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!
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