Xenolinguist means the study of alien languages. It is also the alternate name of Meg Hennessey who is a DJ, producer and music enthusiast. Cannabis saved her life, and she isn’t afraid to talk about it. She is part of the ever-expanding underground electronic music scene in Denver, and she is also a die-hard cannabis advocate. This month, CULTURE caught up with her to talk music, herb and all things that inspire her. Watch for her upcoming EP, Axiom Syntax, which is coming out this summer, and let her vibes speak to you at a local club or music venue.
“Cannabis saved my mind when withdrawing from multiple psychiatric medications. I was basically insane for a few months, but when I would use concentrate, specifically indica hybrids, I would get relief without observable withdrawal symptoms.”
How did you get started making music?
Growing up around my dad and playing in a blues band inspired me to pursue music from a young age. I started writing lyrics and playing guitar when I was 13 and was very involved with the music program at my school. Vocal and flute studies were my main focus, until the music theory class that introduced Logic Pro. I told my principal about electronic music and how I was using Logic at the school to make it, and he surprisingly thought it was interesting, so he gave me access to the Mac lab for study hall. I had no idea what I was doing, but having the freedom to use all the aspects of music to create something was very intriguing. After high school, I became a DJ and was part of a collective called Cave Life, which is when I was introduced to Ableton. It wasn’t until the end of 2013 that I changed my name to Xenolinguist and started really pursuing my dream.
How do you feel about cannabis legalization so far? Could anything be done better or differently?
I feel that more states could accept that the majority of their citizens have tried cannabis and are accepting of it. Coming from New York where the laws were extremely strict, I am much more grateful about Colorado having accessible cannabis. However, it is very frustrating seeing the unhealthy lifestyle and debt back in New York. If the state legalized cannabis, maybe there would be a lower opiate prescription and OD rates, schools could keep their music programs, have healthier school lunch options and be able to provide school supplies to children that may not have the resources. Cannabis helps so many people all over this country, and it really should be nationally legalized, for at least medical needs. I have high hopes for the national legalization of cannabis, and truly believe that it would benefit this country in so many ways. Colorado acts as a great template for the rest of the country to learn from. It’s about time the misconception and stigma that still exist with cannabis are abolished and replaced with accurate knowledge and awareness of the endocannabinoid system.
“Without cannabis, I would get so caught up with my own thoughts that I couldn’t function in society.”
How has cannabis affected your life and creative processes?
That is a heavy question, with a heavy answer. Cannabis saved my mind when withdrawing from multiple psychiatric medications. I was basically insane for a few months, but when I would use concentrate, specifically indica hybrids, I would get relief without observable withdrawal symptoms. Without cannabis, I would get so caught up with my own thoughts that I couldn’t function in society. I spent two years using concentrate to cope with the symptoms, and now use flower throughout the day to help make everything a little more manageable, and to help keep focused while creating. I write mostly all of my music while using cannabis and always smoke before playing a set. It helps me get into a flow state of mind and “let go.”
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Music and cannabis are both very important to me, and I’m extremely grateful for both!