Ximena Sariñana Is VH1′s Latest You Oughta Know Artist

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We are excited to announce that Ximena Sariñana is our latest You Oughta Know artist. So, who exactly is Ximena Sariñana and, more importantly, how do I pronounce her name?

Well, Ximena Sariñana (phonetic pronounciation: hi-MEN-a sa-rin-YAH-na) is the daughter of a Mexican director and screenwriter, and though she found her way into acting by virtue of her parentage (with supporting roles in films like Niñas Mal, which was adapted into an underrated subtitled telenovela of the same name on MTV3), she was more musically-minded.

But don’t mistake Sariñana for a child of showbiz putting out a record just because she can. Her forthcoming eponymous album is actually her second, after 2008′s Grammy-nominated Spanish-language Mediocre, which nevertheless got little notice outside of Mexico because of United States listeners’ reluctance to embrace non-English pop. She also was one-third of the Omar Rodríguez-López Trio, named for her ex-boyfriend, the Mars Volta and At the Drive In member, with whom she spent much of 2009 and 2010 on tour in support of Ciencia de los Inútiles, on which she sang and played keyboards. (Curious? Check out the video for “Miércoles” on Youtube.) In short, she’s got the musical pedigree.

With her wide-ranging jazz and pop influences, and a forthcoming English-language album, we think Sariñana might be poised for an American breakthrough. We’ve just premiered the video for her lead single “Different,” above, but even April’s lyric video for the song, featuring an adorable Jack Daniels-drinking, Facebook-stalking puppet, suits the track’s combination of whimsy and detachment perfectly. For a preview of the more beat-driven, indie-rock-ier side of her sound, check out the Rodríguez-López-directed video for “Shine Down”:

Ximena Sariñana just kicked off a jaunt supporting Sia (herself a You Oughta Know artist) on a coastal tour, but we hope to bring her to our offices when she’s in New York. Stay tuned for more!

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