Inform Me Más: Meet Puerto Rican Experimental Artist Lúconde


Many widespread musicians have created fictional alter egos as a solution to discover new sonic avenues that they want to experiment with. David Bowie had Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane, David Johansen had Buster Poindexter, Girl Gaga spent an entire 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 type of efficiency artwork — an expression of their curiosity in stepping out of their consolation zone and giving the endeavor a theatrical aptitude as properly.

The controversy about whether or not these could possibly be thought-about 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 inventive outputs which have lengthy fascinated and impressed her: music and performing. 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, acutely aware boleros, and progressive Latin soul. As Rivera explains, “Lúconde is mainly the mom character that serves as a vessel for different personas (or faces, as she calls them) to emerge.” For that cause, she invitations listeners to name her by both title.

Lúconde is an artist with plenty of concepts, who has been looking a very long time for a solution to categorical them. A toddler of dancers from reggaeton’s early roots, when it was often known 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 buddies to audition for her college’s drama membership. In a prescient twist, the monologue used for the audition belonged to a task a few character affected by dissociative identification dysfunction.

“I keep in mind researching rather a lot. I keep in mind working towards [the monologue] alone at residence. I had no coaching in any respect, 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 considering, ‘OK, I really like music and I’ve all the time been concerned with music, however I believe [acting] goes to be one thing that I am gonna dedicate myself extra to.'”

For “La Actriz: Acto I,” Lúconde reached again and channeled the teachings from her days doing theater. She remembers being taken by the best way performing helped her to attach along with her internal 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 am actively learning inside myself and society — simply issues from completely different views,” she says. “There’s all the time extra behind somebody, which I additionally assume in performing that is what you [search for].”

In the course of the downtime that enveloped the world in 2020, she started to consider how she may fuse her pursuits. She started to put in writing, considering on subjects that have 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 observe: La Malasuerte, Näia Kiyomi, Lilu, Miss Quinn, Bo Aracnia, Adela, and Nina Sorei.

Executing out such a far-out concept for a debut EP was a dangerous proposition, however she was decided to convey it to fruition. By mutual contacts she acquired in contact with Gyanma, an indie fan favourite who produces initiatives for himself and others out of his personal studio, referred to as Alas. No matter trepidation he had in regards to the bold 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 observe on the EP. “All through recording and producing the music, each observe stored evolving, and once 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 is right here that her completely different personas can really be appreciated. La Malasuerte, a trickster changeling that occupies each body of “Macacoa” with mischievous intentions. Näia Kiyomi, closely impressed by Jennifer Examine of the film “Jennifer’s Physique,” enacts empowered, violent revenge in “6eis.” Lilu and Bo Aracnia each break the foundations 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 ladies have carried all through the battle for bodily autonomy, particularly within the face of eroding abortion rights.

“That is very autobiographical. What I am doing is simply taking the Stanislavski strategy of performing and remodeling it right into a philosophy of life, as a result of that is who I’m,” she says. “I really feel like performing saved me. Appearing gave me a lot perspective of life, of individuals, of society, and of myself. That is type of the place all of it begins, as a result of with every character I am displaying completely different sides and completely different points of myself, and the actor research the grey space of life, the grey in individuals.”

When speaking about her future, Lúconde foresees extra initiatives in the identical vein as “Acto I.” For now, she would not see herself dabbling in additional mainstream songs divorced from this album’s conceit. Actually, she’s already brainstorming which personas she’ll make the most of once more, and new ones to introduce as properly. Because the album’s title implies, it is merely the primary act of what’s 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 am nonetheless within the midst of turning into. This mission is a number of the youthful, naive points of myself,” she says.

She intends to completely increase the visible aspect as properly, founding her personal manufacturing firm the place she’ll have the ability to management that facet of growth in addition to assist different artists with their very own initiatives. “La Actriz: Acto I” was an effort that took a very long time to come back collectively, however for Lúconde it has been value all the pieces she invested in bringing it to life.

“As soon as I knew that I wished to be La Actriz within the music business, I had a course,” she says. “For me that is actually vital; I’ve all the time [felt] like I’ve to have some concept of who I wish to be. In that sense, now I understand how fortunate I’m to know who I’m a bit of bit. I nonetheless really feel like I’ve an extended solution 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 individuals collectively underneath higher understanding and empathy — are what Lúconde needs to underscore.

“Every part is linked: 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 might be. That is what I am attempting to discover with music. I all the time say, ‘By my work I’m entire,’ as a result of I get to precise all of those completely different points of myself.” It is a ardour mission that not solely makes her really feel fulfilled, however hopefully finds followers who’ll additionally respect the completely 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 noticed I did not must sacrifice my identification as an actress. Possibly I may simply be La Actriz.”

POPSUGAR: What’s your favourite phrase?

Lúconde: Curiosity.

POPSUGAR: What’s your favourite quote?

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

POPSUGAR: What’s your favourite play?

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

POPSUGAR: What’s your favourite film?

Lúconde: Effectively, I really like “Black Swan.” It was “The Pursuit of Happyness.” I believe now, “Every part In all places All at As soon as.”

POPSUGAR: Who’s 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 have been very shut, and he would discuss to me about many issues. My favourite quote is one thing he’d all the time inform me.

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

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


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