Lido Pimienta is a Colombian-born, Toronto-based artist who defies categorization and makes art and music that collide in surprising and unique ways.
“Picture Bjork if she grew up in Baranquilla,” says Sergio Elmir of Dos Mundos.
Lido, who sometimes performs under the name Soundsister, has more creative energy than Burning Man and her music outstrips Latin alternative or world indie-type genre tags.
Her sound incorporates (for starters) electronic beats, analog synths, Afro-Colombian rhythms and out-of-this-world chanting.
Lido’s recent recordings and latest material include collaborations with artists like Orquesta, Javiera Mena, Andrea Echeverri, Conector, Isa GT and Maria y Jose, among a slew of others she impressively rattles off without hesitation.
She also curates the Bridges music series at Lula Lounge along with Dos Mundos.
Here’s Lido Pimienta on the latest in her music, art and life.
I am working on a remix for Rafi El via Jace Clayton (Dutty Artz), [and I] did some work for Mexicans with Guns, and of course [I’ve been] working really hard on my new album La Papessa, which so far has a video in the works for a song called Quiero que te vaya Bien and La Capacidad (Invierno Largo), [which] will be featured and released in a 7″ available at Great Hall on November 8.
On the recently released debut album by Atropolis, Transitions, I am featured in a song called Reza por Mi, which I wrote and recorded in Toronto then sent to New York; and with Boogat as well, we have a track called Unico which we wrote together and recorded in my kitchen!
There are other things coming out which I am not supposed to talk about, so I guess you all must stay tuned for more. 😀
Since the last time Lido recorded an album …
The main shift is in production: this time around we are using samplers, analog synths, and experimenting with sound and instruments used in unconventional ways; I am pushing myself vocally way more than before and the themes are way more personal.
[On the] first album I was writing from a third person view, always kind of putting myself in the shoes of a farmer or a young woman fighting for her rights. This time I realize I am that woman who has a voice that needs to also be heard.
The premise of my album, La Papessa, is basically the search for one’s voice as a woman in a world in which we seem to be regressing. My message is one of love and friendship and understanding of nature and our basic human need of communication, freedom, sex, art and inclusion. I reject marriage as an entity and I sing to young females who feel pressured to have children and devote themselves to men, which happened to me mainly because of my ignorance and growing up in machismo culture in Colombia, in which for a woman to live with a partner, must occur via marriage.
The other layer of emotional and political material in the themes explored in La Papessa are coming from the aftermath of a failed marriage and the young woman raising her child on her own, so [these are] anthems that sing to the loss of one’s youth, but at the same time [to] the gain of wisdom, strength and love which comes from being a mother. Motherhood is an incredible thing and doing it on my own with my communities’ support has been a great learning and rewarding experience. By sharing my life this way, I know my audience will connect in a deeper level and hopefully the message helps a lot of women who are struggling with these same issues.
La Papessa means “High Priestess” or female Pope, it is a card in the tarot that was read to my by my friend Ulises Hadjis (a Venezuelan musician), [who is an] avid student of Alejandro Jodorowsky. In the reading, he was able to bring some light into my distressed life, which was in turmoil and filled with insecurities about being an artist, [and] a mother.
Ulises read me the cards and the card that showed “what needed to be done in order get to where I wanted to be” was indeed La Papessa, the card which shows a young female sitting on a throne with a book on her lap and a headpiece which avoids her from looking outside to the periphery; she is only to focus on her book, which represents knowledge.
There is lots more symbolism to talk about, but I like that last bit, because it relates to my preparation and training to write better music and be more professional on stage, on the business side of things and to be in control of myself.
… What has changed the most is my spirit and my willingness to not let others take care of what I care for the most, which is my integrity. I can finally say I am proud of the music I am making, I am proud of my team and music partners; together we have been able to create a unique album which we are so eager to show when it’s completed, and that we have been lucky to perform on different stages in Canada and the US, receiving nothing but good vibes.
Living in Toronto, being from Colombia — Lido’s “Dos Mundos”
I have adapted well in Toronto. I am a city girl all the way. Even my body is comfortable in the cold now; then again, we haven’t had a real winter it seems, at least not in the last three years that I can remember.
What I like about Toronto is my community. I find myself in a cocoon, sheltered from evil with my friends who are always there for me. I really love living here because of that.
Colombia is family more than anything, it is the place I go to eat a mango directly from a tree and connect with my indigenous ancestry, a place to swim in the ocean and the river and be grateful for all of the natural richness we enjoy all year long on the north coast of Colombia.
It gets increasingly sad to go back there though, for it seems each year things get much worse socio-politically, for instance, religion is still boss, and sin is something people believe in, so you can imagine all of the problems that arise from that.
What is appalling, too, is the fascination with North America and its corporate/plastic bullshit, so for example it is considered a luxury to eat at McDonald’s and go to the mall, which are replicas of whatever shitty mall we have here, as well as being considered spaces for a family to enjoy “quality time” together — the whole view on quality of life is warped and racism is embedded in our vocabulary as if it were normal.
I mean, I love Colombia as a concept, but as a reality, I cannot see myself living there again.
Despite it being dear to my heart and having it help shape me as a human being, it is not my favourite place anymore. Colombia breaks my heart.
Canada is not completely innocent of any of the issues I have mentioned before, but at least if I want to marry my girlfriend, I will face no opposition and I value that immensely.
Performing at Bridges Tropical Mashup on October 19
My show is going to be super high energy, gangster pop, empowering, filled with fun surprises and amazing music. The rest of the acts will have to match our energy, which won’t be an easy task.
On top of our crazy beats and amazing brass, I am inviting [the] Maracatu girls on stage to do a song with me [previous version of that here].
On visuals I am preparing a lovely repertoire with my art collective — partners in crime Tough Guy Mountain. Our projections on screen react to the vibrations of my voice. Everything is done live, of course.
Lido Pimienta performs at the Uma Nota Festival on Saturday, October 19 for Bridges Tropical Mashup — Live, Analog & Digital. Full event details here. Facebook event page here. Full festival listings here.