Showcasing the artist’s versatility and creative flair in unconventional ways, Nathy Peluso’s debut album ‘Calambre’ positions her as one of the most promising Latin voices in the current musical landscape.
Stream: ‘Calambre’ – Nathy Peluso
Theater, dance, fashion – all tools that can accompany the music, dress it up and approach the concept from different angles. The way I see it, whenever an artist creates a character, they are inevitably creating an aesthetic concept.
Barcelona-based, Argentine-born artist Nathy Peluso is not afraid to experiment – she wants her music to provoke. Intertwining contrasting genres and tinged with theatricality, Peluso’s debut album Calambre (released October 2, 2020 via Sony Music España) pushes artistic boundaries whilst reflecting the artist’s own personal journey in music.
From hip-hop tracks like ‘SANA SANA”, her latest single in which she passionately expresses her view on the state of the economy, to “PURO VENENO,” recorded with a full salsa band, Calambre explores Peluso’s wide range of influences.
Having grown up listening to the likes of Gloria Estefan and Caetano Veloso, as well as Argentinian rock and folk, discovering hip-hop as a teen, and listening to Missy Elliott, Christina Aguilera and Beyonce in the ’90s to mid-’00s, it is not surprising that Peluso’s album displays such an array of eclectic sounds.
Nathy Peluso is thriving in her moment.
Calambre is a stunning debut and a powerful glimpse into a multifaceted artistry in motion. “I like to fuse everything that comprises me as an artist,” Peluso says of her work’s expansive nature.
In the lead-up to her debut at the Latin GRAMMYs, for which she scored nominations for both “Best Alternative Song” and “Best New Artist”, Atwood Magazine had the pleasure to catch up with Nathy Peluso about all things album related, discussing music as well as Peluso’s journey so far.
I want people to give themselves over to the electricity of the music.
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A CONVERSATION WITH NATHY PELUSO
Atwood Magazine: First of all, congratulations on your Latin GRAMMY nominations! You have come far in the last year. What has the journey toward the release of your new album been like?
Nathy Peluso: It has been a journey of great learning and maturation as a musician and a person. I’m very thankful for every piece that has fallen into place.
Your sound has also evolved substantially from 2018's EP La Sandunguera to Calambre. How was that process?
Nathy Peluso: I imagine that it’s an organic process. One grows personally and, without a doubt, professionally. All of my growth comprises a quest that leads to Calambre as the result of several years of work and study.
The music you make is truly out there. Is it something that comes naturally as you create it, or do you set out to do that?
Nathy Peluso: I try to make sure my work is free of pretensions. I only try to do it honestly. By staying true to that, I feel like the results are genuine and that it will inevitably find its way to someone. I like to write songs from jam sessions and surprise myself.
Calambre features such an eclectic mix of styles. What were your influences and inspiration when writing the album?
Nathy Peluso: My influences have always been quite varied. I love salsa, Latin folklore, hip-hop, bolero, candombe, Brazilian music, neo-soul, good ol’ pop, tango…I feel like there’s an infinite amount of music in the universe and what I love is to offer it to my audience in my way.
Not only do you explore several genres throughout the album, you also do so within individual songs. For example, ‘Amor Salvaje’ takes us on a journey, starting with a theatrical spoken-word section, followed by an R&B rhythm that turns into reggaetón halfway through. What are you trying to accomplish by fusing different styles, and what is the process like?
Nathy Peluso: I’m not trying to accomplish anything. I’m just trying to enjoy myself and study energetically on my musical path. It’s interesting to fuse styles, it is fun to surprise oneself with a song. I always enjoy doing it.
Another song that combines contrasting sounds is ‘Agárrate,’ which goes from bolero to tango to hip-hop. How does that eclectic mix reflect the emotion of the song?
Nathy Peluso: I found it interesting to show how a woman can be broken down and end up moving forward. The music is a very clear reflection of life, and being able to create that metaphor on “Calambre” was like a dream. I also liked being able to join tango folklore, which is part of my roots, with the aggression and hardness of hip-hop. All of the styles can coexist.
The title of the album, Calambre, means both an electric shock and a muscle cramp. Why did you choose this title?
Nathy Peluso: Because I feel that this record has a strong energy that runs across you. It goes alongside a powerful vibe and I wanted to cause shocks when people listen to it. I want people to give themselves over to the electricity of the music.
My influences have always been quite varied. I love salsa, Latin folklore, hip-hop, bolero, candombe, Brazilian music, neo-soul, good ol’ pop, tango…I feel like there’s an infinite amount of music in the universe and what I love is to offer it to my audience in my way.
Your versatility is something that has characterized all of your work. It combines the theatricality with experimentation, as well as having a powerful visual element. What is your experience and how did you achieve the final result?
Nathy Peluso: I like to fuse everything that comprises me as an artist. I feel that each of the arts can contribute something very enriching to my idea. Therefore, I have decided to put it all into practice and get something out of it. Theater, dance, fashion – all tools that can accompany the music, dress it up and approach the concept from different angles. The way I see it, whenever an artist creates a character, they are inevitably creating an aesthetic concept.
On this album, you were able to work with incredible creatives and producers like Bradley & Pablo, and Ángel López. Who is the person you would most like to collaborate with in the future?
Nathy Peluso: Stevie Wonder.
The ‘SANA SANA’ video is a great work. Its energy and emotional participation transcend the screen. What was the creative process like, from the initial idea to the finished work?
Nathy Peluso: The process began when the lyrics started to come, and the song’s theme played out in my imagination. I decided to focus on the nursery rhyme of ‘sana sana colita de rana si no sana hoy sanará mañana,’ and give the same message of comfort to my audience, using that metaphor, in relation to what is ours and what belongs to us, what we don’t want anyone to extract from us.
In the video, I’m working on the mystery of the box among the persecution and fear, and finally discovering the frog inside. These are scenes that propelled the plot, which we took great care to film so it would be inspiring and cinematic. Aesthetically and choreographically, it is very concrete and I hope that it speaks for itself.
Tengo fuerza pa partir el coco
Tráeme la navaja filosa
Argenta como la negra Sosa
Tú sabes que soy la peligrosa
Yo sé cómo hablarle a mi bitch
Yo sé cómo cortar mi hachis
Si te muestro, viene la police
Si me agacho sientes tú mi clítoris
Mira que elegante visto Prada con bolero
Echa gasolina para que se prenda el cuero
Para tú mentirme, estúdiatela primero
Agárrame acá, vení a prender, bicho culero
Y si el FMI me la toca
Si quieres Gabbana, cómete mi sopa
Hip on a, hip on a, hip hip hoppa
Hip on a, hip on a, hip hip hoppa
One last question. What is next from Nathy Peluso? Will you explore a completely different sound on the next part of your work?
Nathy Peluso: My sound will remain genuine, as it comes from inside of me. I imagine that I will grow and keep experimenting, as that’s my passion, studying music down to its depths. Surprising myself and surprising my audience. I hope that my most immediate plans include getting the enjoyment of repping “Calambre” live.
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