The 24th of March Frontera, the new album of Edurne Vega was published. It has been a long process that had the chance to witness by listening to the demos, taking photos of the band, creating the album cover and, above all, having long conversations with her about creativity and how to work for your dreams. This is why I decided to interview her, to be able to share all these ideas and to discover what is in there beyond the songs.
What is the relation between the songs of the album and the visual elements of it (photos, cover, video...)?
Both things are very connected. For me, this album is an artwork that I have approached in a global way: the narrative of the songs, the coherence of the sound, the name and the image. It has been a pleasure to work with such a powerful artistic team.
Do you think that the visual elements are also giving some kind of message? And your image?
I had very clear that the images should have the essence of my stories: the methaphor of the border (in Catalan "frontera", as the album), the wish of crossing it but being in that point where you are still scared, the oniric world of the sleepless nights... I think that the textures of the photos had all thi feeling. Also, the cover with the double exposure from Barcelona and Budapest expresses the link between you and me, another of the important things of the project. I wanted to work with artists that I not only admire but also had some kind of connection in order to finish the album alltogether.
You start composing the songs all alone at your place and you finish in a stage sharing them with other people. How is this mental process you have to do?
Actually it's a little bit weird. Normally, the ideas for the songs come while I am walking in the street or just at home playing the guitar. The composing part is for me a very solitary process. On the other hand, I have the band as a totally opposite way to express my creativity. In this case, I play the songs and share the stories with the people. I really enjoy both process but they require a very different state of mind.
What does the act o making music gives you that you cannot find anywhere else?
I find freedom and a truly connection with myself. It feels like I can reach areas of my mind that I cannot find in any other way. It's not always a nice way, but it's always interesting.
As a DIY artist, how do you find the balance between the creative process and all the other promotion tasks?
It's really difficult. All the promotion tasks require a lot of time and dedication, not to say it's not an exact science... You never know what will work but, as they said, it's a matter of keep on moving and be honest with the audience. For me, this is the most important. As a music fan, I always like that the artists I follow believe in what they do and live it as their truth.
Do you think that being a woman and a musician is a revolutionary act itself?
I would like to say that it's not, that a revolutionary attitude is based on the actions and not on the gender, but the truth is that all the women who start a music project are very brave because we cannot deny that the heteropatriarchy is against us both in music and in life. For me, being a feminist is not something revolutionary, it's common sense.
Have you ever felt discriminated for being a woman?
Sometimes I've heard sexist comments, paternalistic or patronizing in music circles just for being a woman. I have never doubt that a guy doesn't have to go through a lot of stuff we do. We "need help", we are "the pretty ones of the band", we "break the guitar because we are girls" and the guys "are lucky to have a girl in the band". Sometimes you can really feel as an object.
Which ideas do you have in order to give more visibility to female artists?
The numbers are very polemic but they show the lack of women playing in music venues and festivals. There is quality and there are bands, so what is going on? There are databases from feminist collectives as Fusa Activa or Mujeres y Música. There are no excuses, we want what is ours!
How music can make a better world?
Creating new referents, positive messages, showing new realities, free ways of love. Music has to be used to open the mind and go forward.
What inspires you?
My songs are based on reality, so I guess life and my surroundings.
The music industry - or the arts- in general is not easy. How do you deal with rejection?
It's hard because what you are creating comes from your own emotions, but you have to learn that your story or the way you explain it is not interesting for everyone. I think that the secret to be in peace is to be satisfied and be sure you did what you wanted to do, and that it is honest.
Do you practice any other artistic discipline?
I always wanted to explain stories. Since I was a kid I have been writing. In fact, I started writing science fiction stories. After, I tried poetry and finally I put everything into songs. I am also a videographer and I have also created some documentaries and fiction works. I still haven't try painting or dancing, but you never know!
Do you have any ritual to put yourself in a creative state of mind?
To walk on the streets without a destination helps me a lot. Also to play guitar without more intention than to have fun.
What are your goals as an artist?
To try to open minds through my stories and to be true to myself.