Lido Pimienta: Chronicles of the Sublime

El Sonido: Cancioneros
Albina Cabrera

El Sonido: Cancioneros is the first season of KEXP’s newest podcast series, El Sonido, and the first produced fully in Spanish. 

What keeps us rooted in a world where everything is changing? Music. We each have songs that connect us to our origins, and through those, we can draw the sound map of our lives. The first season of the El Sonido podcast offers a musical tour through the personal songbooks of key artists in modern alternative, popular and independent Latin music to explore what it means to be from a place and what Latin music is today. Host Albina Cabrera guides us through each artist's story across eight episodes, from the song that decided the destiny of Mon Laferte to the visual and political approach of Lido Pimienta, from the revolution of Villano Antillano to the childhood of Trueno and the comeback of Buscabulla. As we journey through the songs that shaped each artist, we get a portrait of the present and future of their music scenes.

Listen to the podcast with English subtitles on the KEXP Podcasts YouTube channel, or read an English transcription of our latest episode below. A Spanish transcription and audio is available here.

Lido Pimienta: The intention behind all of the music I make is to reinvent, rediscover, or present the Caribbean as sublime, not as exotic. 

Albina: That’s Lido Pimienta and that’s her proposal. She doesn’t have to apologize nor ask for permission to talk about the Colombian Caribbean because, beyond being someone who doesn’t contradict her position, Lido is always one step ahead. Innovator, rebel, and bearer of a unique voice, Lido sketches a journey that spans the 3,655 kilometers that separate Toronto, where she currently lives, from her origin Barranquilla, a journey to the sublime nurtured by good music, saturated colors, and clear ideas.

Lido Pimienta: Lido Pimienta is an artist, a versatile, multi-faceted Caribbean artist.

Albina: Yes, Lido talks about herself in third person. Just as her name states, Lido’s story has pepper. A particular spice that makes you wonder whether you’re feeling it on your tongue, in your head or in your heart. A flavor only found in the Caribbean, she would say. Honestly she has a point, it’s very difficult to copy-paste that flow, she knows it, and you will too after listening to this episode and the songs that it contains.

Lido Pimienta: Artists who don’t have the Afro, Indigenous, or Caribbean experience will always be looking for a cheat sheet and will attach themselves to any genre that helps them makes them money.

Lido Pimienta: To be a woman is to be strong

Albina: There, Lido sets the tone of this episode.

Throughout this season, we explore various ways to understand what it means to be from a place. Here, I’d like to look further into the triggers that distance sets off. The letters of love and anguish that we mentally (or literally) write to our homeland when, for many always-difficult reasons, one decides to leave it but thinking about the return home.

Lido’s artistic flavor is steeped in other conditions that make her unique. As an Afro-Indigenous composer, as a part of the Wayuú identity, as a Caribbean woman and as a migrant mother, Lido builds a songbook of the musical treasures of her historically-violated culture, alongside a musical palette that encompasses pop culture, electronic beats, and orchestral music. 

Albina: How are you? I’m Albina Cabrera and you’re listening to the El Sonido podcast, the new and first spanish–language content from KEXP. This season is called Cancioneros. Here we call on, build and interpret the fundamental soundtracks of fundamental artists in the alternative scene in Latin America, in Spanish, that one that lives between two or more cultures. This is our second Caribbean stop after episode five where we traveled to Puerto Rico. In this 6th episode, we go to Colombia and into the songs that shaped the person and artist Lido Pimienta.

Lido Pimienta: I didn’t find music, because the music was already there. I mean, I’m from the Colombian Caribbean, it’s strange when there’s a day without music at full volume.

Albina: Lido Pimienta was born in Barranquilla, Colombia. Within her are three strong currents: her Afro-Caribbean heritage and the ancestral Wayúu culture that she belongs to, an Indigenous tribe from the northernmost tip of South America, the Guajira peninsula between Colombia and Venezuela. The third is a hybrid form that develops when we emigrate. Songs from these three branches will make up the Lido’s ABCs which, of course, contains legends. 

Lido Pimienta: Growing up between Barranquilla and La Guajira in Colombia, I listened to the big players in vallenato and, of course, I listened to La Niña Emilia…

Lido Pimienta: … to Joe Arroyo, which was formative music for me whether I wanted it or not, and I was completely unaware that that was happening. Because you learn that flow, I mean, you learn the Caribbean flow through music, the weather, the food, the conversations, from everything around you.

Albina: It is in that formative music that you’ll find the fundamental pieces of the place that birthed Lido. Vallenato is a typical genre on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, where Spanish culture via colonization, with the incorporation of the accordion and the ‘minstrel’ figure, who travels from town to town telling stores — collides with Afro influence via the percussion instrument ‘caja vallenata’, produced by slavery, and the indigenous element, embodied in the Guaracha.

Lido signals to La Niña Emilia, a Bullerengue master, which is a genre danced and sung only by women. She also mentions Joe Arroyo, a key figure in Colombian salsa, cumbia, and porro. 

This is the music that created the scenery that the composer Lido Pimienta grew up in and interacted with. In this environment, made up of circumstances and memories, lie the essential songs of Lido. 

Lido Pimienta: In Barranquilla, for example, there were lots of blackouts, power outages.

Lido Pimienta: Every time there was a power outage, the neighbors in the building we lived in would come to our house and my dad would make my sister and I sing and he’d put on songs by ABBA, Paloma San Basilio. 

Lido Pimienta: I grew up listening to those Europop divas.

Albina: Lido’s musical upbringing happens in the middle of the ancestral artistic production of her community and what she was exposed to via global pop culture. Lido is a natural descendent of the original sounds present in her songbook: 

Lido Pimienta: Sexteto Tabalá, Totó la Momposina, La Niña Emilia, Petrona Martínez, Etelvina Maldonado, Martina Camargo, Joe Arroyo. Héctor Lavoe, Lole and Manuel y Paloma San Basilio.

Albina: Just like that, she gives us an essential guide to Afro-descendent music, Latin American music, and gems of Spanish music like Lole y Manuel alongside Paloma San Basilio. But I want to focus on one of the artists she mentions.  

Albina: Petrona Martínez, one of the most recognizable voices in traditional Colombian music. She’s known as the queen of Bullerengue, a dance and music genre reserved for Afro-descendent women from a specific region of the Colombian Caribbean and Panamá. Petrona’s album Ancestras was released in 2021, brought together 14 women from the African diaspora, and featured visual art by Lido Pimienta. The album earned Petrona Martínez her first Latin Grammy at 82 years old.

Albina: The remixing of Petrona Martínez’s music has been happening for years. In fact, she herself released an entire album of remixes by different DJs in 2018, Petronica. This example brings me back to Lido’s original objective of wanting to present the Caribbean as sublime rather than exotic.

In this word, “exotic,” lie many of the extractivist dynamics that have desecrated traditional music from African and Latin American created by African descendents and indigenous communities. Nowadays, this practice sustained by the exotification of the fusion, and the misleading idea of “discovery” which has justified it for years.

In this sense, Lido has it very clear:

Lido Pimienta: The reality is that it’s not sustainable when you come and take a culture and the influence of an entire community and pack it into your electronic context.

Lido Pimienta: It’s not sustainable because you don’t have direct contact with that society.

Albina: Lido Pimienta was born and raised in Colombia where she began to explore traditional rhythms with her voice. It was right before her family decided to emigrate to Canada when she was a teenager, which is why nearly her entire discography has been created far from her Caribbean, which she hasn’t just visited over the years, but has also committed to working with producers, composers, traditional orchestras, dancers, and visual artists from her homeland. Emigrated doesn’t make you forget, it does the opposite.

With Canada came a new vision, as well as a degree in art criticism and the deep need to rebuild her world and identity in the Latin American Diaspora. 

Albina: When we talked about the song that inspires her, she named one of the unsolved mysteries of popular Colombian music. A voice that, at just six years old, became a icon of Cumbia in that country during the fluctuating 1960s, an era where rural areas were coming out of a bloody civil war and the cities were adjusting to that new and painful reality.

Lido Pimienta: The song that connects, the artist that connects with what i’m doing lately, and I always talk about this song, it’s called “Chambacú” by Aurita Castillo.

Lido Pimienta:  This song is a formative one. The education of Lido Pimienta is “Chambacú”. 

Albina: "Chambacú" is a love song for a neighborhood in Cartagena de Indias built on a landfill and inhabited by Colombians of African descent. Cartagena de Indias is a region marked by structural racism since colonial times. 

Lido Pimienta: Because it has… If you listen to “Eso Que Tú Haces” and then you listen to “Chambacú” by Aurita Castillo, those clarinets that it has and the cadence of the rhythm and the way of writing a sad song that sounds so happy, and so happy but it sounds so sad, is like my obsession as an artist. It’s like crying on the dance floor.

Lido Pimienta: And my journey has been, well, confusing, difficult, anxious, depressing, full of joy, full of adventure. Because Lido Pimienta doesn't follow trends.

Albina: In the confusing adventure of emigrating, of picking up the traditions of your country while letting go of the social expectations attached to that upbringing, Lido discovered her scene and set out on a path supported by a collective that is also diasporic, and very Latin American.

Lido Pimienta: I feel like I’m a part of Helado Negro’s scene. Helado Negro and I work as if under the same light, making experimental music that’s South American and Central American because we’re from Central and South America.

Helado Negro: What was happening here rather than there, I mean in Latin American and the U.S., was that there everyone understands Latin American music…because they’re there, living there, and that’s their music. And in the United States, it’s part of a commercial system: “this is Latin music, Latin music will sell this way, Latin music is a part of this”... it has to sound a certain way, the style has to be a certain way. And when you open the musical book of Latin America, it’s not one page… and that’s what we wanted, we are a bit of everything and we want to do whatever we want. I think that was the idea. 

Albina: Roberto Carlos Lange makes music as Helado Negro and he composed the original soundtrack of this podcast and will also close this season in our 8th episode. Roberto shares Lido’s musical cosmovision because both of them bring to different territories, the United States and Canada respectively, perspectives from Ecuador and Colombia where their roots are, while also creating modern experimental music that surpasses any place or destination and, rather, multiplies them.

Albina: "Humano" is the first song on Color, Lido Pimienta’s first EP that came out in 2010.

One of the first and few reviews of this independent album was published on the blog Club Fonograma. This digital magazine focused on independent music was a key element in that music and artist collective which saw the birth of Lido Pimienta's career.

The review for Color was written by Carlos Reyes, founder of the digital magazine covering independent music Club Fonograma, a part of that artistic and cultural collective that helped develop the beginnings of Lido Pimienta…

Lido Pimienta: I feel like, and I still identify with this, I’m part of the surviving scene from the era of Club Fonograma. And very proudly, because Club Fonograma was a space where what is called indie music today was considered the vanguard in that moment, and there weren’t big labels or spaces or media like there are today for misnamed reggaeton. 

Albina: Club Fonograma, a digital portal founded in the first decade of the millennium, critiqued and circulated Spanish-language music in English. It was the go-to space in the Spanish-language independent scene with a global perspective. Its founder Carlos Reyes died in 2022. What he created will always mark a before and after of how we think about Latin Alternative music in the United States. 

Lido Pimienta: Rest in power, Carlos Reyes.

Albina: Six years after Color, Lido released her second album La Papessa

Albina: The album received the Polaris Prize in 2017, the highest musical recognition in Canada, the country where Lido lives. It was the first time an album in a language other than English or French received the award.

Albina: La Papessa is a comprehensive album, conceptually and musically speaking. It includes masterful collaborations such as one with one of the goddesses of rock in SpanishRock en Español, the Colombian Andrea Echeverri.

Albina: Lido is strong and beginning the prelude to her last album, which is considered to be her masterpiece so far.

Lido Pimienta: When you don’t follow trends, the road doesn’t have clear signs.

Albina: Lido moves based on intuition and for her third album, she was guided by how love and loss felt in her body. The journey to the sublime flows through Miss Colombia, a multicolored alternative experiment inspired by the massive televised hiccup during Miss Universe and explores her own messy relationship with her birth country. 

Albina: Miss Colombia, which came out in 2020, is one of those era-defining albums. It dazzles you in how Lido melodically and visually sketches the feeling of emptiness or pain on a song like “Nada,” where she collaborates with her friend Li Saumet from Bomba Estereo.

Albina: Or how she narrates the experience of being in an emotionally abusive relationship in “Te Quería” or “Eso Que Tu Haces”. 

Albina: Including how she explains her critical thoughts about her native Colombia on songs like “Resisto y Ya”. 

Albina: Her voice is the main conduit of emotions and the multiple worlds she inhabits.

Lido Pimienta: And also, the part about being a migrant, being and immigrant and having to balance various identities in order to survive, never fitting in anywhere, because that’s part of who I am too.

Albina: I started thinking about this podcast and about Lido when I realized I lived in another country. Not just when I moved, but also when you physically and emotionally understand that you live in another place. You discover the word migrant and, for that matter, you feel it. Basically, when you start feeling the distance…

Your community is now a constantly-expanding global diaspora that contains tons of different cultures, worldviews, and backgrounds.

Lido Pimienta: What’s changed is that on social media we have people like la Gata, people very in the game, as we say in the Caribbean, in Colombia, that are in the game and know how to critique, expose, and signal with context and receipts when people appear who want to appropriate the music.

Albina: I called Katalina Eccleston, best known as la Gata, creator of Reggaeton con la Gata, a bilingual platform dedicated to the study of reggaeton from and anti-racist and anti-colonial perspective. La Gata is a writer and historian from the U.S. with Panamanian and Jamaican roots. 

Gata: I think it’s really impressive when an artist decides to involve their identity in their art.

Gata: even more so when it has to do with race, with roots 

Gata: She’s basically educating her audience and also enjoying it. It’s really difficult.

Albina:  Miss Colombia sits very nicely on that bridge that connects being from a place and being in a place. I had various conversations with Jennifer Mota about this. She’s also a collaborator on this episode, as she was on episode four with Trueno and rap en español. Jennifer is a Dominican storyteller and audiovisual producer.

Jen Mota: It felt for me very familiar because outside of you pertaining to one specific nationality, Miss Colombia is one of those staples and those art forms that talks about just the diaspora experience 

Albina:  Jennifer Mota’s saying that this album is very familiar to her and it surpasses belonging to one specific nationality and is a great representation of the diaspora experience.

She’ll also tell me that you just have to look at Lido to understand what she thinksand what she is.

Jen Mota: When you look at Lido, you know that this is her. She is very straight up with her ideology, with what makes Lido, Lido.

Albina: Miss Colombia is Lido’s personal exercise, a poly-rhythmic journey to the afro-colombian roots of music and a complete audiovisual invitation that explores love and pain, the struggle against injustice and the power of friendship without being cliché or overplayed. 

Lido Pimienta: But it’s not necessarily that need to put yourput on your sombrero vuleltiao or be obviously traditional in terms of music or academies that impose that on traditional music. 

Albina: Lido describes Miss Colombia as a cynical love letter to her home, a piece complemented by a vibrant color palette, drama, that plays with humor about the exhaustion that comes with the historical objectification of Colombian women for being transaction-worthy exotic beauties, and transforms it into her own eden of free, strong women — women who look like her. On Miss Colombia, Lido makes a musical matriarchy intentionally built with her talent as a singer, composer, painter, and visual artist.

Lido Pimienta: And it’s being conscious that I make a lot of people uncomfortable, but that I also put a lot of people at ease, including myself, because I’m very happy being that way.

Albina: Where does that discomfort that Lido refers to come from? Gata gives me some hints.

Gata: As Latinos, whether it’s because of culture, industry, whatever, in general, we love to promote a singular image, one sound, etcetera. So, when it comes to marketing, we’ve created an archetype of what a Caribbean woman is, what a Latina is, to basically market it to an outside audience.

Albina: When we talk about stereotypes, Lido is put off by all of them. As a woman who faces a constructed image of something that she decided she wasn’t interested in becoming. Gata agrees: 

Gata: Let’s say that, if you want to have a career in music, you have to basically be a part of this archetype that we want to promote because this is a product of the music industry. And, traditionally, that’s a person with white skin, straight hair. Or sometimes, we like to add something that’s trendy now, which is having curly hair but just for that one moment… moreso with some color in it. And also she has to be skinny, because body type is relevant. Seeing a fat person, with dark skin, curly hair, is nearly impossible given what the industry is promoting. So yes, Lido, for example, being the artist she is, with her frizzy or curly hair, her skin is a little lighter than most black people because she, if I’m not mistaken, is mixed. So she has an advantage in that sense. And what I love about Lido is that she doesn’t hide herself, she’s not trying to pass as darker than what she is. She identifies 100 percent with all of the different aspects of herself. And she, this is my main point, she accepts her positioning in the racial hierarchy, what exists in the culture and in Latino society.

Lido Pimienta: And that’s what most people who live in countries where white beauty is the end-all be-all like. 

Albina: Here’s Jen Mota:

Jen Mota: Lately on social media it’s impossible to hide, you can’t say to Black people and African descendants that racism doesn’t exist, that their experience doesn’t exist, because for many years in Latin America that’s what they said. That racism was something that happened in the United States and that’s not true. It’s global, you know?

Albina: Lido is an authentic chronicler in her lyrics and her aesthetic. It seems that embedded in her DNA is the culture vallenato directly linked to the figure of the minstrel, chroniclers of another time.

Lido is, beyond everything, a trendsetter with her irreplicable and unmistakable style that she uses in her videos, her paintings, what she wears on red carpets, or as a director of her own TV show. An all-round artist from the Caribbean, as she told us. 

Gata: And what I love about Lido is that she doesn’t hide herself, she’s not trying to pass as darker than what she is. She identifies 100 percent with all of the different natural aspects of herself.

Albina: Lido was the first Black woman to compose for the New York City Ballet, a score that included Vallenato and Dominican Dembow. For the premiere, in September 2021, she was dressed in accessories from her Wayuu community, impacting with every step.

Albina:  Lido is a student of her culture and the music of Latin America. Creating the sublime means materializing the music of her dreams and the music she grew up with. When she describes her scene, she creates this songbook…

Lido Pimienta: I feel like I’m a part of the scene or group of musicians that I identify with, like Meridian Brothers, Velandia, Mabe Fratti, Nidia, Tonada, Verito Asprilla, Aya, Tirsa, La Muchacha, Las Añez, Chancha Via Circuito, I mean for me I feel like I’m a part of that scene. And in that, we’re talking about at least five different countries, at least three continents.

Albina: We return to Colombia via her personal soundtrack: Meridian Brothers. A group that navigates international waters while also protecting their Caribbean identity. 

Eblis: For me, there are two extremes, what I’d call globalization, standardization, or also globalism, I mean a philosophy that the global has served as a communication channel, allowing all humans to connect. On another hand, there’s also the other side of it which are standards, I mean the standardization of various local practices.   

Albina: Eblis Alvarez is the mastermind behind Meridian Brothers, a musical experiment that seeks to create the future from the past to outsmart technology. Eblis recognizes that in the midst of this global anxiety, the world is seeing the Caribbean from a different perspective. 

Eblis: What I’ve seen is a deepening, I mean, from having a cliche, like a cliche of what it means to be Latino, a cliche of someone who comes from the Caribbean or South America, there’s been a strong deepening of that. What I mean is, from North America to Europe, people are more aware of genres, they understand tendencies, they’re aware of the different eras in which our music, from South America, has expanded, developed, and gotten more sophisticated.

Albina: But it’s not just the Caribbean that’s present, other sounds from across Colombia are a part of Lido Pimienta’s present songbook. Verito Asprilla from the Colombian Pacific is a part of the future. 

Lido Pimienta: Verito Asprilla, a girl from Tumaco, en Colombia. She has insane amounts of flow. I feel like she’s the future, really, I recommend that you get to know her with a song called “Pa’ que bailen”. She also has a song called “Letras Millonarias” that I also think is excellent. For me, she’s the future of music in Colombia, yep. 

Albina: Diego Gomez is a music producer, also known as Cerrero, and is also the director of Discos Pacifico, an initiative by USAID (United States Agency for International Development) to support music from the Colombia’s southern pacific coast, he talks to me about this other academy of artists

Diego Gómez: For us, it’s the most powerful music scene in the world to break out from here. The amazing music of marimba, Black music, incredible feminine power and also lots of music from the barrios, urban music, afrobeats, dancehall, reggaeton with a Tumacan soul. There’s a carrier of amazing sounds there that are developing that we want to share with the world. 

Albina: I traveled to Tumaco via a call to meet Verito Asprilla.

Verito Asprilla: Being an artist from the Pacific is a constant daily struggle because everything that we’ve achieved we’ve had to work very hard to. It’s all in an effort to draw attention to the Pacific, I’m not just talking about Tumaco, where I come from, but the Pacific, Chocó, Buenaventura, and all of those places that don’t really get the support that we need, you know?

Albina: The Colombian Pacific is another region with a strong heritage of African descendants and historically overlooked. Diego gives us an idea. 

Diego Gómez: Being from a primarily Black population with a strong history of exchange with Africa, is to say that all of the urban music that’s being made in the Pacific has a very special sound. From barrios in places like Tumaco, like Buenaventura… there’s a huge amount of artists who are exploring the intersection between urban music, Salsa, Dancehall as well as the spirituality that comes from the legacy of traditional music. It’s music that has a religious, social, political context that makes it really interesting and really deep. 

Albina: Diego also tells me that these sounds are new to some audiences, but are hidden in the ancestral cultures of various parts of our countries. In the Pacific or the Caribbean. We talk about the balance between being inspired by a culture that’s not yours and appropriation. 

Verito comes from a generation that believes strongly in the honest exchange between cultures that allows for the expansion of one’s current horizons. 

Verito Asprilla: We’re export artists because we’re the demand and they have the offers. In a few words, we’re what they need, you know? There’s no other way to put it.

Albina: In this industry game, supply and demand, it’s clear that Lido protects the spokespeople and authors of certain sounds, but she’s not against these conversations and musical exchange. She brings to her songbook an artist she thinks did it the right way" and has become an inspiration for authentic cultural exchange which is also present in her music. 

Lido Pimienta: Nelly Furtado. I feel like Nelly is a really important link. Nelly has broken down many barriers in terms of what is misnamed “Latinidad.” I would put her at the top… she always understood that an electric guitar isn’t worth any more than an African drum. She understood that both of these things can coexist. 

Albina: On one of my trips to Colombia, I had the opportunity to take the advice of some friends who kept repeating a name, an example of someone who makes songs with intention. She’s named La Muchacha, another artist who Lido thinks is the future.

Lido Pimienta: What I love about La Muchacha Isabel is that she’s a girl who has everything she needs to be the next pop star, just as a singer/songwriter with an acoustic guitar. I mean, I get really nervous when I see a girl or a young person with an acoustic guitar. I get nervous because I imagine that the first thing that’s going to come out of their mouth is “I can’t breathe without you, if you don’t call me I’m going to die”. I mean, I brace myself and think “oh no, another person singing about ‘I can’t stop crying because another person’s not paying attention to me.’”. But La Muchacha picks up her guitar and tells you, with her dress and her sweet hairdo, “your pistol doesn’t scare me.” The future is Verito and La Muchacha. 

Albina: Lido is constantly moving and she understands perfectly that the future of music is also in technology. 

Lido Pimienta: I listen to music from all over the world. And in terms of music from the future, I feel like Nidia and Firmeza, and their music production and beat creation, are the future. 

You can find their discography on Príncipe Records, which I think is what I listen the most aside from music from South America, it’s still music of the diaspora, it’s Black music, it’s African music, it’s something that I identify with and feel a part of, very comfortable with that group of people. 

Albina: I think about Lido’s position on the map and her influence in Latin America. Diego Gómez explains it. 

Diego Gómez: I think she’s the voice of the new world. I mean, I think that the order of things is changing. Like what Latin America has historically been perceived as and relationships of power in the world. I think our music is reclaiming something in a historic moment where Latin America represents vitality, social and political struggle, represents women’s struggle, as well as the intermingling of cultures, what happened here with Africa and Indigenous people, with Europeans, to create that new world. 

Albina: I want to close with what Lido considers to be HER song. It’s none other than the powerful “Eso Que Tu Haces,” Lido tells me that this song is her. 

Lido Pimienta: “Eso Que Tú Haces,” thematically, harmoniously, rhythmically, all of those things, perfectly encapsulates who I am as a person, someone overjoyed and blissfully happy to be Caribbean and take on the world, but also someone with constant anxiety and depression going through difficult emotions, because I come from that culture and from a culture that’s been robbed and continues to be, mercilessly. 

Albina: I like that Lido points out two extremes of her existence, and that of many migrants, where joy and depression meet, elements that come together in her music as a source of expression, and that is where Lido’s musical soul is, much like the Caribbean itself, she finds her power in this balance. 

Lido Pimienta: I’m very aware of the power that I have and aware of how far I can go and that I have the power to decide what I want and what I don’t want and to act only from that place.

Albina: It seems as though everything is possible for Lido, who is still aware that the path to musical freedom will be a little bit painful and she needs to hone certain skills. You need to be able to jump tough hurdles.

Lido Pimienta: I don’t feel like I’m a part of anything. As far as music, and the industry goes, I’m not a part of that. I’m like a rapidly growing plant and nobody knows how it got there, but suddenly you look up and there it is.  

Lido Pimienta: There’s an entire musical generation behind what’s happening now and is hard to miss… I don’t feel like I have a cultural caving. I don’t crave a good song, or good music, because I listen to amazing music all day long and it makes me really happy. 

Albina: The search for the sublime, from a distance, that she represents as giving respect and a tribute to her Caribbean, it’s a triumph after navigating fatigue and pain. From this, a being is born who’s been revived and who doesn’t feel the need to comply with structures within the music industry that say how someone should make Latin music being an African-descendent, or how the Caribbean should be portrayed, and even how artists with that cultural and musical context should dress and speak, in ways that are not exotic at all.

Lido Pimienta: We can differentiate between flow that’s learned and flow that’s earned. I want to listen to more authentic Caribbean music. 

Albina: The Caribbean clock has just marked the beginning of a new era. 

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