Girl Ultra Talks Debut Album and the Problem With the “Latin Music” Tag

Mariana de Miguel, the ultra-girl, born in Mexico City, has attracted international attention in recent years.

Recognized by Rolling Stone, The FADER and Dazed for her unique Babygirl/Escorpio R&B sounds, Girl Ultra ended her career in 2019 with her second album Nuevos Aires: a collection of ten tracks of aerial voices spread across the silky, vibrant rhythms of the 90s and the sound aesthetics of the 80s.

I felt much more like a woman on this album, and I was free to distance myself from Marianne de Miguel and show more of the femme fatale Ultra, both in style and composition, she says in a press release about the album. On my first album I missed the experience. Now I’ve experienced a lot more and I managed to bring it to Nuevos Aires, which means a new show or a change of scenery. The album, she says, is the reincarnation of an 80s woman who blossoms and is reborn to the sounds of 2019.

At the beginning of 2020, with her first COLORS performance for the seductive and gentle Discretion, the Girl Ultra established herself as a world-class artist without any delay.

 

TRADE: Is there a quote you consider the motto of your life?

Girl Ultra: He’s just been breathing lately.

What are your recent losses to Spotify?

All is well – DAF’s album and Ennio Morricone’s Cinema Paradiso soundtrack.

What are your favourite sounds you want to include in your music?

I like to mix real drums with classic drum machines from the 80’s, the Juno 60, DX7 pads and flute presets for the piano.

Where does your musical inspiration come from?

My city, love, lust, nature, nostalgia for the ’80s, which I never experienced.

 

What emotions do you hope your music will bring to the listener?

A strange sympathy and an execution.

Your roulette video is your perspective on the struggling music industry in Mexico – why was it important for you to show it in your video?

Because Mexico is very busy. We just need to help develop an independent music industry, and the change has to come from within, take away the idea of competition and help your partners to grow organically.

 

How would you describe the message of Nuevos Aires, your first album?

It’s a research album for me. Musical and lyrical. It’s a relief, now I feel more woman than girl. It’s my eyes that made me grow… my delicate and passionate love-hate relationship with my city, the lovers, the lusts, the friends who are no longer my friends, the homesickness… There’s a very honest part of me in this case.

What difficulties did you have preparing your first album?

So much for reality. Build the team, find the money to do more, the time, go on tour and mix and mix and mix and mix and go on tour… The fact that we were away for part of the process usually made it more difficult.

What was the biggest difference between writing and recording Nuevos Aires and your previous projects?

He has a much more organic approach to instruments and equipment. I also took more time to dive into the libraries and work on every detail. And as a composer I felt clearer and sharper. It’s wetter.

Are there lyrics on the album that you think summarize the vibe of the album?

Al amor salvaje.

 

What do you think of the global expansion of Latin American music in recent years?

It was pretty confusing because we’re having trouble not just becoming a trend. We can’t be satisfied with just one day of Latin music, I don’t think that’s the point. We just want to be seen as any other artist in any other genre. The Mexican punk artist is not Latin American music, but punk. In Spanish.

Have you noticed that the music industry uses double standards when it comes to gender issues?

Since the beginning of time. We need to know what we really stand for and that we are also a product. It is our duty to stay awake and see how we want to be seen and how we want to be sold.

What do you think of the image and representation of women in music? Is there something you want to change?

I want to change this responsibility that society imposes on us, so that we are always politicians in our speeches, simply because we are women. I don’t see my male colleagues asking such questions. Yeah, it’s a fight. Yeah, it’s harder. Yeah, we need more patience. But we’re bigger, brighter and smarter than they thought.

Girl Ultra Talks Debut Album and the Problem With the “Latin Music” Tag

Girl Ultra Talks Debut Album and the Problem With the “Latin Music” Tag

What advice would you give to girls and women who want to work in music?

Support and train each other. Exchange plug-ins, learn singing exercises, exchange books. Heal your mind and your souls together.

Is there anything in your career that makes you feel like you’re still learning?

REALLY WHERE. Class never stops.

What are the prospects for 2020?

Guided tours with the new album, new arrangements for the show, even more powerful and more involved. Maybe a couple of layoffs and a lot of breathing.

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