Linda Clyde | Jan 24, 2018

RootsTech Taps into Latin Roots with Natalia Lafourcade

Natalia Lafourcade is a popular Mexican singer and songwriter, but her ethereal voice appeals to fans far beyond her homeland. Her music is enjoyed in Spanish-speaking countries throughout Central and South America, such as Peru, Chile, Guatemala, Venezuela, and Argentina, but it’s anything but confined to those countries. She has fans as far as Japan, Denmark, Canada, and, of course, the United States. Her audiences in all corners of the globe appreciate the simplicity and beauty of her artistic melodies that, though upbeat and catchy, can’t quite be confined to the genre classification of pop.

Lafourcade grew up in a musical household. Both of her parents were musicians. Her father, Gaston Lafourcade, served as professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico and was the founder of the Association of Organists and Harpsichordists of Chile. Her mother, Maria del Carmen Silva Contreras, also a music educator, created the Macarsi Method of Musical Education. Lafourcade’s parents were the first influencers of her early musical education, but she has since had many teachers who have inspired her unique, multiple Grammy–winning sound.

From the time she was very young, Lafourcade knew she wanted to sing. During her adolescent years, she experimented with a variety of arts such as dance and theater before giving her heart to music. After joining a pop group named Twist at age 14, Lafourcade decided to formally study music. She gained a musical foundation in guitar, piano, and voice in Mexico City before continuing her studies in Boston. At age 16 she began to write songs, and at age 17 she signed with Sony Music.

It took time for Natalia to get used to the music industry. After occasional struggles connecting to songs written by others, she began focusing on her own lyrics and giving special attention to the way they were written. One of her favorite things about music is the power it has to connect with people’s hearts and, her most recent discovery, to connect people with their own roots.

Her inspiration for her seventh and most recent album, Musas, began to formulate while she was on vacation in Brazil and found herself feeling nostalgic about her home in Mexico. The instrumental and Latin folklore–driven record was produced in collaboration with Los Macorinos, legendary 70-year-old Mexican guitarists Miguel Piña and Juan Carlos Allende. Lafourcade knew these men could help her create the sounds that were moving through her and inviting her back to her roots.

In addition to Los Macorinos, Lafourcade was thrilled to record a special duet, “Tu me acostumbraste,” with her 86-year-old mentor, Cuban singer Omara Portuondo.

Working with older musicians wasn’t what she initially expected. It required her to abandon the fast pace she was used to, become introspective, and pay closer attention to the meaning of the songs. Soon she found herself forming deeper connections with the music and appreciating her roots in wonderful new ways.

Don’t miss the special opportunity to hear Natalia Lafourcade share her story and perform her inspiring music at RootsTech 2018.

Linda Clyde

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