Interview: Q&A with La Yegros – “Come Light to Let Yourself Fly” (February 2024)

An album ready for launch and a European tour just kicked off (with a London stop-over coming very soon) might seem like significant reasons on their own, but with La Yegros, there’s more to it than just that. You can always count on her energetic and eloquent character, which even shines through in email Q&As. This perfect blend of ingredients makes for an interesting interview, which is why we’re always eager to reach out and have a chat with the French-based Argentinean Reina de (Nu) Cumbias.

A few days ago, we indeed reached out via email to gain insight into her new album Haz, the development of her sound and career, and what to expect from her upcoming live show…

Could you explain the creative process behind your latest single “Bodas De Plumas”, which has a more intimate and silky sound compared to the energetic vibes of your other songs?

It was a song entirely composed by our co-member Daniel Martin in his studio in Mendoza (Argentina), which then went through the production process by Gaby Kerpel in his studio in Buenos Aires, where he also recorded a wind session with the prestigious Alejandro Teran. My voice was recorded in my studio, in France, and the “bichito cordobez” (an instrument created by a luthier from Cordoba) was recorded in the Mendoza studios with Daniel Martin. All assembled, it resulted in the wonderful outcome of a song so velvety and stripped at the same time that every time I listen to it, it manages to give me goosebumps.

“Bodas De Plumas” is also the second single from your upcoming album “Haz”. Can you tell us more about the main inspirations behind the album’s sound and themes?

Each song is the result of inspiration from a story, either lived by me, or by Dani or Kerpel, my co-composers. This album is unique in that for the first time we have composed some of the songs together, since in previous albums each one contributed their own song. This made the inspirations in the same song different.

Is there any standout collaboration or guest artist on your new album that you’re particularly excited about?

We have the collaboration of K.O.G, a musician from Ghana whom I admire; I love his voice, his style, and we were needing someone like him for the song he participated in. His being a man gave the album a very special texture. Eblis Álvarez, a Colombian guitarist from the legendary group Meridian Brothers, also collaborated, adding a psychedelic touch to our first single ‘Donde’, a journey to the beyond.

How does Haz differ from Suelta and Magnetismo in terms of musical direction and evolution?

The big difference is that in Haz, the three of us composers got together and dared to compose together. It was very fun and nutritious for the album. Then, the evolution is constant, but I feel that within our musical language that we have been developing since the beginning, there is a root that is maintained over time and matures with each album.

Your solo debut took place just over 10 years ago. What has been the most significant change in your musical approach since then?

Over 10 years, I have traveled a lot on tours and also decided to live in France. So, that allowed me to get closer to artists and songs from different cultures that surely influenced my way of working and composing, but always maintaining my essence.

You have now perfected a unique sound characteristic of La Yegros: a vibrant blend of Latin folk music with Jamaican dancehall, cumbia electronic rhythms, and hip-hop rhymes. What’s your secret, and how do you achieve it?

Our secret is to follow our instinct, not to be guided by what is fashionable. I think having achieved our own sound made us delve deeper from there with what we have and continues to nourish us.

Living between France and Argentina, how do you maintain and express your cultural identity through your music? How do your Buenos Aires and Northern Argentina roots manifest in your music?

We are a team of three Argentinians, two living there (Kerpel and Martin) and me from France. I think that being constantly in communication and traveling often to Argentina creates a very natural musical dynamic linked to our identity. I love the folklore of our country; I grew up listening to cumbia and chamame, and that doesn’t erase, not even in 10 lives when you’re proud of where you come from. It’s not an effort to maintain my identity; it’s in my DNA and flows through my veins and my songs.

Despite living in France, how do you keep your connection with Argentina alive, both personally and musically, especially considering the difficult times Argentina is going through?

I am someone who, despite living far from my country, do not disconnect from my roots. I love and admire my people, my customs, our traditions, and that makes me feel close and in touch with our music. I travel very often to Argentina and never lose my day-to-day with my people, my family, and it is there that, at the moment of making my music, the need to sing rhythms and tell stories from my country emerges within me in a very fluid and present way. The crises, the difficult moments my country is going through, move me and bring out inspiration and strength within me to keep our culture alive.

When music professionals introduce you, they often use the terms “the queen of New Cumbia” and “the first lady of Electro Cumbia.” What do you think of these titles, and how do they reflect your musical identity?

They make me laugh and feel tender, and at the same time, I always say that it’s because of “Viene de mi,” a song from my first album that caught international attention, and journalists needed to place me in a style. But the reality is that it’s the only cumbia song in my entire career.

Your European tour has just started. How does it feel to see that audiences all over Europe, and eventually all over the world, embrace your music and dance to your unique sound?

I feel a lot of gratitude and happiness. I come from a neighborhood and a country where living off music is not easy. I remember as a girl wondering: how am I going to manage to be a singer? And I never found the answer. Today, looking back, I realize that a combination of many factors made it possible. Being surrounded by a great team, working hard, and being in the right place made and continues to make our audience support us and us to enjoy this wonderful gift: living off our passion.

Your music often conveys strong messages, especially regarding the role and voice of women. How do people around the world react to your lyrics and messages?

The audience reacts in an empathetic way. I feel supported by them, and I feel that there is more and more awareness and visibility. I like being part of the artists who shed a little light where there is so much darkness. And in my case, the voice of the woman feels like a priority as a subject to address, for a better world.

In a few weeks, you’ll be visiting London to perform at the Jazz Cafe, as part of the La Línea festival. What can the London audience expect from your upcoming show?

In our show in London, we will present the songs from the new album, as well as new versions of our classics, with new costumes, stage decoration, and much excitement to meet again at the Jazz Café with an audience that is always very enthusiastic with us.

Beyond your current album and tour, what future projects or aspirations excite you the most?

For some time, I’ve been thinking about making a more intimate album, without even the intention of performing it live. We’ll see when I make the time to make it happen.

We usually close our interviews with a canonical and tricky question: How would you introduce your music to someone who has never heard it and might join you to dance at the Jazz Café in April? I remember that 5 years ago, when we had our last interview, you said: “It’s music that always keeps a party spirit, rooted in Latin American tradition.”

La Yegros is a musical universe you can’t miss, where you’ll find a very varied menu of sensations, from moments of trance, reflection, dance, tradition, connection with others, introspection, and a lot of happiness. I recommend you come light to let yourself fly.


Haz, the upcoming album from La Yegros, will be released on the 29th of March via X-Ray Productions.
You can pre-order your copy HERE

You can also follow La Yegros on tour! 
For the upcoming dates and to get your ticket/s, follow THIS LINK