Interviews with Xandro Leima










The Dutch Dream of Spanish Xandro

Where surfing on internet may lead to. Karin, reader of Glans Magazine, happened to get in contact with the spanish singer Xandro Leima. Now she helps him to start a career in Holland. He himself is calling this his "Dutch Dream".

In lunchcafé Le Bonheur in Barendrecht we attrack quite some attention. At least, Xandro attracks attention. He is an attractive person, a typical Spaniard with his black hair, his darkbrown eyes and his stubbly beard of a few days growth. A charming smile, melodious english with a spanish accent do the rest. When Xandro leaves the table for a short while, one of the waitresses immediately approaches me. Will he be seen on SBS6 (TV) tonight and is he maybe a famous artist?

It's a special combination. Xandro and Karin. While I assume that she is his manager, she happens to be someone who does not have anything to do with the music industry at all. The 48 year old blonde is a senior claims handler by profession who works for an insurance company in Rotterdam. As being a lover of latin music she likes helping Xandro with his ambition to start a career in Holland. Xandro tells me that originally he comes from the spanish city Murcia, the hottest city in Spain. He is a singer of latin music, in the style of Ricky Martin. Cheerful music but he also sings sensitive ballads. In Spain he released three cd's and he won prizes on several festivals. He thinks however that at the moment the spanish market is difficult. This is why he was thinking what he could do in order to give his career a new direction.

And then he met Karin. At least they met each other on Internet. This was pure coincidence. Karin is telling me. "I love spanish music very much and on Internet I was searching for some new songs. On MySpace I found Xandro. Great music, but I could not find it in any shop. I contacted him and asked him if it was possible to send me a cd. He replied in an email and we kept in touch. Xandro is telling her that he would like to export his music. Although Karin is not familiar with the music industry she nevertheless wants to try helping him. She stronlgy believes that there is a market for his music in Holland.

She designs a website ( for him, contacts a few bookingagencies and arranges his first concerts in Holland. During a performance at a private party Xandro is being noticed by a producer, Ricardo Schuengel. They make an appointment to talk about his music. Xandro: "From the first moment that we met each other the feeling was very good. This is really important in the music. Music is feeling." This is the beginning of their collaboration. Meanwhile, together with this producer and manager, he is busy preparing to record a new cd.

Since a few months the singer lives in Holland. In Ijsselmonde, of course thanks to Karin, who lives very close to him, in Vreewijk. Xandro: "She visited apartments for me and emailed me the photos. Without seeing any apartment in advance myself I chose an apartment." He feels good here. "I very quickly adjusted here. Karin is always telling me: you are more Dutch than me. She let me taste haring and thought that I would not like it. I love it!" He needs to get used to the dutch mentality. "People are more stressed here, they are always in a hurry. For example when people are eating. Here eating is something that has to happen very fast. In Spain we take more time for this. We sit at the table for hours, we taste a lot of different things. With regard to this we enjoy life more."

He does not miss Spain, but he regrets that he does not see his family and friends so often anymore. "And they also miss me. Especially my mother, you know mothers. And I have a two year old nephew, Miguel. I love him like crazy, completely in love. I would love to see him more often. But everyone supports me in my decision to move to Holland." What also helps is that he did not come to Holland all alone. His girlfriend followed him. "She also feels very good here. She is an interior designer and she thinks for her there will be better opportunities to find a job here, than in Spain."

Xandro's ambition is very clear. He wants to reach Europe with his music. Holland is the place to start. "For me Holland is the perfect country to start my career. Many artists did it before me. The mentality here is cosmopolitan, people are open to different styles of music. In Spain things went well with my career, but at the moment the economical situation over there is a little complicated. The industry is more or less stagnating, maybe also because of the crisis." So now he is chasing his "Dutch dream". "Some people go to America for "the American dream, I went to Holland for "the Dutch dream".

He definitely wants to become famous, he does not exactly know how this will happen, at least not yet. The first step will be recording a cd. He will start this project in September. For this new album he is inspired by Michael Bublé. "He recorded a cd with a big band. That's what I will do too. But then with a spanish sound." He is also busy forming a band. With this band he would like to make a theatre tour, performing in smaller theatres, like "Het Kruispunt" in Barendrecht. For the time being he usually performs on events, festivals, company-and private events. Like recently in Roosendaal, during a benefit event for the Roparun. This performance was very special, he is telling me, "For the first time in Holland the audience was shouting we want more, we want more! Very important for me to hear that they appreciate my music."

He hopes to become succesfull in Holland. Although he realizes that he needs a little bit of luck to reach this goal. "You need to have the right hit, meet the right people and have the right audience. But I have a very good feeling about it." Karin will play an important role. "I want to have her around me, if you become famous, many people will approach you and they all want something from you. Then it is very good to have friends around you. Karin´s husband recently started taking care of my sound system. I discuss a lot of things with Karin and her husband, they are better in judging dutch people than me. They are my guides." Karin also arranged this interview. "I often read Glans Magazine at my hairdresser´s in Barendrecht and thought it was a very stylish magazine, Xandro would fit into this magazine perfectly" she is telling me.

It is very clear that they are very close friends. Even during their vacation they will see each other. In July Xandro will go to Murcia and Karin will visit him there. She is already looking forward to it. "Together with my husband we are going to make a tour through Spain and we will visit Xandro for a few days". After this he will start working very hard to make his dream come true. His cd will be in the shops by the end of this year. Who knows, maybe after some time we will see him in "Het Kruispunt". Or eventually indeed on SBS6 TV. This sympathetic singer really deserves it.



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