Soluna, the youngest of 11 children, was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and was raised in Catalonia, Spain, from the age of three, living there until she moved to the Algarve in her teen years. Before moving to Lisbon in 2019, the artist lived in Dublin for 10 months where she was studying sound technics and “learnt a lot especially through the busking scene and open mic nights, where she gained more confidence performing solo.” Soluna has spent years performing as a backing vocalist with Dino d’Santiago to Afro-electronic beats, through her time on tour, which are a key component of her sound. Soluna is now taking to the stage on her own, bringing to life “futuristic, Spanish-language pop music”, which incorporates her mixed background and creatively fusing Latin rhythms and Afrobeats, paired with energetic vocals that “command you to dance.”
Her dynamic live set, is a preview of what’s to come, and includes tracks produced by UK broken beat legend Paul Seiji and Portugal’s Dotorado Pro and is accompanied by Lisbon-based Brazilian DJ and producer King Kami.
Living in Lisbon
Soluna told me that when she moved to Lisbon she, “found inspiration and strength from so many empowered creative women living there and that really helped me to work on my solo career.” I asked Soluna what she thinks of Lisbon and the music scene there and she told me “I find Lisbon a really inspiring and romantic city, you’ve got the river, sea, mountains to the forest in Sintra. It is also so inspiring to see so many musicians and painters who are trying to pursue their dreams and that really pushes me forward.”
“I love Lisbon and I have got to meet so many Latin and Hispanic people here, the community is incredible here and although this is where I am starting my own career, I do miss travelling and the routine of performing live and I believe my music will take me to different places and hopefully in the future, I will get to perform at some Spanish speaking countries.” Soluna also shared with me some of her greatest highlights in Lisbon, which were recently playing at Casa do Capitão and at Arroz Studies, in particular, “which was really special! I just love connecting with people and it was special because I got to perform live some of my new album and I got such a great reaction from the songs, and even had people in the audience asking when it will be out!”
Soluna also told me that growing up she was quite shy and she wanted to express herself through music and did that by learning guitar and starting piano lessons and she would just sing so much at home. She also added that “growing up I was surrounded by lots of different genres of music and that she comes from a very musical household.” At home she would listen to a lot of “barrato and kizomba music” which was influenced by her mother who is from Angola and on her fathers side, there was always tango music playing, as he is from Argentina. She went on to share that “my mother really inspires me because of what a strong woman and mother she is, she had 11 children and fled to Portugal due to the war and she is who I think of when I am looking for strength.”
New album and the future
Soluna is currently working on her first releases as a solo artist, and told me she is really happy with what she had created so far in the studio. The style of her music is a “unique fusion of reggaeton and tarraxo rhythms.” She also told me that her new project “is really inspired by R&B and pop” as she is inspired by empowered vocalists like Kehlani, Ariana Grande and Kali Uchis. She also told me she writes her own melodies and lyrics, and that she is very much connected to her Spanish roots, revealing that she “feels most at home singing in Spanish”, although she is also fluent in Portuguese and English, which she uses to create effortless tracks with tri-lingual lyrics. Additionally, she is “outspoken about her mixed heritage, aiming to represent those who get “lost in the cultural conversation and is also a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community.”
The blend of the African and Latina sides of her is intentional, as are her empowering lyrics, which amplify aspects of her journey “as a migrant, a queer woman and a young person who is living life independently.”
Most excitingly, it has been announced that Soluna will be performing at next years No Limits ID Festival in Cascais on 25 February at 9:30pm, where she did reveal she will be performing her “new music and is excited for the live moment”.
For more information and to purchase tickets please see https://www.id-nolimits.com/. Additionally, Soluna will be releasing her first single next month, so definitely keep an eye out for that. Soluna also often performs in Lisbon so if you are in the area, please check out her Facebook page and her Instagram page to keep up to date with her concerts and to support her future releases.