Ksenia is rapper and singer from Nakhodka, a town three hours into the woods from Vladivostok, Russia. To say it’s isolated is no exaggeration. It is however, probably one of the prettiest places in the world. That forest breeds unusual qualities into people: independent, resourceful, physical, ungovernable, and quite frankly, very beautiful. Ksenia is certainly everything the forest has made her.
Her new single, ‘Girl From The Forest’, gently pokes fun at her upbringing and the assumptions of outsiders. She sends up rural living, namechecks the KGB and men named Boris, fesses up to her fondness for vodka and caviar, and tells us, quite convincingly, that she got her swagger from the trees. Ksenia even closes the track with a “kalinka, malinka” (snowberry, raspberry) chant that will be familiar to anybody who is familiar with Russian folk music.
But Ksenia is a subtly talented rapper, and a born storyteller with a wry, friendly delivery, an impeccable sense of time, and an easy-going charisma that’s impossible to resist. Once you’ve heard her distinctive voice, you’re not likely to forget it.
Likewise, the video for ‘Girl From The Forest’ is similarly catchy. It’s funny, lively, playful, and packed with personality, as it presents the star as a wood nymph with visible self-possession and an evident sense of mission. She’s not alone: there’s also a balalaika-playing bear and another forest dweller (presumably named Boris). When the scene switches and she’s in an American club, they come right along with her, and they remain her cohort until a little too much vodka pushes the party to its very brink.
Check out Ksenia’s official website for more about this beguiling artist and her music.