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Tell Me Más: Meet Puerto Rican Experimental Artist Lúconde


Many fashionable musicians have created fictional alter egos as a strategy to discover new sonic avenues that they want to experiment with. David Bowie had Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane, David Johansen had Buster Poindexter, Lady Gaga spent a complete season as Jo Calderone, and the much less stated about Garth Brooks’s Chris Gaines period the higher, nevertheless it definitely occurred. For them, it is a form of efficiency artwork — an expression of their curiosity in stepping out of their consolation zone and giving the endeavor a theatrical aptitude as nicely.

The debate about whether or not these could possibly be thought of merely publicity stunts is legitimate, however for some artists, there is a true inventive want to inhabit these personas. For Adriana Rivera, a Puerto Rican singer-songwriter, it is a end result of her dream to merge two creative outputs which have lengthy fascinated and impressed her: music and appearing. From this want and its manifestation, Rivera set herself apart, and in her place emerged Lúconde and their debut album, “La Actriz: Acto I.” The EP is a magical assortment of alt-perreo, aware boleros, and progressive Latin soul. As Rivera explains, “Lúconde is principally the mom character that serves as a vessel for different personas (or faces, as she calls them) to emerge.” For that purpose, she invitations listeners to name her by both title.

Lúconde is an artist with numerous concepts, who has been looking a very long time for a strategy to categorical them. A toddler of dancers from reggaeton’s early roots, when it was referred to as “underground” — her mom was a background dancer for Vico C, whereas her father danced for Ruben DJ — she grew up in a house that valued each music and efficiency and the overlap between the 2. Lúconde was enrolled in ballet, the place dance and expression are inextricably intertwined, and sang in her church’s refrain, the place she started to find her voice and take a look at its limits and vary.

Not quickly after, she was satisfied by associates to audition for her faculty’s drama membership. In a prescient twist, the monologue used for the audition belonged to a task a few character affected by dissociative id dysfunction.

“I keep in mind researching rather a lot. I keep in mind training [the monologue] alone at dwelling. I had no coaching in anyway, however I keep in mind clicking with that rather a lot,” she says. “There was a number of that course of that clicked with me very deeply, and I keep in mind pondering, ‘OK, I really like music and I’ve all the time been concerned with music, however I feel [acting] goes to be one thing that I’m gonna dedicate myself extra to.'”

For “La Actriz: Acto I,” Lúconde reached again and channeled the teachings from her days doing theater. She recollects being taken by the best way appearing helped her to attach along with her interior ideas and widen her view of the behaviors of individuals round her.

“I discovered [to] not take issues at face worth, which is one thing that I really feel like I’m actively learning inside myself and society — simply taking a look at issues from totally different views,” she says. “There’s all the time extra behind somebody, which I additionally suppose in appearing that is what you [search for].”

During the downtime that enveloped the world in 2020, she started to consider how she may fuse her pursuits. She started to write down, pondering on subjects that had been near her. She started to flesh out the overarching idea of the EP and conjured up what would turn out to be the roster of alter egos that embody every monitor: La Malasuerte, Näia Kiyomi, Lilu, Miss Quinn, Bo Aracnia, Adela, and Nina Sorei.

Executing out such a far-out thought for a debut EP was a dangerous proposition, however she was decided to convey it to fruition. Through mutual contacts she bought in contact with Gyanma, an indie fan favourite who produces tasks for himself and others out of his personal studio, referred to as Alas. Whatever trepidation he had concerning the formidable concepts she offered evaporated as quickly as he put her in entrance of the microphone.

“From the start, I acknowledged it was a really distinctive idea,” says Gyanma, who produced each monitor on the EP. “Throughout recording and producing the music, each monitor stored evolving, and after we listened to the ultimate album put collectively, we knew it was one thing very, very particular.”

As a companion to the album, Lúconde produced, directed, and starred in music movies for the tracks. It’s right here that her totally different personas can actually be appreciated. La Malasuerte, a trickster changeling that occupies each body of “Macacoa” with mischievous intentions. Näia Kiyomi, closely impressed by Jennifer Check of the film “Jennifer’s Body,” enacts empowered, violent revenge in “6eis.” Lilu and Bo Aracnia each break the principles in favor of righteous anarchy in “Bendito Caos” and “Tus Cartas Póker,” respectively. In “El Frío del Alba,” Adela displays on the lengthy, sordid historical past and ache that girls have carried all through the battle for bodily autonomy, particularly within the face of eroding abortion rights.

“This could be very autobiographical. What I’m doing is simply taking the Stanislavski strategy of appearing and reworking it right into a philosophy of life, as a result of that is who I’m,” she says. “I really feel like appearing saved me. Acting gave me a lot perspective of life, of individuals, of society, and of myself. That’s form of the place all of it begins, as a result of with every character I’m displaying totally different sides and totally different elements of myself, and the actor research the grey space of life, the grey in folks.”

When speaking about her future, Lúconde foresees extra tasks in the identical vein as “Acto I.” For now, she does not see herself dabbling in additional mainstream songs divorced from this album’s conceit. In truth, she’s already brainstorming which personas she’ll make the most of once more, and new ones to introduce as nicely. As the album’s title implies, it is merely the primary act of what is going to slowly unfold as a bigger all-encompassing mission.

“This mission is synonymous with the place I’m in life proper now. I really feel like I’m nonetheless within the midst of turning into. This mission is a number of the youthful, naive elements of myself,” she says.

She intends to completely broaden the visible facet as nicely, founding her personal manufacturing firm the place she’ll be capable of management that facet of improvement in addition to assist different artists with their very own tasks. “La Actriz: Acto I” was an effort that took a very long time to return collectively, however for Lúconde it has been price every thing she invested in bringing it to life.

“Once I knew that I wished to be La Actriz within the music business, I had a path,” she says. “For me that is actually essential; I’ve all the time [felt] like I’ve to have some thought of who I wish to be. In that sense, now I understand how fortunate I’m to know who I’m a bit bit. I nonetheless really feel like I’ve a protracted strategy to go, however I’ve all the time had the imaginative and prescient. I’ve all the time nourished that. I’ve all the time protected that.”

The strands that hyperlink the sunshine and shadow inside each human being — and the best way they’ll convey folks collectively beneath higher understanding and empathy — are what Lúconde needs to underscore.

“Everything is related: our spirituality, our physicality, our thoughts, our feelings. As an actor, my physique, my thoughts, my feelings are my instruments. The extra acquainted I’m with myself, the higher human I shall be. That’s what I’m attempting to discover with music. I all the time say, ‘Through my work I’m entire,’ as a result of I get to precise all of those totally different elements of myself.” It’s a ardour mission that not solely makes her really feel fulfilled, however hopefully finds followers who’ll additionally respect the totally different ranges of creativity that make it up. “I felt like I wished to be a creator, and I really feel like music allowed me to do all that. And I spotted I did not must sacrifice my id as an actress. Maybe I may simply be La Actriz.”

POPSUGAR: What is your favourite phrase?

Lúconde: Curiosity.

POPSUGAR: What is your favourite quote?

Lúconde: “You haven’t got a proper to something on this life, however there’s nothing you’ll be able to’t obtain.”

POPSUGAR: What is your favourite play?

Lúconde: “No Exit” by Jean-Paul Sartre.

POPSUGAR: What is your favourite film?

Lúconde: Well, I really like “Black Swan.” It was once “The Pursuit of Happyness.” I feel now, “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”

POPSUGAR: Who is your favourite fictional character?

Lúconde: Raven from “Teen Titans.”

POPSUGAR: What are you listening to nowadays?

Lúconde: Gesaffelstein, Belén Aguilera, and “Scarlet” by Doja Cat.

POPSUGAR: What individual involves thoughts once you hear the phrase “inspiration”?

Lúconde: My grandfather. We had been very shut, and he would speak to me about many issues. My favourite quote is one thing he’d all the time inform me.

POPSUGAR: Do you like to be the hero or the villain?

Lúconde: I favor to be the villain that turns into a hero.





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