Ana Bul­ness has been rack­ing up per­form­ances with­in Lon­don for the last three years, cre­at­ing a buzz around the Latino scene. The latest per­form­ance was at Tames­is Dock in Vaux­haull, with Joze­ForNow fea­tured through the first Lat­ino­Heat edi­tion with Chapters Pod­cast. I got to listen to her pod­cast on the Social Engin­eer Show. It is obvi­ous she has pas­sion with her music to change the nar­rat­ive in some respects, and has a tal­ent to sing very well. Yet the chal­lenges she is facing is noth­ing unique to per­form­ing artists in a world sat­ur­ated with abund­ant con­tent avail­able on demand.

Her latest EP, Aleatorio, has a com­mer­cial and pop feel, one that seems to lose touch in many respects with the vibrancy of socially chal­len­ging ideas she talks about. How­ever, Ana is an emer­ging tal­ent who has thus far adap­ted ideas and man­aged to styl­ise them into her own vis­ion. I would like to see how she crafts her response to the chal­lenges faced in the times today- the socio-eco­nom­ic cli­mate and the cost of liv­ing- and how this empowers her voice to uplift fem­in­ist think­ing into genre’s already inund­ated with sexu­al­ised and male-con­trolled power at the fore­front. Does her music speak to the issues we are facing today? Will her live per­form­ances bring dynam­ism yet to be felt with­in the UK-Latino circles? Def­in­itely an artist who shows prom­ise, and I am look­ing for­ward to see what she does next!

Apart from the fact you are poten­tially the first female pro­du­cer from Hon­dur­as, what makes your music­al vis­ion dif­fer­ent?

Everything! My music is multi-genre. It’s not very com­mon for Lat­in artists to make mul­tiple genres. In fact, it’s not well accep­ted because my cul­ture is very rigid and set in its own ways.

My vis­ion is to expose the Lat­in audi­ence to as many genres as pos­sible. I am bring­ing House, EDM, Amapi­ano, Hip Hop and many oth­er music­al styles that are not known in the Lat­in Amer­ic­an music industry.

I am also strong on enhan­cing our nation­al genres like Punta and Raspe. Punta has been around for cen­tur­ies but due to the lack of oppor­tun­it­ies with­in music back home, that genre might become extinct. This is the reas­on why I’m so com­mit­ted on being proud of my cul­ture and roots, I have a respons­ib­il­ity to carry on this music and its cul­ture.

You have spoken in the past about mak­ing a dif­fer­ence to oth­er female artists from the Latino com­munity- how does this hap­pen in your cur­rent music and how do you intend to make this hap­pen?

I think that we auto­mat­ic­ally become that ste­reo­type of being a sex sym­bol, being hot and hav­ing a heavy body count. With music the industry still expects for us to talk about those things and to expose ourselves in a sexy tone.

Cur­rently, I don’t know any single top ten Lat­in artist who doesn’t talk about those things. I think I’m the first one who is cur­rently refus­ing to be placed in that path with­in the industry. The goal will always be to chal­lenge soci­ety with whatever I do. I want people to ques­tion my music so they can learn. We are more than sexy lips and big hips. We can bring warmth to the table, love, empower­ment, and we can also expose what we really go through as Lat­i­nas.

I am chan­ging the cur­rent cli­mate by mak­ing the music that you hear in the top charts but with a pos­it­ive mes­sage. I am edu­cat­ing soci­ety and let­ting every­one know that we need that level of respect and that we don’t always want to be ste­reo­typed because we are more than that.

In what way has your music been innov­at­ive in the world of reg­gaetón, and why are you try­ing to fix a genre, for what it is, that isn’t broken?

I don’t fol­low rules ever. I am not fol­low­ing the guidelines of what the typ­ic­al reg­gaeton is, in terms of son­ic sig­na­tures and con­cep­tu­al lyr­ics. The genre of reg­gaeton is heav­ily influ­enced on sex­ism, party­ing, sexu­al con­duct and women being util­ised as a sex sym­bol.

My lyr­ics in reg­gaeton are about empower­ment, vul­ner­ab­il­ity, real story lines and fun con­cepts that talk about dreams and friend­ships. I add a lot of real­ness to reg­gaeton espe­cially regard­ing women, how we can act and behave a cer­tain way that doesn’t neces­sar­ily involve sex.

I’m not fix­ing the genre I’m just devel­op­ing who I am and my audi­ence in it.

You’re first two EPs, Aleatorio and Closet have com­pletely dif­fer­ent ideas and sound­scapes. What is your actu­al tar­get audi­ence and why are you aim­ing for this group of people?

My tar­get audi­ence is every­one. Music is uni­ver­sal and whatever you trans­mit through your music and lyr­ics can have a great impact. How­ever, most par­ents and grand­par­ents will not engage with some of the music that is out there because they feel like it is very expli­cit.

When I thought about my audi­ence, I just thought I want a 5‑year-old, an 80-year-old and a 30-year-old to all hear my music without no prob­lems. This is why I keep my music pos­it­ive and clean. I want any­one to be able to listen to my stuff without feel­ing uncom­fort­able or restric­ted.

Closet was my first big pro­ject. I explored a lot of the sounds in a way, and it was more con­cep­tu­al. I star­ted with the con­cepts of every song first. In con­trast, Aleatorio was much sounder driv­en. It was very clear to me that I wanted to make more upbeat- com­mer­cial music. Dur­ing that time, I felt like my audi­ence wanted more of the upbeat sounds, so I focused more in the Afro Lat­in, Reg­gaeton vibes. The inten­tion of Aleatorio was to have more fun with sound­scape rather than focus­ing on the lyr­ics.

What has been the response of the crowd that tells you that the notions of pos­it­iv­ity, fam­ily and fem­in­ist thought through your music is not just a nov­el idea or token response?

It has hon­estly set the tone of who I am as a per­son and what my music is about. It is very clear and people love my ways. They appre­ci­ate that I get to do what I want and not what every­one else is doing. I also feel like people are simply con­nec­ted to what I’ve got to say espe­cially men which is really crazy! We are com­pletely sat­ur­ated by over­rated con­cepts and most guys like it when I talk about things that are nor­mal and ongo­ing in our soci­ety. People like pos­it­iv­ism but they like real­ness more.

How do you know your music will really get the fans to fol­low you if your music doesn’t fit into any exist­ing genres?

My music def­in­itely fits into the Lat­in genres, I get played on the Lat­in radi­os and my music was used in all of the epis­odes in the real­ity show Sol , Playa y Música. The only dif­fer­ence between the charted music and mine is that I don’t talk about sex.

If any­one thinks that I don’t fit, great! That’s the whole pur­pose. To be myself.

Why do have the auda­city to think you can alter, or even make your own genre of music as an indi­vidu­al?

That’s what it’s all about. Being authen­t­ic, being your­self. I would nev­er be me if I were to be a fol­low­er. Plus, I don’t really have much to say, I let the people who fol­low me express that. My audi­ence loves that I’m my own genre and they always com­pli­ment me on it!

I’ve been my own genre since the day that I star­ted mak­ing music! <3

I have heard music from the Hip Hop album you have com­ing up. Giv­en your innov­a­tion with sound- what can we expect ?

I am so glad you asked. I am abso­lutely excited for this pro­ject. As an artist I see music as an art and this is why I am start­ing to imple­ment oth­er arts into the mix of my music. Stand­ing up for oth­er com­munit­ies and people who find life and mean­ing through an art like Hip Hop is very import­ant to me.

It star­ted with a concept of hav­ing the visu­als before the music kicked in. This pro­ject is more about show­cas­ing oth­ers art through my music. I want to elev­ate and give a spot­light who those who haven’t had it yet.

This Hip Hop EP is under pro­duc­tion and will soon become a joint work with EPIC which is a col­lect­ive that has been work­ing with the com­munity for years. I would love to bring some rep­res­ent­a­tion togeth­er and cre­ate art in the scene. It’s always more fun when com­munit­ies merge togeth­er!

Expect a lot of free­dom and elev­ated vibes!

Fol­low Ana Bul­nes On Ins­tagram

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Vish ShvaOne

Vish ShvaOne

Vish is an Emcee, edu­ca­tion devel­op­ment lead­er at the Hip Hip His­tor­i­an Soci­ety and recently, co-dir­ect­or of Every Per­son is Cap­able. He works on Hip Hop com­munity mat­ters and lives to uplift people.

About Vish ShvaOne

Vish ShvaOne
Vish is an Emcee, education development leader at the Hip Hip Historian Society and recently, co-director of Every Person is Capable. He works on Hip Hop community matters and lives to uplift people.