On a Friday night in Deep Ellum, xbValentine plays for a packed house at Trees. With a baseball cap, black
T-shirt and torn jeans, she's keeping her masculine and feminine energies at a divine balance. xbValentine is opening for rapper Tay Money, but her charm and charisma allow her to connect with her audience as much as any headliner.
Days after the show, xbValentine says it was the most fun she’s ever had performing.
“It was one of very few shows I felt like I really connected with the crowd to that extreme level where they were really going along with everything I was giving them,” she says.
The artist has lived in Dallas for about four weeks but has spent the past few years traveling back and forth from her hometown of Georgetown to Dallas for recording sessions and performances. She grew up on the sounds of 112, Ginuwine and Jagged Edge, and music has always been a part of xbValentine’s life. But she didn’t start writing or producing music until she was about 15 years old.
“I had friends that made music when we were in high school,” she says. “I dabbled in it a little bit with them, and it slowly kind of led into finally getting into the studio and making music of my own.”
At the Trees show, xbValentine prefaced the performance of her song “What You Need,” by saying, “This is the first song I released after coming out as an LGBT artist.” She identifies as queer and is currently herself the space to explore her identity.
“I think that's the best way for me to identify,” xbValentine says. “I think it suits me best. I'm still learning a lot. I came out recently, when I was 21. I'm 24 now, so it's only been a few years. ... I'm still kind of coming to terms with a lot of things and learning all of the different aspects of it.”
“What You Need” is a trap-influenced R&B track about a woman trying to woo another woman. xbValentine wrote the song about a woman for whom she had unreciprocated feelings.
“The song,” xbValentine says, “was really me telling her you ‘You've been done wrong for a while, I can give you what you've been missing.’”
Her most recent single, “Vibe With You,” is a follow-up to “What You Need,” written about the same woman. On the song, which has received over 200,000 loops on TikTok, xbValentine invites the woman to simply “vibe” without any expectations of it turning into a serious relationship.
“Vibe With You” features rapper Baby Bash. The collaboration was a dream come true for xbValentine, as Bash has long inspired her craft. xbValentine's team initially presented him with both “What You Need” and “Vibe With You,” and Bash chose the latter.
“He was like, ‘I like this, I'm going to jump on this,’” xbValentine says. “So we're at the studio, and he just went in there real quick and mashed out a verse. It just happened very naturally. He did his thing on it. It was cool to hear him on one of my songs, because I've been listening to him since I was young.”
While she may be new to town, xbValentine has several local dates set throughout the summer; her next one on Saturday, May 29, at The Yard in Fort Worth. She will also have a song appearing in a Kia Motors commercial next month.
xbValentine plans to drop several singles throughout the summer and a full album when she feels ready. She hopes her songs resonate with her younger fans and pave the way for other LGBTQ musicians. In the meantime, this Georgetown native is enjoying being a full-time Dallasite, taking in the sights, sounds and smells of the city.
“Georgetown is a really small town, very country-like,”xbValentine says. “So I've never experienced a city life, and now I live in the city part. It's really cool to walk around and see all the tall buildings. And the environment is dope. Ever since I moved out here, I've been constantly doing things to keep busy. I really feel like I'm finally living out the dream I've always wanted to.”
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