Head to BeLatina’s IG at 11am EST today (July 17)
for a live Q&A with CAMÍNA to chat about the new single + immigration in the U.S.
Photo credit: Rambo Elliott
Dallas-based artist, CAMÍNA, shares her first single, “Cinnamon,” today and announces her debut album, Te Quiero Mucho, due out October 2, 2020. “Cinnamon” is a marimba-infused trip-hop beat that introduces the album’s Latin musical influences. A particularly prescient song given recent events, “Cinnamon” was initially inspired by the ongoing treatment of asylum seekers at the US-Mexico border. Sung through a distorted megaphone, CAMINA’s haunting vocals blend together lyrical elements of African-American spirituals (“Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen”), the rallying cry of grassroots activism (“Si se puede” or “Yes we can”), and feelings of helplessness for the future (“We will rise above, but the damage is done”).
Describing the aim of the track, CAMÍNA says, “It is my hope as an artist to communicate through my individual experience a thoughtful critique to our political, economic, and social systems, and to encourage people to learn, engage, and make steps towards the systemic change necessary for social progress.”
The accompanying music video was shot and directed by Daniel N. Johnson, who has created videos for Black Lives Matter and the Bernie Sanders campaign, among many other artistic projects, and his recent videos have been watched and shared by millions of people. The “Cinnamon” video depicts closeup shots of CAMÍNA’s lips, hands and eyes and the quick cuts and desolate backdrop emphasizes the trippy nature of track. Johnson explains his inspiration, saying:
“I wanted to put the aesthetic and conceptual themes of Ingmar Bergman’s classic film Persona and the sentience-gaining robots of the show Westworld into a blender, stir in a slightly off-kilter editing style that matches the haunting lo-fi, glitchy repetitiveness of the song, and pour out something that felt unique and representative of Camina and her message. I had envisioned a doll-like version of her as the filtered or edited version of our expressed selves – projecting an air of innocence and perfection – who slowly gains awareness of her body and the world in which she inhabits. It was important to connect her Mexican heritage and intention behind the lyrics with the archival imagery of field-laborers, protests, and police brutality, and create a film that is simultaneously beautiful and discomforting, like a daylight horror film that continues to make you think long after you’ve seen it.”
Constantly playing with a relationship of identity and duality, CAMÍNA creates a musical universe filled with divine feminine emotion, cultural wisdom and insightful imagination. CAMÍNA draws on various genres including electronic music, trip hop, lo-fi R&B and avant-garde. Saldivar grew up singing in the church choir, where her musical mentor was Kevin Jonas Sr, father of the future Jonas Brothers. A classically trained opera singer, she previously toured with Broken Social Scene and The Polyphonic Spree.
Inspired by her Spanish heritage, eclectic upbringing, and recent travels, including an ongoing sabbatical in the New Mexico mountains, CAMÍNA is the culmination of Dallas-based musician Ariel Saldivar’s life. “Camina,” means “walk,” and her debut album, Te Quiero Mucho, dreamily wanders through personal narratives about love and loss, ruminations on current events, and finding strength in the face of adversity.
“This record is about resilience and honoring my heritage and those that have come before us,” says Saldivar.
Te Quiero Mucho features deep base infused with hazy, crackling instrumentals, layered with Saldivar’s soulful vocals. A chameleonic desert chanteuse with a sharp tongue and a soft heart, CAMÍNA shifts between frustrated longing (“Cinnamon”), playfully quirky (“Burn For Eternity’), and heartfelt desire (“Forever and Always”). One could imagine her singing in a dusty roadside chapel, strains of organ music wafting through the air, a radio tuned to a Spanish station lazily buzzing in the background.
Dallas-based producer Black Taffy has known Saldivar since high school, and specializes in pairing ambient music with large bass and percussion. “Our goal was to make a dramatic record in English and Spanish by combining hip hop, trap, and ambient music with indigenous music from South America and Mexico,” he explains. “Every song started out being sampled from a dusty record or forgotten cassette tape.”
Te Quiero Mucho was recorded at John Congleton’s studio, Elmwood Recording. in Dallas, TX. It was produced by Black Taffy and engineered by Alex Bhore. Mastering was done by Greg Calbi of Sterling Sound, an industry veteran who has worked with iconic acts such as David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen, and Patti Smith, along with contemporary performers like The National, Tame Impala, St. Vincent and Angel Olsen.
Photographer Rambo Elliott has provided the photography that accompanies the album. She shoots exclusively for Leon Bridges and John Baptiste, CAMÍNA is the first female musician she’s ever photographed. With a background in art, working with Goss Michael Foundation and ArtPrize Dallas, CAMÍNA knows the art world firsthand. She “carefully curated (VIBE)” at Twyla as the VP of Artist Relations, and worked on Pharrell’s i am OTHER campaign, which featured Tony Peralta’s Latina Icons.
CAMÍNA is an artist curator turned artist who has brought utilitarian theory to life and exhaled harmonious duality as a result. She says, “CAMÍNA draws upon her experiences within the contemporary art world to craft sounds that are subtly complex. She infuses different musical influences with ruminations on magic, landscape, and powerful femininity, drawing the listener into a world that is familiar, yet doesn’t exist.”
Photo credit: Rambo E
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