Q&A: Linda Mirada, Her time and remarkable progress

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Madrileña pop songstress Linda Mirada delivers a remarkable, and more polished sound in her latest sophomore Con mi tiempo y el progreso. With a raved-about debut, China Es Otra Cultura (available in ), and a hit single “Solo,” Linda became one of the hottest exports of Europe’s emerging Latin acts. Her echo-y, honeyed-like voice and danceable glittery pop sound not only makes her the perfect artist to listen to while on a Spanish indie pop binge, but one who’s musical drive and artistic perseverance would place her as somewhat of a fixture in Spain’s indie music scene — though curiously, she says it’s quite minimal due to a few factors.

With recent interviews with several Spanish bands, it caught our attention that many them have said one thing in common: that there’s a shifting away from major labels and transitioning to the indies. Interestingly (either if they’re in majors or not), is that many of those artists/bands started creating their own indie labels, as did Linda.

As of recent, Linda took a trip to New York to record her upcoming music video for her first single “Secundario” of her latest mentioned release in collabo with other indies, Lovemonk and Discoteca Océano, and gig out at a few NYC parties. Here, Linda talks to Remezcla about how her viewpoints on Spain’s indie scene, and what contributed, behind the making of this very ripe and accomplished second release.

How did you enjoy your time in NYC? Was it your first time performing here? What did you do? (e.g. Tourist activities? Fun parties?)

I went to New York because the people from a design studio contacted me to shoot a video for “Secundario”, the first single off the new album. I think the video is coming out sometime this month in May. I spent the week walking around with friends and I also mixed records in a club in Brooklyn. I had a really good time.

Several of the Spanish artists we’ve interviewed in the past have said something similar about the music scene there: That it’s very difficult for an artist to make it alone in music, which in some cases has led them to create their own labels. Can you describe the Spanish indie scene?

Well, it would be very difficult to explain. It’s not a very big scene. It is very difficult nowadays to sell records and it’s getting more and more difficult to sell tickets. Therefore, most of the bands have their own day-jobs and just a few of them can survive by making music. Fortunately, we have a good specialist press who support indie music, but just one radio station, no TV stations to support this. During the last few years, most festivals have been supported by subsidies from local governments and due to the crisis this is not going to happen anymore. In addition to that, it’s very common for private brands to sponsor tours or festivals, though these sources of funding are going to dry up. So it would be worth it for Spanish indie bands to look for success abroad but being realistic this is unlikely. I have created my own label to release my albums. Today it’s quite hard to find a label who is willing to pay for recording and so on. But actually a self production is a very difficult thing to do.

So, who are your personal current favorite Spanish bands today?

I like Emilio José a lot, I love Antona’s last album. The last El Guincho album was one of my favorites from 2010. Also, I like the last Lidia Damunt album, and of course Prismas en Llamas, and Francisco Nixon’s stuff.

What are your thoughts on indie labels versus major labels?

Back in the ’80s, I remember that many good bands had contracts with majors like for example Radio Futura, and today, there is a big differences between majors and indie labels. Most of the bands on major labels are products of A&R people, I don’t know what they are thinking about. In addition to that we have this big problem with Radio stations which only play oldies and which only those A&R men have access to.

What else do you do besides creating beautiful music? What’s your day job?

I’m working in the music industry distributing foreign labels.

Your latest album Con el tiempo y mi progreso sounds quite autobiographical, and there’s definitely a more mature sound. What would you say has personally shifted here than from your previous album, China es otra cultura?

This time I have more experience so I know how to make the most of the studio time and I have been more involved in the production process. It is sounds more like what I had in my head.

Who were your musical influences for this latest album?

I have been very obsessed with some soundtracks from some ’70s and ’80s movies, composers such as Pino Donaggio, Tangerine Dream, Jan Hammer and Vangelis. Some psychedelic bands from the late ’60s, ’70s and early ’80s New York disco, producers such as Nile Rodgers, Spanish big productions like Julio Iglesias or Fernando Arbex (I love Barrabas), Italo Disco, and all ’80s stuff in general like Naked Eyes, New Music or Fleetwood Mac..

Which song that you’ve written is the most meaningful and why?

All of them!!!

So I’m guessing you’re a big fan of Sesame Street? I read that that’s where your stage name comes from.

Yes I am, the name of the character Linda Mirada is Leslie Mostly in the original US version.

Listen to Linda Mirada’s first single “Secundario” off Con mi tiempo y el progreso below:

SECUNDARIO by lindamirada