© 2020
Telling West Virginia's Story
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Lido Pimienta Releases A New Album, Raises Awareness Of Problems In Colombia

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Lido Pimienta first captured audiences in 2017 when her debut album won the Polaris Prize. That's Canada's biggest music award. That album sounded otherworldly, but her follow-up is firmly rooted in the sounds of her home country, Colombia.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ESO QUE TU HACES")

LIDO PIMIENTA: (Singing in Spanish).

CHANG: The new album is called "Miss Colombia." And our reviewer Miguel Perez says it's a complicated ode to a country and a culture that still struggles to celebrate its black and Indigenous women.

MIGUEL PEREZ, BYLINE: Upon first listen, Lido Pimienta could be singing to a lost love.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ESO QUE TU HACES")

PIMIENTA: (Singing in Spanish).

PEREZ: "That thing you do isn't love," she belts out. But take a step back, and you'll hear a woman demanding to be heard and seen by much more than just a lover. She's calling out her whole country on "Miss Colombia."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NADA")

PIMIENTA: (Singing in Spanish).

PEREZ: Pimienta has been vocal about the erasure and violence that Indigenous and Afro-Latina women like her face in Colombia. A chorus of women joins her on "Nada," a lilting, ghostly hymn written after giving birth to her daughter.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NADA")

PIMIENTA: (Singing in Spanish).

PEREZ: "Of everything I've felt and lived, nothing is left," Pimienta sings about the everlasting trauma of motherhood. And her experiences as a woman color every corner of this album. On "Pelo Cucu," she stretches and straightens her natural hair in an attempt to conform to the Eurocentric beauty standards that still reign across Latin America.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PELO CUCU")

PIMIENTA: (Singing in Spanish).

PEREZ: Pimienta would be justified in wrapping her songs up in anger or sadness, but there is a sense of pride here instead. A special collaboration is at the heart of the album. Pimienta shares the spotlight with Sexteto Tabala, a group celebrated for keeping Afro-Colombian styles like porro and bullerengue alive.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "QUIERO QUE ME SALVES")

SEXTETO TABALA: (Singing in Spanish).

PEREZ: "The opportunity has come to fix our past," they chant. By putting Indigenous and Afro-Colombian culture front and center in her music and in her visuals, Pimienta has found her part in that solution. She's not resigned to the way things are. Instead, she espouses hope for herself and for her country.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "COMING THRU")

PIMIENTA: (Singing in Spanish).

CHANG: Lido Pimienta's new album is called "Miss Colombia." Our reviewer Miguel Perez is a reporter for KERA in Dallas.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "COMING THRU")

PIMIENTA: (Singing in Spanish). Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Hey, thanks for reading.
WVPB is local news, education, music, and entertainment for West Virginia.
Your donation today will help keep us strong and vital.