Natalia Lafourcade: “I think of my music as magic coming out from my heart.”

Daniel Heydorn


With platinum sales, Latin Grammy nominations and millions of YouTube hits, pop songstress Natalia Lafourcade has in recent years become a household name in her native country, Mexico. Meanwhile she has been gathering a lot of attention from international media and has been touring on both sides of the Atlantic. Lafourcade is now set to come to Denmark for a special appearance at SPOT Festival. On this occasion we took the opportunity to ask her a few questions.

Natalia Lafourcade’s performance at SPOT Festival is brought to you in collaborationwith SPOT’s long-term partner, the Spanish festival Días Nórdicos.

Give us some information about yourself.

I was born in Mexico City in 1984. When I was 2 years old my mother and I moved in to Coatepec Veracruz, a little town where I lived for 6 years. Both my parents are musicians. My father crafts harpsichords and gives piano lessons and my mother created a sophisticated method for teaching music to children. Most of the time I was surrounded by music and making songs was one of my favourites hobbies when I was little, and still is now.

Describe your sound to someone who’s never heard of you before?

I believe my music has a lot of magic because of the way I see life. I would describe it as a very easy-going sound: lyrics that blend into the harmony of the music. I always try to make it visual, as if you were watching a movie, a video or looking at a photograph. I love mixing genres like pop, bossa nova and classic jazz. I wouldn’t classify my music in one specific genre, I just think about it as magic coming out from my heart. I love it when it sounds organic and easy.

How did you start out making music?

When I was young, my mother and I used to have this incredible game. Every day  on the way to school we would sing and create songs in the car. We also liked improvising melodies on top of the cassettes we were listening to. Playing with music was part of our daily routine. Later, when I was 14, I started writing songs for my first boyfriend. I would give him one song per week. When we broke up he gave me a shoebox full of tapes with those songs. It was then that I realised that one day I could have a solo album with my songs. At 16, I entered music school and started to think about being a songwriter and singer more seriously. At 17 I signed my first album contract with Sony Music and that is how it all started.

What inspires your music?

I get inspiration from almost everything, but I believe love is the most important thing and it is also what makes me write a song.

What process do you go through in creating a track?

First, I try to find the emotion of the song. And then, I try to make the music as the images that would surround the lyrics of the song and would make it spatial. I pay a lot of attention to the way it is recorded and also the instrumentation that we add to the song, in order to make the perfect dress for it.I always try to make it sound as if it was easy to get there. Not too complicated but emotional: a mix of a psychedelic, melancholic, and musical dreams.

Which artists influence your work?

There are many and many different styles: The Beatles, Björk, Radiohead, Billie Holiday, Feist, Julieta Venegas, Devendra Banhart, Café Tacvba, Simon Diaz, Caetano Veloso, Marcelo Camelo, Agustin Lara, Violeta Parra, Sufjan Stevens, Gilberto Gil, Robert Jonson and many others!

Have you been to Denmark before?

No, it is going to be my first time. And I feel very fortunate for this opportunity.

What are your expectations?

I hope people will have a lot of fun listening to the concert and that they will enjoy the music. I’m performing with all the strength and inspiration I’m taking from Mexico, and I’ll try to make that a beautiful night for everyone. I expect to be able to come back soon.

What should people expect from your SPOT performance?

I’m thinking of preparing a very intimate show. It is going to be very magic. I’m taking my guitar player with me, who is also doing the backing vocals and plays the guitar and ukulele. I’m going to be playing wit my looper machines, a keyboard and percussion. We are going to play mostly the songs from my latest album ‘Mujer Divina’ and a few songs from the past. I really like playing acoustic shows. I think it gives you the chance to connect with people in a better way..

What are your future ambitions?

I would love to travel a lot playing this last album and to be able to share Agustin Lara’s music with everyone. These days I’ve been writing new songs, and I think I could probably start a new album soon, but the truth is that after a long wait for the release of “Mujer Divina” I really want to go on tour all this year.

What are your upcoming plans?

I am very excited about my trip to Europe. After that, I’m coming back to Mexico to do a couple of shows and then going to Central America. After that, I’m coming back to Mexico and hopefully play more shows.

More info about Natalia Lafourcade can be found here.