Don’t miss the powerful presence of this Colombian-born, Toronto-based singer-songwriter.
Lido Pimienta’s music defies categorization; it’s a swirl of electro beats, Afro-Colombian rhythms, dramatic vocals and politics. A truly independent artist, she recently released her second album La Papessa and is already working on crowdfunding her third. La Papessa refers to the High Priestess, a figure that appears in a traditional deck of tarot cards.
We caught up with Lido Pimienta ahead of her First Thursday performance this week (on February 2) to learn more about the music she’s making in honour of this month’s theme, Shapeshifters. What did we learn? This is not one to be missed.
Lido: We are staging a traditional procession. Most performers in this show were born and raised in countries where the virgin is idolized, respected and trusted to watch over our livelihood. I am really into cross-referencing culture, so for this procession, I am embodying a character that can be described as “the High Priestess meets Virgin Mary meets a young bride meets Marie Antoinette meets Quinceañera” [a girl celebrating her 15th birthday in Mexican culture]. The ritual behind this procession is meant to awaken raw emotion and elevation of all things feminine.
AGO: How personal are your songs? Do you draw from experience or your imagination?
Lido: My songs are responses to my own experiences, but also to experiences of other women who are fighting for their voices to never be taken for granted. My imagination helps me with nuance in my lyrics, but my music is as real as water.
AGO: What is your creative process? Can you tell us about how you wrote one of the songs on La Papessa?
Lido: Each song is its own narrative. It is a story that happened, and is still happening. The process is simple: a melody comes to me as I walk to school with my child and I add other elements as it takes shape. There is no formula, there is no specific process. It happens with love. I should stop describing it – I have already said too much!
Are you an AGOinsider yet? If not, sign up to have stories like these delivered straight to your inbox every week.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.