Girl Ultra may have just started out in her music career but she has already made a name for herself as a Mexico’s newest R&B’s songbird. Her music is a smooth earworm of a time that gently lulls your limbs into dance. The songstress’ Spanish croons have gained her multi-lingual fans all over the world and a demand for live performances.
“I’ve never visited the US before, until my music got me here,” she says of her BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival at Prospect Park. The show came post-release of her Adi6s EP which united tens of thousands of summer playlists all over NY.
We sit down and chat with Mexico’s latest wonder girl after her buzzy summer and get a preview of a Fall that brings more of her sweet grooves stateside.
How did you start making music?
I’ve always been very close to arts since I was little, I come from a family of painters and always been surrounded by creatives. I also paint, but it was when my dad introduced me to music that I felt something I never did before. I started writing and singing everywhere I could. I felt comfortable creating melodies and moods throughout my voice. I discovered my passion very young.
How did you link up with Finesse Records?
It was thru Wet Baes (who produced my first track as Girl Ultra) that linked me up with Cheeks aka Teen Flirt, the label manager. I always had the thought I needed a place to develop my ideas and the right people to help me get there because artists are not self-made really…every artist needs a team to complement their debilities with each one’s skills. Sooo…they opened up a creative space for me as I started to understand the workflow in there. I fell in love with teamwork and the family we created.
What was it like spending time in Brooklyn?
As an artist sometimes its hard; the exposure to new places, new people, cameras… these time it was the total opposite. I see a foreign girl walking around NY streets as a local and I think that’s the way you should experience a different city: owning it! The new friends, their stories, a bite at the comer deli, having coffee in their living room. I can tell there is a very honest part of me on these pictures, and I feel so thankful to document in such a magical and ethereal way my first New York visit… the experience of getting to know and collaborate with people from my country in another part of the world and connecting instantly with them, being part of something. Tania, Maria, Patricia, Tomomi, Victoria, my team David and Adrian, and myself were rolling around Bushwick streets and apartment backyards. We chilled on a rooftop during golden hour, where I painted and Tania photographed the essence of the process. It was like we knew each other from some time ago.
What was your favorite thing about NY?
That you become very aware of yourself. There’s a lot happening everywhere you go, so that makes u take a look inside. Museums and also late night pizza.
What were you like in high school?
A stubborn girl with headphones in a Catholic school. But still, I loved learning and talking with my teachers when the class was over about other topics. I had a band too that later turned me into what I am now.
What is the political climate right now where you live? What is something you are talking about every day?
Here in Mexico, the climate is always pretty hot, politics-wise… but lately, I’ve been feeling a sense of hope more than ever before. I particularly focus on topics like opportunities for young people, young artists and how our music industry is a key to improving our culture.
I love your music videos. What goes into your inspo?
I’m really perceptive and observing. I take inspiration from old movies, scene plays, iconic characters… but the mains inspiration in regards to the concept is a self-deconstruction. Everything parts from there… pieces of what I am helping me deliver a message.
Where would you love to hear your music?
Under the ocean.
Any milestones you have made that you want to shout out?
Overcoming fear, and reducing self-judgment
What are a few things you are inspired by?
Nature, strangers on the streets, human emotions, human relationships…
Do you have plans to release any albums in English or any other languages?
Maybe a couple of tracks… I actually started composing in English but I understood that what I needed to do for the genre in my country was helping develop our beautiful language with because the sound itself will always have an evolution. R&b just took baby steps here and helping the audience empathize throughout their own language is a beautiful phenomenon. I think that’s what it needs to make an impact.
Who are some people you would want to collaborate with?
I would like to collaborate with some latin artists such as Helado Negro and Buscabulla.
Also The Marias, Steve Lacy, and Dev Hynes as well.
You seem really into fashion. What are some brands you could see using your music on the runway?
I am lol. I am a vintage shopaholic. Maybe I could see Jacquemus or an 80’s Thierry Mugler runway
Who were some of your influences in high school?
I’ve always been very influenced by powerful androgynous icons. Prince, Grace Jones, Michael & Janet Jackson, Sade. Also a lot of David Lynch’s movies.
What cities inspire you?
I love Monterrey’s landscape a lot. LA’s got a chill vibe. Bogotá and NY.
What music and/ or themes do you think influence your writing?
I’m very influenced by the 80’s particular nostalgia, I think this era was the last one to have an uncertain future, it was a utopia… I try to recall it a lot but I realized that… that vibe was encapsulated inside those years, into their generation. Kids from the 90 already know what was gonna happen to the planet in 30 years; it turned into a dystopian reality. But I try to observe and understand human relationships and emotions in general and write about my perspective of it.
What does your family think about your music?
That I could do better and link up with local television dinosaurs to make more money 😛
What do you have coming up next?
I’m working on a couple of interesting collabs and on a full album. I’m taking my time to do it well really. Also, I have an upcoming tour In the US with The Marias and Triathalon.
photos / Tania Apolinar
styling / Maria Montane + Patricia Cedeno
makeup / Tomomi Sano
photo assistant / Victoria Alba
*Clothes are vintage owned by model & stylists