By now, you’ve all heard about the amazing 27-year-old gorgeous Lebanese artist Xriss Jor who earned the chance every singer in the past 60 years could only dream of: to work with living legend Quincy Jones, who had this to say about Xriss: “Now that’s what I call in the pocket. This girl is a star, that was simply awesome.”
I’ve known about Xriss Jor for a while, and was lucky to be in Dubai for the Red Bull Music Academy the same time as the Dubai Music Week. We celebrated together over dinner the next evening with a bunch of awesome folks including Xriss’ boyfriend, Eddy Ghossein from The Wanton Bishops (Lebanon’s cutest celebrity power couple?). Anyway, I got a chance to ask Xriss a few questions loads of you were asking online. So, here’s what she had to say:
Gino: Xriss, folks keep wondering how a Lebanese person can have such a non-Lebanese name. (I get that a lot too by the way). Can you tell us what’s the story behind your unusual name?
Xriss: “The doctor said I was a boy in the womb. Dad was thrilled he always wanted a son so they named me Christopher. Little did they know it was just the umbilical cord…” Xriss said, chuckling. She continued, “Being the impulsive chick that I am, I changed the spelling of my name to Chris with an X. Everybody knows that weird-looking things aren’t forgotten easily. Changed Chris to Xriss so people will remember it. I also removed the “El” because I feel silly being called Chris the drag (since jor in Arabic means the verb “drag”)”
Gino: So, you’re a very versatile singer and you haven’t produced an original song before. So, everyone’s wondering what your song with Quincy is gonna be, what genre and style? And when will it be ready with the video clip?
Xriss: “I’m still figuring that out. But I need to be inspired by the music I love listening to. So I sit with the songwriters and translate my feelings into music. I start working on it in the coming month. Video comes out? No idea but I can’t wait” Xriss went on to add, ”Gotta lose weight is what I hear! I will look good for this.”
Here, of course, I said “you don’t need to, you already look gorgeous” to which Xriss, in a refreshingly honest way we’re not used to in the music industry: “I know how to dress. Doesn’t mean I look perfect underneath my clothes…”
Again, of course, with the underneath clothes comment, I had to bring up Miley and asked jokingly, “you aren’t planning to go all Miley Cyrus are you?” to which Xriss said, laughing, ”I’d rather literally put myself ina box of frogs and scream ‘I’m as crazy as a box of frogs!’”
Gino: Will you move away from Lebanon after your big break, or will you stay in Lebanon with this newfound success?
Xriss: “I have the sexiest house in Beirut, I’ll keep paying rent even if I live abroad. I’ll rent a house in both countries, and depending on my management team and work, I’ll be split between Lebanon and abroad.”
Gino: Would you ever consider singing in Lebanese or Arabic?
Xriss: “The first single I’m gonna work on is definitely gonna have an oriental twist to it. But no Arabic songs planned.”
Gino: You’ve been going out with Eddy for almost 2 years now. Can we expect a collab between Xriss Jor and The Wanton Bishops?
Xriss: “I definitely hope so. To collab with The Wanton Bishops means being admired by the people I admire.”
Gino: Do you read my blog?
Xriss: “I started to after Eddy told me about you, and I love blogging, maybe you can teach me how to and we can write something together when you’re back in Beirut!”
Gino: What did it feel like going on stage in front of Quincy Jones, Will.I.Am and Timbaland?
Xriss: Sorta like this:
Xriss is an amazing young woman, and I am honored to be friends with her and wish her the absolute best of luck (not that she needs it!). Xriss’ voice and passion are matched with her drop-dead gorgeous looks, and she definitely has the brains to match. In a world where so many “talents” are basically braindead, it’s reassuring to see witty, smart, honest and bold people like Xriss make it big. It’s awesome to see one of us shine bright like that (you expected me to say like a diamond, didn’t you?) and welcome piece of uplifting news that fits in perfectly into the blog’s new “Boost of Serotonin” segment.