By: Yanis Florián, special envoy
Colombian-Canadian singer Lido Pimienta stands out in the artistic world for her indigenous songs, Afro-Colombian beats and Latino warrior spirit.
The artist is one of the special guests of the Cartagena International Film Festival, FICCI, in its section of the Colombian Audiovisual Industry Convention, NIDO, the space designed to unite music and the audiovisual industry with the participation of great artists.
From the walled city, EL NUEVO SIGLO spoke with the artist, who in 2017 was awarded the Polaris Prize, one of the most important awards in the Canadian music industry.
EL NUEVO SIGLO: How did you connect music with your indigenous roots?
LIDO PEPPER: It is a natural act in me, it is not a decoration or a predetermined decision, it is simply what I am and, in addition, it is a reverence that I give to the Caribbean culture, because for me it is the most beautiful thing there is and fortunately it is my culture So it’s something that happens naturally.
ENS: Living in a faraway country like Canada, what memories come back to you from your childhood?
LP: Riding on the mango sticks to sing, which is one of those things I can’t do in Canada, but I always come to Colombia because I don’t forget my roots. People don’t realize when I visit my country because I don’t announce it but I always come to my land and I do it more and more consciously.
ENS: How difficult has the musical journey been for an artist like you?
LP: A lot and not only in music but in everything. Also, because I don’t make popular or commercial music and that makes it more difficult because it requires a lot of work, putting on a song that you know won’t be on the radio, investing so much in the project is a daunting task, but at the same time It is gratifying because I have the conviction to do what I want, to do the things that I consider pertinent, very faithful to me. I always think about looking back when I’m old and seeing my works, not having to regret anything and that’s why on this path I also demand myself to be able to achieve the things I set out to do.
ENS: You have said that Colombians prefer to consume content from abroad, how can that change?
LP: It seems to me that this is sown with early education. The rapprochement with culture is very important and in the same way I believe that the media have a very strong responsibility for what they show on television screens, because Colombians consume a lot of television and I feel that it is a combination of education, classrooms and what is presented on the big screens. It is very important that more diversity be shown, that Colombia be shown as it is and not as a utopia of Spanish descent where the Indians and blacks exist only as servitude, so this is very important for evolution, for progress culture, that diversity is action and not just a word.
ELN: Is your voice a call to look a little more at Afro-Colombian roots?
LP: I think people interpret it as they see fit. Writing a song for me is a necessity, for example, if I write a song about giving birth, that is something very basic in my life, my daily life and when people listen to it, they give it that other meaning, but I find it gratifying when they see you. as a reference to delve into music and our indigenous cultures.
ENS: Is this how Mis Colombia was born in 2020, a song that came out of your everyday life but also contains a high degree of irony?
LP: Miss Colombia is something that I have been writing all my life, it was the culmination of a lot of feeling, of a lot of disagreement. This song is like a cynical love letter to this country.
ENS: How do you describe that cynical love for Colombia?
LP: It’s cynical because sometimes we have to love the most toxic people, it can be even your own mother. It seems to me that sometimes it is necessary to disconnect, adjust or adapt to an uncomfortable situation, I feel that in Colombia we have to live that type of situation, it is not a choice, it is a necessity, so therein lies the cynicism of my songs.
ENS: Do you consider yourself spicy like your last name?
LP: Definitely. My full name is Lido María Pimienta Paz, so I am just like pepper but I am also peace. I am very direct and that is what defines me.
ENS: What projects are you currently working on?
LP: I’m going to release new songs, new videos. I am working on a script to release a film that accompanies my next release, I am writing it and by 2024 we will be able to show it publicly.
ENS: Where did this musical passion come from, what are the roots?
LP: From my indigenous family, for all those cultures and musical expressions, especially in La Guajira, in the province where I grew up called Villanueva, a very musical region. It’s something I’ve been doing since I was a child, at that time I was very introverted, I sang alone in my room and I developed my voice in my solitude, because I had almost no friends, I was a girl that people described as ‘strange’, then music became that escape until I found people who had a voice similar to mine and little by little I was forming my tribe and I was forging myself as the artist that I am now.
ENS: How has Canadian culture influenced your musical career?
LP: Canada has a very solitary culture, there everyone manages in their solitude. There is an expression that is used a lot in that country and it is ‘keep calm and continue as if nothing had happened’ so it is a society that does not really look to the sides, they have an individualistic upbringing, but I combine it with the other part of me that is quite the opposite, that it is all in community, in sharing, so I think that I have learned and applied that from Canada in my life, not to put so much drama in life, to see things a little more simply and do the job well .
The singer released her debut album, “Color”in 2010.
Later, he released “La Papessa” in 2016 with which he won the 2017 Polaris Awards, one of the most important awards in the Canadian music industry.
In 2020 she released “Miss Colombia”.
His music incorporates a wide variety of elements, influencing indigenous and Afro-Colombian musical styles such as cumbia and bullerengue, as well as synthpop and electronic music.