It’s officially been a year since we opened our first property in Munich, Schwan Locke. With so much happening in the city and meeting a variety of different creatives, we thought it would be a great opportunity to learn more about some of our long stay guests and to dive into their careers and aspirations.
Xaya has been staying at Schwan Locke for a few months and was happy to share her experience with us. As a musician and General Music Assistant, Xaya uses Schwan Locke as her base whilst travelling around the city for work. Her passion for music is inspiring and she shares more about her past and how that affected her journey into the music industry today.
Where did you grow up and how did this affect your time in Munich?
I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but my family and I moved to Germany after Argentina’s 2001 crisis.
Before living in the outskirts of Munich I lived in Düsseldorf with my family. It was a very difficult time for all of us, one with a lot of changes. I can’t recall much of those times but one of my first memories was eating Nutella for breakfast. But I still prefer “dulce de leche” at times. However, growing up in a different cultural setting made it difficult for me to fit in. I was a very quiet and shy kid.
In Germany, the school system is quite different than in other countries. I don't think it leaves space for any deviation from the norm. If you happen to be different you are automatically put in the back of the class and good luck getting out of there. My mum was very big on education, so not seeing me succeed “educationally” was very hard for her. As a final hail Mary, I was lucky to attend an all-girls boarding school, where I sought refuge in music and so started to discover my passion for it. I participated in the choir, attended piano lessons and luckily wasn’t distracted by any boys.
Why are you passionate about music?
I love music because it isn’t about being right or wrong. It’s about being yourself and understanding yourself. When I create music, I don’t feel the judgment nor the fear to fit in, I just see this canvas of opportunities and I don’t have to be second-guessing every word, metaphorically speaking of course.
Let’s fast forward a couple of years later when I was attending a course in Music & Sound Design in Stuttgart. In retrospect that year was one of the most impactful years in my career even though the feeling of inadequacy that I faced caused me to take a detour into my other passions which included studying biology and medical engineering. In my humble opinion the interesting thing about life is that if you stay true to yourself you find that no matter what path you choose everything will unfold in your favour despite the odds.
What advice would you give to fellow creatives / musicians?
One of the most important skills that I have learned is to believe in myself. If I didn’t develop the courage to pursue my dreams I wouldn’t have come this far. I was very fortunate that people also liked my music. My song “Walk Away” as well as several others got picked up to be broadcast at Newcastle’s radio station.
What does the day in the life of Xaya look like?
Currently I am doing an internship at Sonoton Music as General Music Assistant while working on my first EP. A typical day for me is developing content for the label’s YouTube channel, curating playlists or being in the studio.
Part time I also work as an extra in various series and movies that will be showing on Netflix and Amazon Prime. I try to make a living in a way that keeps me experiencing new things be it acting, music or printing posters. To name a few of the things I’ve done in the last 6 months I was a COVID tester, a fabric worker, coat check attendant, a receptionist at a PR firm and document processing at the chambers of commerce. I also worked as a set runner and PA at Constantin film production. And now on the weekends I am happy I also go to Nürnberg to rehearse for my first upcoming performance after COVID.
I also started a small business who helps people with daily task activities from cleaning out your computer or running errands. But being a general music assistant has been the most rewarding job so far and hopefully I can get to show you more of my music in the future.
Living here has helped me realize not only how Munich is my Heimat (home), but it's also spurred me on to do what I love.
Why Schwan Locke?
I’ve been living in Schwan Locke for about 6 months now. I came here to pursue love, find inspiration and a sense of purpose. Living here has helped me realize not only how Munich is my Heimat (home), but it's also spurred me on to do what I love.
Living at Schwan Locke has made for easy-living, with a hectic schedule It means I can go to the gym here or hang out in the co-working areas where I meet a lot of other creative people. For the future I hope I can keep nourishing my dreams and pursuing my passion which is music.
How has Munich inspired you?
To me, Munich has inspired my work. It has been a reformative experience. There are some great memories buried here which put together memorable stories, which then inspires my song writing process. Munich really is a city that gives you back what you threw at it. I am very lucky, for all the career opportunities that are being presented to me. Not only that, but I’m grateful that I got to invest my time here. The last year has been a rollercoaster of emotions, filled with, personal and musical milestones. There were obviously some setbacks, but that’s how life is.
What are your favourite spots in Munich?
One place that inspires me is the Bavaria statue, which is close by. I love waking up early to watch the sunrise. It’s my favourite spot to contemplate. It never fails to inspire me. The whole city keeps me on my toes. I am easily inspired by it, even the name of the streets I consider to be uplifting, like (Beethovenplatz and Goetheplatz.) St. Paul is also amazing.
As a singer/ and songwriter I try to view the city through new pair of eyes at each moment. When you take it all in and your best, the outcomes are even better than you could imagine.
The city can be bittersweet but that is what makes it so compelling. I try to keep both of my feet on the ground and not let noise of the city get to me.
More about Xaya.
Head over to Xaya's website to explore more of her work.