Ahead of his performances at SXSW (including Remezcla’s own showcase), A.CHAL has blessed the world with a new offering called “To the Light.” Sung over trap hi-hats and tenebrous synths you might find on a darker episode of Miami Vice, A.CHAL’s heartfelt declarations about fame and fortune feel intimate and definitive.
Following the thread of his 2016 album Welcome to GAZI, the Peruvian singer-songwriter pairs his take on Hollywood hedonism with a more nuanced approach to the lifestyle.
Here is enticed by the same vices as his peers in the fluid, irreverent R&B universe, embodying the conflicted antihero that is so popular in the genre today. On “To the Light,” A.CHAL’s reservations about his own self-indulgence are less abundant than in earlier works. It makes sense, considering he’s managed to make this work on his own terms. Traversing the shady dealings of the music industry is reason enough to party like Prince.
Still, one of Alejandro’s most distinct traits – one that sets him apart from the rest of the scene – is his growing commitment to spiritual balance. “Spending all this cash on the things that never last/I don’t want it/you can have it,” he sings.
Chal has found his way to “to the light,” but apart from taking care of kin, the freedom to live afforded to him through the hustle is what inspires this mantric banger, not the consumer-driven dogma of popular music. Instead, it runs like a realization that the risqué side of fame – the drugs, the groupies, the cash flow – are conduits of pleasure, and not self-worth. Kinship and responsibility are the endgame, the other shit is just there to pass the time.
With “To The Light,” A.CHAL strikes some type of cosmic balance between druggy Hollywood nights and a spiritual cleanse in the Andean highlands. It’s like The Weeknd after ayahuasca, and it looks like it’ll be shaking up the music scene for years to come.
A.CHAL plays Remezcla’s Shattering Stereotypes showcase on Thursday, March 16. For more info and to RSVP, click here.