Interview: Los Angeles Soltera On Building A Community Out Of Furiously Animate Dance Music

Interview: Los Angeles Soltera On Building A Community Out Of Furiously Animate Dance Music

Over the past five years, Granada Hills-raised artist Tania Ordonez moniker Soltera has established herself as a fierce producer of quietly dynamic dance music. So far he has released two exclusive EPs, the debut Sin Compromiso and Todo O Nada Vol. 111 1 . But it's not just his ability to create hypnotic, emotionally melting soundscapes. From Solterra's live performances to his visual expressions in his music videos, they form the centerpiece of his art. We had a chance to pick his brain about some of Ordonez's stories, beliefs and motivations since he began testing.

Prepared and interviewed by Stephen Ward


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What was the musical inspiration or influence for Todo O Nada Vol. 1 ? Are you still very much into punk or are you now fully immersed in the world of electronica, techno and dance music?

Musically, I feel like the inspiration for all my EPs is really dance music. I like house and techno, it's like listening to music and DJing, so it's like fun for me. But I taught myself, you see. So I don't really look like a track on it. It is influenced by noise, extreme violence, destruction, metal and punk. I love how raw they are and the screaming and rage that goes with that. But it's the pedal that people turn to for their sound. At least that's how modern music is now. When I was younger, I knew it was very straight raw sound, but now people use different sound modulators and pedals. Yes, I don't sing literally, I'm always guided by other voices. I always tend to confuse the two. I'm still ultimately influenced by Dystopia or Despicable Me . And then musically, of course, I love making beats and creating beautiful sounds over dark synths or bass lines.


You started making music to overcome a deep sadness. What is the driving force behind this EP emotionally and thematically?

I think the biggest thing [ Sin Compromiso ] from [ Todo o Nada Vol. 1 ], the [first] thing I did with Ableton, the first time I used a program like that. So now that I'm more advanced with it, I can use it better. Hence the psychological effect behind it. I am going strong as a self-taught creator and producer. Also, I think, vocally and lyrically, I've always had a very angry political stance towards the industry and how male-oriented it is. I have spent the last year in a lot of speaking engagements and in a lot of bad situations with men and people in high places. It was always my thing to please the friends I met. I don't know, disillusionment with art and continuing to go underground and DIY is like a big theme. And despite all the obstacles, keep at it.

In another interview, the music on this EP is some of the fastest you've done, was that intentional or representative of something? Or test results?

I think I'm getting more comfortable with the program, so I can work with different BPMs. Unlike the first EP where I stuck to BPM, slow music was easy to make, I guess I just didn't know how to put it into words. I dream of doing a Power Attack album or EP. So I put the two together because the energy level is 160 to 180 BPM. That's why I want to finally get to this point. A band I played with in Long Beach really inspired me, they're from Olympia, they're called Cyberplasm , and they mix wild energy with jungle. So, yes, I wanted to blur the lines a little bit because I think the lines are very different. But I thought, "Well, these two are really fast. Both have very heavy bass. Both can scream or scream. It's just a combination of my influence and reach and being able to do that now, learn more about Ableton."

Your events have a reputation for generating wild energy and intense emotional catharsis. Looking back, was there any difference or evolution in your approach or philosophy to performing live from the first live show to the last?

Yes, they changed, maybe when I was designing the page view, I always tried to hide more than show. And now, years later, I find myself getting into more shows. I also have nervous breakdowns, sweats and tremors when speaking in front of people. But now I feel bold and fair in my body, or I don't know, yes, and I do, because I feel a little calmer when I work. I think I have experienced this body. The difference was that at first I did it alone. I've expanded it now, transitioning, but last year I was with a friend of mine who DJs, mixes, produces his own recordings and does some backup vocals, and now I have a partner. , who start throwing some punches. We play old songs and new songs. It's live, everything is live, the beats are played live, my DJ is doing backup vocals on the set. So yeah, from now on it's just me singing the backing track, now it's going to be all live instruments So this will be very different. I'll still be vocal, you know it'll still be a mess. I think because I feel more confident with my friends on stage with me, they're getting crazier and crazier.

One of the attractions of the punk culture that grew up in the hills of Granada was that it was able to create a community outside of live music. Do you see this as the goal of music and sports?

I grew up in the hills of Granada, but there wasn't much music. Mainly those areas like Sylmar, North Hollywood, Canoga Park. And let me tell you, I didn't get it together. I was part of the scene, meaning I went to shows and met people from bands and stuff, but it was very male-centric and I always left. I was never pushed, nobody pushed me into anything. Now I have a collective that I lead with Solterra and Pacoima Techno, Casa/Teca, that's how we build community. We include our friends in clips, we make clips for them. It's my version of putting people in and lifting each other up and it's weirder. I feel a sense of community in my shows, I think those shows especially going on in LA, all the shows are super POC, queer, girls. I feel like people really respond to what I say and what we say. It's always been my goal that everyone feels included in some way and that they do it together.


Since you started making music, you've started hosting monthly events highlighting underrepresented artists and helped start a label for underground artists of color with similar goals. Can you describe the importance of this project?

I think both are similar and different in their own ways. Casa/Teka was founded by me and Pakoma Techno when we were doing something before the pandemic. Pacoima was having a techno party, we decided we'd start our own label because no label was trying to sign us and we didn't have music, so it forced us to make and release music. Let's go out when and how we want. It motivates us to make more videos and movies, which is another motivation to post videos. That's how it started, then my fellow writer/DJ Estefania Langosta , a member of the group, and other friends joined me.

So we just shape our own universe. We have friends who are photographers and we consider them part of us, or we have friends who are writers and we consider them part of us. It is not only music oriented but versatile for all artists. DIY also comes from a place where we feel marginalized. We were all really exiles, never entering the same scene. And the way this industry works, you're either very rich or white or very attractive or you just know someone. We don't really belong, it's not morally consistent with what we believe. Casa/Teca is where we do what we want and we don't have to, we don't have to. Think about other things that do not concern us.

Basically Todo & Nada was a record label that started in the 90s in Los Angeles, it was called Ton Records, and they put out grunge and shoegaze, and my dad was a Colombian immigrant, he just got out of prison and he was: 30 years Old and doing a lot of drugs, what is he doing? He studies and therefore always attends music events. Dan is learning to write his own music and DIY himself. He was not known for his music and worked out of his garage until his death. So I picked up 'Todo O Nada' and followed his dream in his honour. And the music I play includes local and even international artists, unsigned underground artists.


Can you talk about the meaning of your nickname Solterra?

Picking a name has always been difficult, and I first encountered it when I started making music after my father died. I spent a lot of time with my mom and she started using this word "soltera" and I've never heard her use it in a way that I know of, but I've never heard her mention it in her entire life. . Since she married my father. It started to be used a lot like "me and my single friend are going to dance" or "me and my single friend" or "I'm comforting". Widow, single for life or lone wolf, has many different meanings. It meant a lot to me and in the process I hurt my father and was very lonely and heartbroken. So I really resonate with this name and I feel it's a very encouraging name for women, I love all the women in my life, I feel every friend of mine is a Soltera and I feel the same. It really reaches out to a lot of people, and I would never change that, even if I was involved with people I feel like Solterra. We all have our own names, Salters is a band now, but Langosta is still Langosta, Pacoima Techno is still Pacoima Techno, and I'm still Salters.


Unfortunately, you're a Colombian-American woman making music in a genre and industry that tends to be male and white. Speaking of your own journey as an artist, what advice do you have for outsiders like you who are just starting to experiment with their computers or bought their first synthesizer and lack a factory outlet? Representative?

You know, when I started I didn't have what I have now, I built it and it took me years. I don't know, I don't know. Music saves me and people can't see themselves and always connected, always surprised, remember our biggest influences in all the genres that inspire us, all made by Brown. Black people and those who do not come from wealth. I was also very motivated because I was friends with people who were there and everyone was talking about how it takes ten years to get any kind of recognition. So it's scary to think like this, but for me, I want it to be a long process like any artistic experience. Also, look different than you expect from him, right? I didn't expect it, I didn't see it in a capitalist way. I do it because I love it and because it helps me survive and of course I want to have a career and make money, but last year I think I started thinking too much from that perspective and it started to get worse. . . Too much for me. I have to step back and really think about why I'm doing this. And in the end, not because of the money, but because I finally felt cared for. It takes time and I say don't have high hopes.

In many ways, Solterra represents a new generation of artists seeking to challenge and transform long-standing industry standards for "making music" for historically marginalized groups. যখন তিনি এখনও এই অজানা পথে নেভিগেট করতে শিখছেন, তখন অন্যদের তাদের পথ খুঁজে পেতে সাহায্য করার অর্ডোনেজের ইচ্ছা তাকে মনে করিয়ে দেয় যে সম্প্রদায় সঙ্গীতের জন্য কতটা গুরুত্বপূর্ণ। তারা শুধুমাত্র একটি লাভ করার ইচ্ছার উপর ভিত্তি করে করা উচিত নয়, কিন্তু শিল্পের ভালবাসা বা কালো এবং বাদামী টোনগুলির প্রশংসা এবং সম্মানের উপর ভিত্তি করে।

নতুন রিলিজ এবং ট্যুর ঘোষণার সাথে আপ টু ডেট থাকতে Bankcamp-এ Soltera-এ যান।

Todo O Nada Vol. নীচে সোলটাররা থেকে 1টি নতুন ইপি।


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