Language proved to be no barrier for Latin crossover artist Ximena Sariñana.The prospect of a sophomore slump looks all the more intimidating when your Spanish-language debut won a four-star Rolling Stone review and comparisons to Norah Jones, but that’s just what 25-year-old bilingual Mexican vocalist Ximena Sariñana faces with her self-titled English-language second effort, out this month.
Guadalajara-born Sariñana, the daughter of a Mexican producer/director/screenwriter and the niece of well-known telenovela actress Angélica Rivera, was a veteran of telenovelas herself until a Berklee College of Music scholarship carved her musical path. Mediocre, Sariñana’s 2008 debut, turned out to be anything but, scoring two Latin Grammy nominations as well as a Grammy nod.
Her infectious jazz-tinged pop will hopefully capitalize on exposure garnered from her 2009 duet with Jason Mraz on a Spanish version of Mraz’s hit “Lucky” (originally recorded in English with Colbie Caillat) and her language 180. “I think writing in a different language really changed the way I express myself,” she says. “It’s like painting in watercolor as opposed to painting in oil.”