When Grammy Award winner Natalia Lafourcade performs in Miami on June 16, she will be taking her audience on a journey of Mexican and Latin American folkloric music.
In the first stop of her U.S. tour, the Mexican pop-rock singer will bring songs from her new album, “Musas,” to the Olympia Theater.
“One of the things that I really wanted with this project was to highlight the beauty of our culture, of our people, our music, our traditions with music, and our story,” says Lafourcade, 33. “You’ll make a trip through Cuba, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Argentina, and different parts of Mexico.”
The all-Spanish album is the first volume of a project with the guitar duo Los Macorinos, which set out to reinvent Latin American folkloric songs. The album features covers of songs by Agustin Lara, Margarita Lecuona and Roberto Cantoral and others, as well as five original songs by Lafourcade. She says the second volume is almost ready, but they don’t have a release date yet.
At first, she found it difficult to create new versions of songs she already loved so much. “I didn’t know how to adjust those songs to the way I was singing,” she recalls.
But once she started singing as if the songs were hers, it all came together, she says.
The way Lafourcade and Los Macorinos recorded the album also influenced her interpretations of the songs. Instead of recording it in separate soundtracks with each musician alone in a booth, they recorded the 12 songs together in a wooden-house studio in the middle of a Mexican forest.
“That was really magic, because imagine that we were all together and we had to be concentrated and use a lot of energy in every track we’re recording,” she recalls. “It was like a teamwork, and that was beautiful. That made me learn a lot about the way I’m singing and how to interpret a song.”
She wanted the album to sound as if they were performing live. And when they perform on Friday, she wants the audience to feel as if they’re back in that studio with them. “I’m trying to build the same atmosphere we had in the studio,” she says.
Originally, she didn’t plan on writing new songs, but as she worked on the covers, inspiration kept coming to her. Among the new songs is “Rocio de Todos Los Campos,” a tribute to her friend, iconic Mexican modern dancer Rocio Sagaon.
“She was a wonderful woman, one of my strongest inspirations for life and for art,” Lafourcade says.
Before starting the project, she often felt sad watching the negative news coming out of Mexico and other Latin American countries. Working on the album was Lafourcade’s way to reconnect with her roots.
“I was trying to go deeper into our traditions,” she says. “Into discovering all the things that made me proud of being Mexican.”
Natalia Lafourcade will perform at 8 p.m. June 16 at the Olympia Theater, 174 E Flagler St., Miami. Tickets range from $35-$55. Call 305-374-2444 or go to OlympiaTheater.org.