“It is an album made in quarantine, in the deepest Mexico; a rural landscape where the music you listen to is traditional ”, Mon Laferte tells Apple Music about SIX, an album that has both a musical journey through the adopted country of the Chilean singer and songwriter and an emotional journey during the long months of confinement in 2020. “I have never had so much time to contemplate things in silence,” explains Laferte. His new songs are born out of a long fascination with folk forms, popular poetry by José Alfredo Jiménez and classic love stories. But they sound anchored in the present and subvert the old myths of romantic love with rapturous lyricism. “I am a woman from 2021”, she explains, “very different from the world where those songs were born, which were also almost always written by men. Mine are traditional in form and, deep down, very current ”. Even though SIX It is an intimate album, far from the electricity of its beginnings, there is also room for sharp political comments in the form of cumbia (“La Democracia” sounds inspired by the Chilean protests of 2019) and returns to the time when Laferte invoked the spirit of Amy Winehouse (duet with Gloria Trevi in ”La Mujer”). “Each song is a different universe,” he says, “but they all mix stories from the past with the melancholy of the confinement.” Here he presents them, one by one.
My heart is going to burn
“It is a monologue. Like many songs on the album, I composed it on the terrace of my house, with my glass of wine and smoking a lot, although six months ago I quit smoking. In the middle of the song I realized that I had to change the paradigm. At one point he says ‘I want to give love, unlearn’. It’s something that I remember all the time. Unlearn that romantic love, that love for which you are supposed to suffer and hurt yourself. The song is a complete contradiction, because I end up saying goodbye, but in spite of it. As if to say ‘I’m worthy, I’m leaving, but I want you to know that I still hate you’. I tried to be extremely honest. I did not want to be politically correct or give messages to the world. I just want to be me and bring out my demons in the songs. “
“Another personal experience, but from another point of view. Before, he lived in the Roma neighborhood, in Mexico City. There is a corner, Álvaro Obregón and Avenida Insurgentes, where I saw the teenage couples kissing. Whenever I passed by, it became a beautiful and poetic meeting point for me. I think I almost became voyeuristic. I watched the couples who settled in that corner and I made up a lot of stories. The song is born more from an obsession with that corner than from having a friend who I wish was something more ”.
I did not see it coming
“It is one of the last that I wrote for the album, and I did it thinking more about the musical part than about the history. I like to hear what they call lying corridos, which is something quite new. I love them because they mix trap with 12-string guitars and a more folkloric universe. I wanted to do my run lying down and the lyrics came out like what I’m feeling now; I’m super happy and in love ”.
“It’s a bolero with a Brazilian thing in harmony, which I find very cinematographic. One of the songs that I like the most on the album. I wrote it at the height of the pandemic and it has an air of resignation, which is how I felt. At night the cicadas would wake me up, they make an awful noise, and every day it was the same. My partner at the time was far from being the love of my life, it was more of a torture. I was resigned, I thought that was what I had to live and I had to take it with me. ‘My Beloved’ is like a summary of the album. It is beautiful, traditional and romantic, but also very melancholic ”.
“I also wrote it in the middle of a pandemic and it has that Brazilian air. It’s very sad, actually. I remember feeling desolate, with so many empty hours that my head wouldn’t stop. I don’t know if I like spending so many hours with me and seeing myself so much. The lyrics speak of fados because then I was listening to a lot of Portuguese music at full volume. The same with tangos. I would sit crying with a glass of wine. A little masochistic, but also a rich and necessary drama ”.
The Woman (Feat. Gloria Trevi)
“It’s a song that I wrote many years ago, so it sounds more like past albums. I played it live, but I stopped singing it because it seemed to me that the lyrics were self-destructive. People asked for it and asked for it, and I decided to put it on the album, but changing two or three little things to give it a twist. As it was an old song, although only the most fans knew it, I had to refresh it a bit. I needed a super powerful woman to sing it with and I thought of Gloria. For me and for many people of my generation, Gloria Trevi marked a before and after. After Gloria, I felt like I could do anything. She came out with torn stockings, she swept the floor with her hair… It gave me a feeling of power that Gloria Trevi existed ”.
“The arrangement is brutal. The producers did a great job. I played them Cuban music and that of an artist from Veracruz called Toña la Negra; he sang songs by Agustín Lara. Some time ago I had a toxic relationship, power games with a macho couple. Eventually I realized that I had consumed myself so much that I completely shut down. I stopped believing in myself and I stopped believing in art, but not with healthy questioning, but destructive. I thought about how many women have gone through the same thing, how many have had as partners people who need to destroy their partners to validate themselves. What I’m talking about in this song, and it’s a word that I didn’t know, it’s sisterhood ”.
Even if you die to return
“It’s very me. As a singer, I love long choruses, with long notes. Here I challenged myself to hit tremendous highs. I already had many songs of estrangement and wanted to make one that was powerful, a goodbye with everything. I was inspired by Raphael, in ‘Yo Soy Aquel’ and all that orchestral world. I am a big fan and I have seen his videos just to copy his movements; I love that super exaggerated theatrical thing. “
“Here comes the South American that I am. I am aware that the song does not go as well with the rest of the album, but I had to put it because I wrote it during the pandemic, which is the thread that connects all the songs on the album, even if it has a message of protest. Cumbias are different in each country and this one is very Chilean. A little South American gift ”.
This Morra is not for sale
“Here I return to the general spirit of the album, which is much more Mexican. Some time ago I had an experience with a guy with money, with private jets and all that stuff that makes me ashamed of others. I feel that a lot of people are sedated with that culture of ostentation and they need to validate themselves with brands and everything that they carry. It makes me very sad. That’s what ‘This Morra Is Not For Sale’ is about. You can have all the money in the world, but it doesn’t go to me or it comes to me. You are not going to buy me. It is a declaration of principles ”.
Let Our Love Be Known (Feat. Alejandro Fernández)
“It is something that maybe I would not have thought of myself. It was a proposal from my label and it seemed right to me, because this is a very Mexican album and Alejandro Fernández is an icon of Mexican music. I am new to making this music and it was a gift that I accepted with great delight. It has been very positive because now there are new people listening to my music ”.
I saw you
“Kany García is a friend and great songwriter from Puerto Rico, very singer-songwriter and writing songs with acoustic guitar. A year ago, just before we locked ourselves in, he came to my house and we were drinking wine and talking about life. We wanted to write a song together, but we didn’t know about what. We ended up talking about our moms and found out that we were both having an affair with them. When I was younger, I had in my head the stereotype of the mother who is sold to you and I thought ‘well, why are all the moms in the world perfect and give everything for their children and not mine?’ Now, with a more adult vision, I realize how heavy it is to be a mom, with all those pressures to be the perfect mom and never fail. I loved making him this song. When I showed it to her, we both ended up crying. My mother is not defined by being a mother, but by being a woman. Now I see her as a valuable and courageous woman. This song helped me heal our relationship. “
Se Va La Vida (Feat. Regional Female Band “Mujeres del Viento Florido”)
“It is a very special song. At the end of 2019 I went to play in a women’s prison in Valparaíso and when I left this melody appeared. The little girls and grandmothers I speak of in the lyrics are the ones I saw there. It marked me to recognize them as equal women and not like this thing that they sell you about criminals. When I wrote the song I thought it would be nice to collaborate with other women. The Women Of The Flowery Wind are beginning in music; They are women who are coming out of a different type of prison, because before they could not play in Oaxaca, there were only men’s orchestras. In addition, they had played in the Santa Marta prison, in Mexico, and they had the same feeling as me. It was a beautiful coincidence and a magical situation ”.
My Heart Is Going To Burn (Feat. La Arrolladora Banda El Limón By René Camacho)
“The band music of northern Mexico is totally connected with a macho discourse. I wanted to go to that macho world, collaborate with a band as incredible as La Arrolladora and understand why there are no women’s projects. The music of the Sinaloan band seems amazing to me. You put on a song and the party is set up immediately. In the album I wanted to go through all the spaces in Mexico. Many are missing, because it is an immense and diverse country, but the band had to be there ”.