Experience Mexican Latin Grammy Winner Carla Morrison... For Free
When one thinks of Mexican music, one is instantly bombarded with snippets from a wave of sounds, plucked from a spectrum of genres. Mariachi troupes in garish outfits strumming briskly on their guitarrones, Thalia- The Queen of Latin Pop -arrasando, conjuntos galore with the options of marimba, norteño, huasteco, and jarocho to choose from, patriotic rancheras, your future wedding song (also known as “Bésame Mucho” or “Somos Novios”), ay yai yai yai canta y no llores, and of course, the late and stunning Selena flashing an enormous- and enormously missed -pearly smile in her iconic performance outfits, have all come from México. The legacy of Mexican music has just as easily passed throughout the country of its origin past the North American border, for no wall can blockade the infectious rhythm and memorable ballads that have sprung from our southern brother.
And now, another Mexican native will be sharing her unique sound with The United States, and we could not be more thrilled to have Carla Morrison making a stop in Philadelphia on October 4th 2016, at World Café Live Philadelphia as part of their Latin Roots Live! free (yes, you heard that right, free) concert series and her Amor Supremo Tour.
Carla Morrison may not be a name-brand Mexican musician or Latin American starlet quite yet, but with two Latin Grammys won and two Latin Grammys to go (she was just nominated for “Best Alternative Album” and “Best Alternative Song”), it seems like the singer will be climbing up the rungs with the other Mexican greats sooner than later.
Morrison describes her music on her Facebook page as “Música Pop Melodramática Alternativa Independendiente,” and when I asked her to explain what exactly that meant, she illuminated how the genre Pop gets a bad reputation, and how she is hoping to change our minds about it:
“People think that the genre of Pop is bad, because it is mainstream, and so they feel more reluctant to become fans of what is popular. But, no, Pop composition is actually quite difficult, and pop is civil. Pop is popular music, so everyone can relate to it, and everyone can enjoy it. So the concept lies within the composition of Pop, but the music itself does not really fall under one genre… I think I was influenced by cultura ranchera, primarily.”
Being a native from Tecate, Baja California, México right at the cusp between México and Southern California, life en la frontera has disseminated into Morrison’s music, as much of it is comprised of airy high vocals comparable to Pop stars of The United States, has chords that are reminiscent of Radiohead (one of Morrison’s favorite bands), but also is infused with Mexican forms. Her music and her upbringing have shown that, quite literally, musical talent transcends beyond borders.
“Being from México is so special, especially as an artist… There are just so many projects, so many genres that we have contributed. But, that composition of high-quality definitely demands of you your very best, and to perform as well as possible! You become a role model, a figure, that represents Mexican culture through your music and through your personhood to the world. It is beautiful. And, it is extremely emotional and super special that I am recognized in The United States, since I grew up on the border. I am “muy de Spanglish,” and English and American culture is a huge part of me, so it is inspiring to be able to perform in The United States, for sure.”
Of course, Morrison is no stranger to the international stage, as she has taken on prominent world festivals and well-known concert halls such as DCODE Festival in Madrid. She has also done collaborations with other top-charter Mexican artists, such as Julieta Venegas, Natalia Lafourcade, and the banda Enjambre.
When I asked Morrison if she would, one day, make the transition into bilingual music such as Paulina Rubio, Thalía, Selena, Ariana Grande, Becky G, Selena Gomez, Fifth Harmony, Sofia Carson, and other female pop-stars have gone to do, she unfortunately said:
“No… In reality, although my music is unique and does not fit into a genre, my sound is very organic and relaxed. I barely even thought that I would make it this far! Everything happened so quickly. I have so many artists now that want to collaborate with me. It is so emotional and motivating as an artist. And, like I said, The United States is a part of me but right now… Making an album in English… Not yet. It would not be natural. I want it to sound and feel natural.”
We are clinging onto that “not yet,” and hoping that Morrison will follow the steps of other artists to broaden her fan outreach! But, for now, those of us who understand Spanish can enjoy the gift that is feeling a Morrison song, as her inspirations of Patsy Cline, Morrissey, Depeche Mode, Coldplay, and telenovelas have imbued her tunes with passion, with drama, and with supreme love that demands to be simultaneously heard and felt.
You can catch Morrison next Tuesday for free in Philadelphia, you can keep up with her career at her blog, and since our phone interview was cut short due to the tight schedule that superstars find themselves in, AL DĺA poses two questions for Morrison that she will hopefully be willing to answer on her blog soon!
Thinking specifically about the expectations of women in the industry of music, especially at the international level: How have you combatted those expectations, prejudices, or challenges? How have you risen above them? Pensando específicamente en las expectativas de ser una mujer en la industria de música, especialmente al nivel internacional: Como has combatido con expectativas, prejuicios, retos? Como los ha superado?
Being a Mexican with a platform that extends throughout the whole world, how do you see your role (specifically in The United States, where there is so much division and controversy over the border between México and the United States)? Cómo Mexicana con una plataforma que extiende a todo el mundo, como ves tu rol (específicamente en Los Estados Unidos, donde hay mucha división y controversia sobre la frontera entre México y los Estados Unidos)?