credit: Alejandra Barragán
Since moving to Los Angeles from her native Guatemala, singer-songwriter-producer Gaby Moreno has released six albums, earned a GRAMMY nomination for her album Illusion (Best Latin Pop Album, 2017), received multiple Latin GRAMMY nominations and won a Latin GRAMMY for “Best New Artist” in 2013.
Furthermore, her moving version of the classic song “Cucurrucucú Paloma” was chosen to play at the end of the emotional episode “God Bless America” for the last season of Netflix’ original show, “Orange Is The New Black.” Over her career, Moreno has shared the international stage with pop music luminaries such as Bono, Andrea Boccelli, Tracy Chapman, Ani DiFranco, Punch Brothers, Hugh Laurie, Buena Vista Social Club, Calexico, David Gray and many more.
With seventh full-length album, Alegoría she wanted to move into a new sonic landscape — “one that was more guitar-driven, leaning sometimes towards folk-rock and sometimes experimental”
“There’s a bit of nostalgia and melancholy in this record which are themes that usually always go back to when I make a new record. But in this body of work specifically each song sets its own mood: there’s a rock one, a lament, a lullaby.”
However, the main element here is the return of the guitar to centerstage!
“It was something I had been wanting to do for so long and I’m extremely inspired by the rich rhythmic culture that Latin America has so the mixture of those two things is what makes this record unique for me!”
“When I moved to LA in 2000 – Gaby continues – I started performing old blues and jazz at this little club for a while and I remember one time a friend of mine who came to see me said to me ‘why don’t you start covering some songs YOU grew up listening to?’ That kind of started a fire inside of me and rekindled my love for latin music and my roots. I decided to sing ‘Quizas quizas quizas’ and the response was so overwhelming to make me realize that my heritage is what makes my artistry special. That’s when I started writing in Spanish!”
Since such a powerful epiphany Gaby got on a glorious trajectory which led her to winning a Grammy for best new artist as well as touring with Tracy Chapman and scoring the prestigious John Lennon Songwriting award with a song in Spanish which had never happened in the history of the contest!
“The music scene in Latin America, specifically Mexico, is just thriving! Having toured in those countries for quite a bit now, I have noticed a deep love for live music and arts which is unparalleled!”
“What’s surprising is the wide array of styles and genres you can find in these places, too! Seeing such a deep appreciation for music made me think about the fact that perhaps the only genre that’s lacking a little bit is Americana.
Think about it! There aren’t that many Latin Americana artists at all! So since I started to get into it I thought I could bring an element of novelty onto the Latin market by making Americana music in Spanish. Wouldn’t that be amazing? I certainly think so! Let’s see how it goes!”
We certainly agree and are buzzing for that to happen but while Gaby prepares her Americana debut, go check out her latest album Alegoría. You won’t regret it!