Lido Pimienta has probably never met a color she didn't like, and probably never will. The same goes for music, which this Colombian artist based in Toronto also visualizes in a chromatic circle.
From performing ABBA at home as a child in her native Barranquilla in front of an audience of her parents and their friends to her stints in hardcore metal, hip-hop, and Afro-Colombian sexteto groups in her teens, Lido has adopted an all-embracing approach to music in all its moods and hues for most of her life.
Lido, 26, first popped up in Latin-Alternative music fans' radar around 2009 when her tracks began appearing on the influential music blog, Club Fonograma. The musician's vivid blend of electronic music, chanting traditions, and Afro-Colombian rhythms -- which she calls "dark pop"-- on her debut album Color quickly garnered a her following. Mexican singer Julieta Venegas, Colombian alt-vets Aterciopelados, and UK pop act Micachu and the Shapes were some of her new-found fans. Her airy voice makes chameleonic appearances in her music-- going from ethereal to ebullient to sassy-and-sensual to sublime.
Since then, she's become a scene mainstay through a slew of collaborations, including with fellow Colombians Hector Buitrago and Andrea Echeverri (of Aterciopelados), Pernett, and Isa GT. She also makes up one-half of Los Espiritus with Mexico's Antonio Jimenez (aka El Maria y Jose), and Remolido alongside Argentina's El Remolón.
I had the pleasure of catching up with the singer and visual artist in New York recently, where she was taking a break from working on her second album, La Papessa, to shoot a music video with NYC tropical bass DJ/producer Atropolis. She also happened to land a couple gigs during the visit and made her New York debut as well.
Lido was kind enough to let me into her vibrant world -- beginning with her backstory and ending with a good ol' rummage through her backpack. Here's what I found.
Lido copped some jewelry and charms from the shop Brooklyn Charms during this visit.
Lido's laptop. La Papessa means "The Priestess" or "Popess." She got the idea and concept for the album from a tarot reading done by the Venezuelan indie musician (and Latin Grammy nominee) Ulises Hadjis over Skype.
"Even my bras are striped," she said while also rocking her heavy-duty multi-pocketed hunter-green coat.
Lido says a good thing about being small: children's clothing store access. She fully intends on handing down her kid store finds to her 4-year-old son Lucian when he's big enough, she says.
These are little pinned-together cookies that Lido made and wears as accessories sometimes together on her sneakers and sometimes separately.
Painting apron: She co-created a painting on a stage for her music video.
Lido also carries a sketchbook where she goes.
She also has a mini-tamborine and vocal processor for gigs.
Lido heads back to a busy life in Toronto: full-time motherhood, schoolwork in art criticism and curatorial studies, a music curatorship at the Toronto arts space Lula Lounge all the while trying to work on her new album, which she hopes to put out in April 2013.
Life experience -- namely her divorce from Luciano's father and the depression in its wake -- has taken her sophomore release to a darker place than her 2010 effort, she says.
"It's somber… but with hope," Lido explained. "It's tough. It's like those guys who look all hard and tough covered with tattoos and then you look close and the tattoos are of a heart, or a picture of their daughter at her first communion. That's like the vibe."