You can tell at a glance that Maria Xinxó is clearly a fantastic woman. Her cat-like gaze, her almost-platinum, curly hair (ok, straight today!). Her dress sense is ever-changeable yet impeccable. Her smile is always followed by laughter. She is undiluted expressiveness. A touchstone in journalism in Catalonia, she is a successful co-presenter, jointly with Albert Om, in the Rac1 programme, Islàndia, a ratings leader in its time slot. Maria is a follower of Mistinguett ever since she discovered it at the Sitges Film Festival and became an ambassador for our iconic bottle, La Plume.
Want to be imbued with her optimism? Read on!
What is your day to day like?
My day to day is quite chaotic (she laughs) in that it involves so many hours and it’s difficult to switch off when you do a programme like Islàndia, which looks for human stories and not those of celebrities or big names. So I start working at 11 am and don’t leave until the programme ends at 8.30 pm. Then we have a meeting with the team until 9 pm or more… so I’m working all day and even in my free time, weekends, while I’m sleeping… I’m still thinking of content for the programme.
Which means you adore your work…
Yes I do. If I didn’t… it would be impossible. People say it’s a vocation, and that’s what it is. I did the scientific baccalaureate and circumstantially ended up studying journalism. The truth is that, if you don’t like it, if you’re not enjoying yourself, it’s not worth it because you put so many hours into it. In my case it is certainly worth it because I like it so much.
How do you organize yourself?
With post-its, making lists… I walk around with lists all day to get myself organized, crossing off what I’ve done and jotting down ideas that pop into my head. If I have some free time, I make a lot of headway in one topic so as to have enough documentation for later. There is no other secret: making lists, crossing stuff off and “checking, checking, checking…”.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by the views we have here at Rac1. I think it’s wonderful to work with this light because it is life-enhancing, I even have the feeling of flying… of thinking freely.
And your passion?
Radio, communication, people, stories… sharing. I am very active on social media, particularly Instagram, and I believe the basis for this channel is exactly that: sharing. Sharing your day to day, things that sometimes look silly but which people like, and I love seeing what others are doing, the places they go… And in the end you learn so many things you didn’t know.
And laughter! I don’t remember a day I didn’t laugh. Even on the most dismal days, in tough moments, humour will always find a way out. It is a perfect relief valve.
Do you have any healthy habits?
I recently started going to the gym, which was a major pending issue with me… I had tried it several times but couldn’t sustain it, I would pay the fees and not go… Until I joined a gym that’s right next to my workplace and is perfect for me, because otherwise it would be impossible and the usual would happen. So the minute I’m out of here that’s where I go. I have a personal trainer who really motivates me to continue. He is very encouraging. I also go to group sessions with other people, which forces me to follow the pace of the others, and we’re back to the topic of sharing… The truth is that I feel so much better every time I work out. I hope I can make it last!
Over and above a style… We would like to know what it is that makes Maria Xinxó stand out?
I think the secret is that I do what I like. There are days when I really dress up and others when I like an informal look. Sometimes people are surprised: “Hey, what a rock chick!” or “You’re quite bold today, aren’t you?”. There are days when I’ll wear 6-inch heels and next day I’ll wear trainers, and I feel comfortable in both. The same with my hair, I don’t have a specific style: my hair is curly but today I wear it straight. I don’t like to be pigeonholed. I’ll wear whatever I feel like that day. That’s the fun of who I am. Nothing is premeditated.
Which has been your most Mistinguett experience?
Mistinguett for me is elegance. La Plume is exactly that, elegance. And my Mistinguett experience was the party at which La Plume was presented at the Sitges Film Festival. It was a lovely event, and very cutting-edge. There was such an interesting mix of styles. There was something modern, something elegant, also risky… I believe that all this is given and defined by Mistinguett.
You already know about the real Mistinguett, you know that we pay tribute to her and to all women who fight for their dream. Right now, who would be your reference, your Mistinguett?
I have no doubt at all. A few months ago I discovered a remarkable woman. Her name is Clara Peya, she is a composer and pianist. This girl, like the woman Mistinguett, is a total risk-taker. Her shows are unlike anything I’ve normally seen. She is very special, very feminist. In her work everything she says makes sense: the lyrics of her last album are very militant and in her show, which is at Sala Beckett right now, she was so compelling that she left me speechless. Clara has obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and together with her sister, who is a dancer, they depict this reality in a truly lovely way, doing away with any stigma. There are so many taboos nowadays when speaking of mental illness. But she breaks every one of those taboos. This is why, for me, this woman is a reference in many aspects.
OUR #FANTASTICWOMEN TEST
A time of day for drinking cava.
I would say any time, but let’s say… mid-afternoon.
“Elephant Love Medley” from Moulin Rouge. It is a fabulous mix of songs.
The last one I’ve read, “L’art de portar gavardina (The Art of Wearing a Trench Coat)” by Sergi Pàmies, which really made an impact because there is so much truth in it.
Something indispensable in your handbag.
Lip salve. Ok, and my mobile! (she laughs out loud) The thing is, it’s never in my handbag, it’s always in my hand.
And for you, what is the correct thing?
For me the correct thing is to be happy. To smile. To have fun with what you do. And the incorrect thing as well.