Who is Natalia Lafourcade?
Artworks respond to a sum of experiences that inspired their creation. An artist endows them with his/her perceptions and reflections – consciously or unconsciously– through ideas that become alive. Hu Hu Hu is the result of the author's escape and the finding of her own self. Sometimes, it ́s good to forget who we are so we can discover ourselves again as if it were for the first time.
Natalia Lafourcade was exposed to music from the day she was born. Her father is a harpsichord player and her mother a classical music enthusiast who created a method for early music education, which she began to put in practice on her little daughter. After leaving in Jalapa, Veracrúz, her mother later founded a music school in Mexico City when Natalia was just nine years old. Being surrounded with music since her early childhood naturally drove her into it and eventually led her to compose her first songs.
Once in Mexico City she spent her free time in her mother ́s school, playing with the equipment, making songs, radio shows and a variety of home-made recordings using a Yamaha keyboard plugged to a double cassette stereo; applying the method herself.
When Natalia was ten years old, she developed a peculiar passion for mariachis and typical Mexican music... but music moves in mysterious ways, and maybe her use of brass or strings and the colors of her harmonies still draw from those first loves. At the age of 14 years old she became part of a pop girl-band that lasted three years, after all this work she realized that it was not what she wanted and decided to study music properly in a school called Fermatta. At first she began as a guitar player, then as a piano player and finally she switched to become a singer. Although she had already been singing for a long time, by then she got gigs performing hits of the 90s in weddings and pubs.
Everything changed for her after Fermatta, there she made friends who would show her tons of songs and artists she didn ́t know before like Björk, Jamiroquai, Fiona Apple, Tori Amos, The Cardigans, Ella Fitzgerald, Radiohead & PJ Harvey, amongst others. This new music infected her composing, she would never be the same girl and musician again. A few months later she won a scholarship and went all the way to Berklee in Boston for a five week program of musical training; but she didn ́t speak English then, so she missed most of her classes and used the free pianos to practice, there she wrote about 25 songs and she later recorded a bunch of them in Mexico City with the help of a friend.
Three years later Sony Music offered her an opportunity to join a pop band (again), but she rejected it; she had become intent on making and singing her own music. However, getting to know the people in the record company (even to rebuke their offer) wasn't a bad idea, as it got her the chance to show them some demos. And, long story short, that ́s how she singed her first contract with Sony. Her eponymous first solo CD, Natalia Lafourcade, was thus published in 2002. The first single off it was "Busca un Problema" ("looking for trouble"). After the great success of this first record, and the experiences garnered by touring it, she had way too much to digest and think about, and she finally decided her next step would be to make her musicians a full part of her act, and to leave the limelight of the soloist position (partly) behind to form a band with them; calling themselves Natalia & The Fouquetina. This way the pleasure, as well as the pressure, would be rightfully shared.
The second record in Natalia ́s career and the first one with La Forquetina would be Casa (House), released by Sony in 2005. They toured, rehearsed, lived and surfed the waves of promotion and media exposure as a band; and after a while, they came to realize each member wanted different things for the future, and that the best for all of them was to separate.
At this point, Natalia had been working for five years straight; she made songs for films, for tributes, her own music and a whole lot of concerts all around the world. She was exhausted. She needed to find a place that could provide her some peace and freedom, somewhere she could take a break.
In 2006 she left to Canada where she planned to rest, study English and draw. Fortunately, things didn ́t happen exactly the way she expected; she stayed in a house full of musicians; lovers of folk, blues, french music and worldly fusions. She was not used to these new styles. It was all fresh and exciting to her, and once again, all these experiences and new horizons became an important influence to her through her most natural from of expression. And, so, before she knew it, she was already composing again.
One afternoon in a park, in Autumn, she got inspired by the falling of the leaves around her, to make an instrumental record about the faces of love. She wondered if it could be like a soundtrack to what we feel when immersed in the whole cycle of love. She jumped straight to it. The result was Las cuatro estaciones del amor (The Four Seasons of Love). Through this record she woke up to a new Natalia, she began to work very hard to be ready to record it with an orchestra when she returned to Mexico, in 2006. She would record it in the city of Jalapa, where she lived until she was nine years old.
While working in Las Cuatro Estaciones del Amor in Canada, she was so inpired she composed other 13 songs that would later became her fourth record Hu Hu Hu. Sony asked her to release Hu Hu Hu before, so she recorded it in Cuernavaca with Eduardo Bergallo (who has worked as an engineer with Soda Stereo, Cerati, and Juana Molina from Argentina) in a very organic and spontaneous manner.
Hu Hu Hu is about the journey of a little girl that goes through Natalia ́s experiences translated into fantasies and curious characters.
This piece or art is the discovery of her self, the recovery of personal losses, and the satisfaction of someone who never stops looking. That is what art is about, creating worlds with our own rules, where sense its like a subtle whisper... Hu Hu Hu.
During the Bicentennial Independence of Mexico celebrations, she was one of the few guests of honour to perform at the stage of the Angel, column on the main avenue in Mexico City, along with Alondra de la Parra, Ely Guerra and LoBlondo, delivering an outstanding performance.
On that same year, she was invited to perform with the Big Band Jazz Mexico, fulfilling one of her long time dreams. After this experience she decided to form a Jazz foursome and had a number of very successful shows in one of the most recognized venues in Mexico City. Also, this year she was invited to perform a secondary role on the movie "El cielo en tu mirada" ("Heaven in your eyes").
By now she is working on her new album.