understand where I am and where I want to go. My Cuban, Puerto Rican and American cultural experiences are very rich places to draw inspiration from. Some of my mind is in Spanish only, so that’s where some of my ideas live.” [8]  Rubinos has said, “I find myself consistently inspired and intrigued by the women of my Hispanic culture.  They are a paradox. They are strong, wild, gentle, magical and often misunderstood and misrepresented. In pop culture the Latina woman is often portrayed as hyper-sexualized, bananas on her head, cheeky domestic lady. I enjoy exploring all of these stereotypes in my music writing, performance and visual media. I want to highlight the elegance, charm, strength and mystique of Latina women.” [7]

Rubinos is in a longtime duo with drummer and co-producer Marco Buccelli. [9] The two met in 2005 while attending Berklee College of Music in Boston, where Buccelli studied drums and Rubinos switched from voice to composition after becoming disenchanted by the stereotype of being a female jazz singer. [6]


Xenia’s music is driven by a voice that critics have described as powerful [6] [15], stunning [28] , and residing in an elite class. [6] Her sound  is consistently praised for being unique, surprising, and unexpected, as well as its ability to defy characterization into existing norms or genres [5] [13] [6] [14] [9].  She “takes foundational elements and skews them into surprising distortions, exploring sound as sound and expanding our sense of what music is.  Traditions of punk, electronic, Cuban, Puerto Rican, and pop are evident, but they function as sonic Legos” [9].  Pitchfork called her debut album, Magic Trix, “life-affirming, transcending its sound-a-likes to proudly show off a unique new pop personality.” [10]  The New Yorker described Rubinos’ sound as “rhythmically fierce, vocally generous music that slips through the net of any known genre.” [5]


Magic Trix

Rubinos’ debut album, Magic Trix, released by Ba Da Bing Records on April 30, 2020 [20] is an ecstatic collection of songs featuring layered beats, crunchy keyboards, and driving syncopated rhythms. [4]  The anchor of Magic Trix is Rubinos’ stunning voice - singing in English and Spanish.  [28] She is backed by talented drummer Marco Buccelli (playing polyrhythms and breakbeats, sometimes at the same time) and basist Adam Minkoff, and her electric keyboard moves from playful bombast to skittering rhythms to catchy little melodies.  [28]

Magic Trix incorporates a plethora of musical elements and influences, including Spanish Caribbean, punk, experimental, and pop. At times the songs are minimalistic, at times layered with compressed beats, weighty keyboards, and infectious rhythms, proving that, at its core, her sound is very much experimental noise pop. [18]

The album was met with positive reviews.  Pitchfork said that true to Magic Trix‘s title, “Rubinos has a wizard’s unique flair” [10] and called the album “a startling lightning bolt of a record” [10] and “the glitter in the dark” [10].  Felix Contreras of NPR said “[Magic Trix] stopped me in my tracks…imaginative and creative and unlike anything I expected… there’s a strong like a distorted almost punk feeling to it. … it’s just so unconventional and it’s just such a strong record.  I really, really enjoyed this one.”  [14]

Track Listing [20]

Composed and Performed by Xenia Rubinos unless otherwise noted [20]:

  1.  Help (4:57)
  2.  Ultima  (4:48)
  3.  Whirlwind (2:07)
  4.  Hair Receding  (5:36)
  5.  Cafe Con Leche (Composition: Traditional) (0:44)
  6.  Cherry Tree  (Composition:  Marco Buccelli / Xenia Rubinos) (6:03)
  7.  Pan Y Cafe (1:45)
  8.  Los Mangopaunos (2:49)
  9.  I Like Being Alone (2:58)
  10.  When You Come (4:36)
  11.  Let’s Go Out (3:27)
  12.  Aurora De Mayo (Composition:  Traditional) (0:34)

Credits [20]:

  • Emanuela Buccelli (Photo Editing)
  • Marco Buccelli (Composer, Drums, Producer)
  • Camilo Fuentealba (Design, Photography)
  • Jeremy Loucas (Engineer, Mastering, Mixing)
  • Adam Minkoff (Bass)
  • Xenia Rubinos (Composer, Keyboards, Primary Artist, Producer, Vocals)
  • Traditional (Composer)

Live Performances

Both on and off stage Xenia is known for her energetic shows that both fans and critics say are “redefining exuberance”.  [26] [28] Accompanying herself on electric keyboard, Xenia is generally joined by drummer and co-producer Marco Buccelli, whose playing provides a muscular counterpoint to the music’s more whimsical elements and results in an overall impact that “leaves one feeling wondrously dazed”.  [6]


1. Shervin Lainez photo of Xenia Rubinos.  Miss Management.  2013.

2. Ba Da Bing!  “Xenia Rubinos”  Ba Da Bing Records.  September 10, 2013.  Accessed October 6, 2014.

3. Everlasting Records.  March 19, 2013.  Accessed October 6, 2014.

4.  Xenia Rubinos (homepage) “About”.  September 24, 2014.  Accessed October 6, 2014.

5. Frere-Jones, Sasha. “Trix for You”  New Yorker Magazine.  September 23, 2013.  Accessed October 6, 2014.

6. Hendrickson, Tad.  “Brooklyn Singer Shows Her Colors”  The Wall Street Journal (New York, NY).  Thursday May 2, 2013. Vol. CCLXI NO. 102.  Online at

7.  Treviño, Sandra A. (trad. Víctor Flores) “Xenia Rubinos’ puts us under the spell of music in her debut album”  Extra - Two Lanugages Una Voz.  March 30, 2013.  Accessed October 6, 2014.

8.  Daly, Ronan. “Meet Brooklyn’s Beat Magician, Xenia Rubinos” MTV Iggy. April 7, 2012. Accessed October 6, 2014.

9.  Crane, Kate.  “Xenia Rubinos”  Time Out New York.  April 26, 2013.  Accessed October 6, 2014.

10. Snapes, Laura.  “Magic Trix (Album Review)”  Pitchfork.  May 24, 2013.  Accessed October 6, 2014.

11. Escobedo Shepherd, Julianne.  “Whirlwind:  A premiere of the new video from the exquisite Xenia Rubinos.”  Rookie Magazine.  May 6, 2013.  Accessed October 6, 2014.

12. Saint Thomas, Sophie.  “Our Date With Xenia”  Vice Magazine.  May 1, 2012.  Accessed October 6, 2014.

13. Bishop, Marlon. “Bilingual Art Rock from Brooklyn? Yes, Por Favor!” MTV IGGY. July 27, 2012. Accessed October 6, 2014.

14. Garsd, Jasmine and Contreras, Felix.  “The Big Apple Gets a Taste of Latin Music”  NPR.  Article and Transcript.  July 17, 2012.  Accessed October 6, 2014.

15.  Pearls, Bill. “Xenia Rubinos released ‘Magic Trix’ (streams and videos), plain shows with Sinkane and other dates”. Brooklyn Vegan. May 24, 2013.  Accessed October 24, 2013.

16.  Soundcheck WNYC.  “Xenia Rubinos’ Exuberant Sonic Wizardry”.  Soundcheck WNYC.  July 23, 2013.  Accessed October 6, 2014.

17.  McCall, Tris.  “CD Reviews: Brad Paisley, Stravinsky, Tyler, the Creator, Xenia Rubinos”.  New Jersey Star Ledger.  April 5, 2013.

18.  Painter, Charity.  “The Blissful Noise of Xenia Rubinos.”   The Wild Honey Pie.  March 12, 2013. Accessed October 6, 2014.

19.  NPR Staff.  “Xenia Rubinos:  Adventure in Syncopation”  NPR Weekend Edition.  April 28, 2013.  Accessed October 6, 2014.

20.  AllMusic.  “Xenia Rubinos, Magic Trix:  Overview”  Allmusic. April 20, 2013.  Accessed October 6, 2014.

21.  AllMusic.  Xenia Rubinos.  Credits.

22.  Margasak, Peter. “Xenia Rubinos, Maria Blues, DJ Miss Cedeño, Hannah Frank, Amateur Hour”  Chicago Reader.  March 8, 2013.  Accessed October 6, 2014.

23.  Best International Concert 2014 from Siroco Sala. September 17, 2014.  Accessed October 6, 2014.



26. Dugal, Meera.  “Xenia Rubino’s Multikulti Party OR Bizarre Triple-Bills Are the Spice of Life”  globalFEST. October 30, 2014.  Accessed November 20, 2020

27. “Xenia Rubinos - Tour Dates” BandsInTown. November 20, 2014. Accessed November 20, 2014.

28. Xenia Rubinos - Magic Trix.  iTunes Store - Editor’s Notes.  Accessed November 20, 2014.

29.  Xenia Rubinos.  Bandcamp.  Accessed November 20, 2014.

30. Magic Trix: Xenia Rubinos. Amazon. Accessed November 20, 2014.

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