Breaking A Sweat With Xelle

Photo courtesy of sfpride.org

Photo courtesy of sfpride.org

If you haven’t heard of Xelle, you must have been living under a rock the past two years. Fronted by gorgeous divas of the dance floor, JC Cassis and Rony G, this is one pop duo to watch as their stars continue to rise. Their debut EP, Queens, was released to critical acclaim and has turned out four blistering nightclub anthems since being released in 2012.

In 2011, Xelle first tasted fame when their video for “Party Girl,” featuring RuPaul’s Drag Race alum, Mimi Imfurst, went viral. The glittering video featured an illegal dance party on a NYC subway car and received accolades from outlets such as CBS and Perez Hilton. The pulsating bassline of “Party Girl” is impossible to resist. 

I recently had the opportunity to chat with Xelle. After meeting the duo, one thing is clear: this is a pop group to watch. Their recent success has taken them all across North America, including performing at this year’s San Francisco Pride. JC describes the experience as exhilarating: “There were tens and tens of thousands of people. Sometimes at these pride performances, you’ll have thousands of people in front of you but only the first hundred people are actually paying attention to what’s happening on the stage. Where as in San Francisco, it was like this throbbing mass.”

While turning the party, Xelle uses their platform to spread empowering social messages. In 2013, they released “Red Flag,” a song denouncing discrimination towards the LGBT community in Russia:  “I think that some people thought it was very natural but I think they were surprised in a good way,” Rony mentions about the single’s release.

Their awareness and empathy comes from exceptional life experiences. Before Xelle. Rony spent time with the Israeli military and JC studied at Harvard. After a sheltered upbringing living around the globe, including in the Philippines, Rony describes living in a third world country as “a completely different experience than living in a developed country. You’re the same as everybody else, but the foreigners live there in mansions with servants, drivers and private schools.”

Their most recent release, “Sweat,” is tearing up clubs around the globe. While the freshly released video appears to takes cues from Diana Ross’ “Work That Body,” there is a stronger message at play. “We figured we’d poke a little fun at the workout culture and the obsession everyone has with perfect body image and you know, that’s not something that we are a part of because we like celebrating who you are and the best version you are at this very moment” says Rony of the video. 

While still riding the success of “Sweat,” the group is already back in the studio with producer, Zach Adam. While they aren’t divulging too many details about the new music, they describe the new work as “exciting” and “something that fans will love.”

FAST FIVE:
Madonna or Gaga?
JC: Madonna
Rony: Madonna

Britney or Christina?
JC: Britney (“But Christina has serious pipes!”)
Rony: Britney

Mariah or Arianna?
JC: Mariah
Rony: Mariah

Beyonce or Diana?
JC: Beyonce
Rony: Tied

Barbra or Bette?
JC: Tied
Rony: Tied


Download "Sweat" on iTunes
Download "Sweat" remixes on iTunes
Download "Queens" on iTunes