TIDAL Rising: Luz Pinos
Ecuadorian singer-songwriter Luz Pinos likes to make her listeners feel something when they play her music. She likes to tell her stories through her songwriting in hopes to establish a strong connection between the tracks and her fans, a connection similar to what she felt as a kid when she listened to the greats like Julio Jaramillo. Recently she sat down with TIDAL to share how she has evolved into the person she is today, stories from her childhood, and her debut album Mariposa Azul.
Get to know Luz Pinos a bit better and listen to her favorite songs of the moment in this playlist specially curated by the artist herself.
Tell us about Luz Pinos.
Well, who am I? That is a pretty strong question as I am still looking for these answers. What I can say is that I am a very sensible, transparent person. I love music and enjoy composing and connecting with people. Since I was a little girl I would listen to music and feel these strong feelings, I could always connect with the artist. My style is simple. I want it to be sincere. I don’t mind when my hair gets in my face. For my debut album cover I wanted the image to embody what I am in the inside. I remember showing the photo I chose for the cover to my mom and she said, “fix this little part of your hair here with Photoshop,” and I told her, “I like my hair on my face, I want it to feel real.”
Tell us more about your childhood.
I remember a lot of happiness. In my family we are 15 grandchildren and we are very close. We would run around the beach in nothing but our underwear when we were toddlers, my mom was kind of a hippie. We lived in a small village near the mountains called Cochancay. Everyone knew everyone in that village and we’d walk from house to house. I remember that one of the things we loved to do as kids was to play by the river, checking under rocks for tadpoles. It was a beautiful time because we were surrounded by nature and that was our way of having fun. We had a strong connection to nature. When we moved to the city, it was a good change but it was different. Being able to live my childhood in that way, it was magical.
You moved to New York at 18, tell us about that big change in your life.
Moving to Guayaquil from our little village was sort of like a shock, but it was a smooth transition for the most part. Now moving to New York was as if the world had changed. Because in Ecuador we didn’t really have the subway system the way it is here. It was also so different not having my family with me. If I ran out of food at home, if I needed clean clothes, it was all on me. To me all the different cultures in the same city are incredible. I would’ve never imagined it but I really love Korean food. This has all been very good for me because it has allowed me to grow as a person. Seven years after moving here I am still doing the same things, making music and now with my debut album I think I’ve been able to accomplish a lot of things. I do wish I could just go to Ecuador and see my family over the weekends. I miss being able to knock on a family members door and just showing up and being able to have a cup of coffee with them. To have a team to work with like I do now, I am really grateful and happy for that.
Your grandfather was very influential in your life, personally and for your music career. Tell us more about that.
I was very close to my grandfather, very close. He would always hold me by the hand and his hand compared to mine was huge. He was very loving and showed me all about music. Music for me has a special meaning because I feel connected to these beautiful memories I have of my grandfather.
When and how did you start singing and writing music?
Everyone would always be singing at home. My mom always had music playing in the house. To me it was very normal to just be singing at all times. When I was around 10 years old my grandfather would play pasillos, and he wanted me to sing pasillos. It’s a genre that has influenced my career and my music.
Tell us about some of the music in your latest album Mariposa Azul.
The song “Mariposa Azul” was a song I wrote around the time my grandfather passed away. Writing and composing was my way of coping with the loss. “Mozo” is a fun track, because life can be like that too. It’s a very sincere album. I was looking to be able to give the listener a pure connection to the music. I feel like the overall genre of this album if I had to choose would be South American pop. This genre I describe comes from listening to artists like Juan Luis Guerra and Carlos Vives, this is my fusion of what I grew up listening to.
Tell us more about the artists you admire and grew up listening to.
I admire Juan Quintero who is an Argentinian artist. Mercedes Sosa is one of the coolest songwriters; I am always listening to her music. I love Julio Jaramillo, as a composer and as an Ecuadorian artist. He has such a sweet voice and at the same time a strong personality. Ruben Blades, I love him! He is an incredible artist and a person who is very curious. There are so many artists that I admire, but I think the ones at the top of my list are Juan Luis Guerra, Carlos Vives, and Argentine singer, Mercedes Sosa.
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