We talked with Lolita de Sola about ‘Cattleya’, her debut album: Introvert Pop for extroverts (and vice versa)

The Venezuelan singer  Lolita de Sola  has finally presented  Cattleya , her debut album composed of 6 songs that is already available on different platforms.

In it he presents six songs of his authorship, produced between April and August 2017 in New York City by José Luis Pardo (DJ Afro, former Invisible Friends, Los Crema Paraíso, Loco Beach, Orchestra Discotheque), who is currently exploring his facet as a producer after working with artists such as  Rawayana, Simón Grossmann  or  Andrés Mata ,  among others.

The album is a fusion of pop with jazz harmonies, many nuances, synthesizers, colors and textures. There are rhythms from bossa nova, pop, trip hop, new wave, ballads and even heavier songs that serve as a cover letter for the artist, whom we had already heard collaborating with  El Otro Polo  on her debut album,  A Color .

Here you can listen to  Cattleya :

The album arrives accompanied by the video clip of  Fuerte , his new promotional single, which you can see below.

Taking advantage of the premiere, we talked with  Lolita de Sola  about making music in Venezuela, in addition to her debut, her work with DJ Afro, which influenced her at the time of writing and even poetry:

 Cattleya is a type of orchid and also the name of this debut album. What inspired you to call it that and what moves you most when writing poems that later become songs?

I lived almost 5 years outside the country and came back by choice, basically to promote my music, being in New York I was not going to be able to do it and I decided to bet on the country and promote my music instead of dedicating myself full time to become an emigrant after have graduated from the University in the United States. Who would say that I can fulfill my dream in Venezuela instead of outside it. When I returned, I decided to devote myself fully to my project, to become a musical entrepreneur and also, that my album had a concept, based on my return to Venezuela, seeking to talk about the beauty of the country instead of the ugly (which we have left over lately ) That is why I decided to call the record Cattleya , since it is the national flower, it represents us all and serves as a meeting point to look for beauty in this chaos.

When writing songs, first I write poems with a theme in mind, I like to have something to say, I don’t like to create random things, usually ideas and songs first exist in my head and little by little I get them down from that Cloud, first with the lyrics and then I decide what environment and what music to give to that theme, the lyrics and the theme of the song usually ask for a specific musical atmosphere, at least that’s how I see it in my creative process.

– How did you get to work with DJ Afro? Did you truly capture the sound of what you wanted to do?

I contacted him and on the same day he answered me, a few days later we talked on the phone, I sent him my demos and everything flowed very fast and easy, we were both on the same wavelength, he understood me a lot, he respected my songs and my vision a lot and helped me make it grow. He is a very humble and talented person, I would say he is a genius. It is no secret that he has a specific sound, it is easy to know what things come from him since his guitar has a unique tone and its sound when producing too, I was aware of that but I feel that José Luis when understanding my concept and joining forces and musical references (we have a very similar musical taste) we achieved a unique sound and also gave free rein to imagination and experimentation. I was very above everything, arrangements, textures, synthesizers,

– Cattleya is a record that plays many sounds. From Onda Nueva, Funk and Jazz to Bossanova and, obviously, pop. How would you define it? What sounds would you like to continue exploring for your next songs? Are there already plans for new songs?

I think my album is experimental, however, I classify it as “Alternative Pop” to explain more effectively what it is. I mixed my influences and the things I like and even the things I learned in Berklee (which is a Jazz school after all). The last thing I have written and not yet recorded is different, I am flirting with the Neo-Soul and R&B, but also some Latin styles. Jazz harmonies and chords along with pop melodies are always present in my writing and the truth is that I am a very curious person, I hope life gives me the opportunity to invent and experiment a lot with musical styles, textures and sounds . I would hate to pigeonhole in a style, I would like to be free to go where it provokes me to go soundly.

– You recorded this EP in New York more than a year ago. What has changed in you and in these songs since then? Why did you choose these themes to be part of your debut?

These songs have only grown, every time I play them live especially. These were the songs that I liked most among all that I had and are the ones that I decided to give life to my first album. The first time I showed a song of mine was in 2016 (it does nothing) and over time it has taken away the shyness of showing my art and every time I like to show it more, it feels good to share it and for people to say they imagine things, that they feel things and that they identify by listening to my music. I try to write forgetting about myself and thinking about the people who are going to listen to it, I try to put myself in listener mode when I write and think if I would enjoy listening to this or not, after all I have always been a melomaniac without remedy and the important thing for me it will always be the listener’s experience, make him feel things, if I achieve that,

– Venezuela is going through a generalized crisis, not just a cultural one. In times where everyone is looking for new opportunities, Lolita de Sola continues to work in Venezuela. What keeps you here? Are there plans for internationalization?

The fact that I have facilities to promote my music, fulfill my dreams regardless of the crisis keeps me here. I have many ambitions, I want this to be my job, I try to do everything in my power to achieve internationalization, even if I live in Venezuela. I want to tour, I want to sing everywhere, I want to go to festivals, I want to take my music away, I think big and I am honestly sure that it can be done. The best example is Cuban music, being such an isolated country, they have managed to go out and present their music around the world, I even think of Rawayana’s admirers, who with everything and the madness of the country they keep their company from here and give away Your music to everyone. I believe that if something is done well it is achieved, If I do well and my music likes, there is no other option than to take this music to other places. Only time will tell.

Many artists are inhibited when it comes to playing political issues, but you dare to do it in Loto, which is a song with a rather dark and björkesco sound. The theme of the country generates many feelings at the same time. Was it difficult to control everything you wanted to say? Why did you make the decision to sing about this and, above all, from this perspective of uncertainty with a hint of optimism?

They understood the musical reference perfectly hahaha! I think it is impossible to be Venezolan @ and not want to talk about this. I wrote this song even before thinking about recording a record, it was a download. We have experienced very ugly things, moments of much pain, much uncertainty and much frustration. Being far from the country or inside is something that affects all of us who carry the “Venezuelan” label. This song was the way in which I have been processing this whole situation so difficult that we have to live as a country, I hope that my download will help others to process their feelings on this issue and move on, at least we are together in the feeling that this causes us and in the desire to get ahead.

– In addition to a musician graduated from Berklee, you are a psychologist. When writing songs, does something from your first career in music inspire you? What do you apply from what you learned when writing and presenting yourself in public?

Totally, without psychology I would not have written these letters and I did not see the art of the way I see it now. Many people have told me that my album is “motivational” haha ​​yes, all my lyrics are very introverted, they all try to process positive or negative emotions and look around for the end to be well, whatever happens. Maybe my album is a psychoanalysis session that you can find on Spotify and YouTube.

– Fuerte is the new promotional single for this album and comes with a video clip. How was the experience of recording the video? Why did you choose this topic as a new broadcasting cut?

This theme is one of the oldest I’ve written on the album, I really like the theme of this song, talk about following your intuition, being yourself and being genuinely happy. I would not be giving this interview if I had not dared to follow my intuition and do what I like, perhaps it is the song with which people can connect more, musically it is also the most cheerful and digestible. It is also a song with a rebellious tone, I hope it awakens things in the people who listen to it.

I made the video with the people of Paradiso Entertainment, my great friends, and I decided that this was going to be the promotional single of the album because it is the one that has more positive energy, the video is a story, has a message and is the message that as an artist I want to give people; We dare to be happy.

The video is very special because it was made with my friends who are great professionals, even the protagonist is my best childhood friend so to speak and we both know each other before I decide to be a musician and before he decided to be an actor and we have Similar stories and we dared to do what we like almost at the same time. The director of the video, Pedro Sánchez Mayorca, was the best ally, understood my idea perfectly and made it grow. I would like to work with him in the future, I feel we have similar artistic visions.

Fuerte’s video had a magical energy, people on the set did not stop singing, he felt the good vibes and I think the video manages to transmit it.

– We could hear your voice for the first time, at least officially, in your duet with The Other Pole. What other artists would you like to collaborate with? (both Venezuelan and outside)

What a good question! At the national level I would love to collaborate with La Vida Boheme, I love this project since it was born, I love what they show, without fear, a very interesting facet of being an artist, they like to experiment with sound, I admire them a lot since long time.

On the other hand, I would also like to work with Rawayana, almost everyone is known and friends and I have seen them grow since they started and they are a case of maximum admiration for me. I love this Latin / RnB facet that they have lately, their musical maturity shows leagues, I’m curious where they can go now.

I would also love to work with ARCA, the Venezuelan producer and singer, has a very interesting career and is undoubtedly one of the best sound designers on the planet, has worked with Kanye West and Björk, to name a few artists. Getting into a studio with him and seeing how he thinks about music would be one of the most interesting things in the world.

Internationally then I would love to collaborate with Jorge Drexler, Natalia Lafourcade, Juan Luis Guerra, Juan Pablo Vega, Stereo Bomb, resurrect Cerati and Bob Marley and write songs with them haha! . I also love Corinne Bailey Rae, since childhood her art has greatly influenced me.

– Poetry is something that is clearly present in the music and life of Lolita de Sola. Any poet whose work really comes to you and want to recommend to everyone?

I would not have reached poetry if it weren’t for Jorge Drexler and Fito Páez. At my bedside table I always have a poems (Neruda and Borges normally) and my favorite poem is a poem by TS Elliot called “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”. I still have a lot of poetry to read, but definitely when a good poem captivates me it is similar to when a song or movie reaches your soul. Borges has a poem called “Poetic Art” for me is the summary of what art is made art, it is certainly my favorite poems too.

– Define Cattleya in just 5 words.

Introvert pop for extroverts (vice versa).