Hailing from Xalapa-Enríquez, Mexico, 24-year-old artist and multi-instrumentalist Silvana Estrada delivers the title track from her anticipated forthcoming album project, Marchita. Released on July 30 via Glassnote Records, the single is accompanied by a moving music video.
Much of the music that influenced Estrada growing up in Mexico was not Spanish. Raised in a family surrounded by folklore and classical music, Estrada studied Jazz at the Universidad Veracruzana. Later, she continued her studies in New York, and her musical repertoire is an impenetrable fusion of the language of jazz with the Latin American imaginary.
While attending a seminar for jazz students in Guadalajara, Silvana met guitarist Charlie Hunter, known for his collaborations with artists such as Frank Ocean, D’Angelo, John Mayer, and Norah Jones. After hearing her songs, he suggested they record an album. They turned her parent’s guest house into a make-shift studio and made Lo Sagrado, a collaborative album that included her first recorded compositions. A trip to New York followed, during which she plunged into the city’s music scene, playing with drummer Antonio Sánchez, Snarky Puppy’s Michael League, and other vanguard jazz musicians.
“These traditions are about keeping the same form. But jazz is on the other side,” Estrada tells American Songwriter. “My first contact with freedom was with playing jazz. When I went to my first jam, I felt a sense of freedom that I couldn’t stop. I wanted this feeling for the rest of my life. Now, I have this tool to find my voice. Everything is easier through the soul and passion of jazz. A mix of these two worlds is who I am.”
As the first Latin artist to sign to the enduring indie label that helped launch artists such as Childish Gambino and Mumford & Sons, Estrada eagerly readies her label debut for a global audience.
“Marchita” is a thematic centerpiece of the intimate project. In purveying her native traditions, it was important for the artist to recreate the sensation of “the Mexican drama.”
“In some countries, you dance when you party; In Mexico, we drink and cry, and sing all together with the mariachi band,” Silvana says over a Zoom call. She’s on the road in Spain, touring new European venues ahead of the album release. “I tried to convey the drama with a little bit of humor. The instrumentation, with all those strings, is so dramatic. But also really simple. I wanted to keep it really raw in the mixing process.”
As one of the most recent tracks penned for the project, “Marchita” is a more outward-facing, broad view of the sentiments expressed throughout the solemn, introspective album. As a single, the song plays a critical role in creating a feeling of intimacy. To create the devastating video, Estrada teamed up with director Edwin Erazo to formulate a poignant metaphor for the song, which began as a poem.
“For me, I wanted to show the connection between heartbreak and the innocence of believing in love. It was important to connect the sensation of innocence, and childhood— the way we make ourselves through life, and in that process, we can hurt other people,” says Estrada. “It was important for me to have a very poetic way of visualizing the parallelism between myself and this person, but not otherness like a villain or bad guy.”
This poetic parallelism is best exhibited in the festive scenes of a child hitting a piñata at a party juxtaposed with an agonized woman.
Much of the music that influenced Estrada growing up in Mexico was not Spanish. She only learned English within the past few years. Now, an artist in her own right, she feels the element that allows music to transcend language is honesty.
“It’s not easy to find your own truth. But it’s honesty, in your own search of truth that connects you with others,” says Estrada. “What connects beyond language and cultures, is that moment you put yourself in a vulnerable position. When you honor that vulnerability and turn it into a sacred moment and space and you let other people enter that sacred space, that’s a miracle. For me, that’s magic and that’s music.”
Watch Silvana Estrada’s music video for her new single, “Marchita,” here.
ILVANA ESTRADA ON TOUR WITH RODRIGO Y GABRIELA
September 28 – San Antonio, TX – Tobin Center for Performing Arts
October 1 – Atlanta, GA – Buckhead Theater
October 2 – Charleston, SC – Charleston Music Hall
October 3 – Wilmington, NC – Greenfield Lake Amphitheatre
October 5 – Charlotte, NC – The Fillmore Charlotte
October 6 – Washington, DC – Anthem
October 8 – Hershey, PA – Harrisburg University at Hershey Theatre
October 9 – Boston, MA – Orpheum Theatre
October 10 – New York, NY – Pier 17
October 11 – Munhall, PA – Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall
October 14 – Chicago, IL – Chicago Theater
October 16 – Minneapolis, MN – Fillmore