Nicole’s last album, Apt, was released in 2006. That’s a long time for an artist to remain dormant. But the rest might have done her some good, since her latest single, the lovely “Baila,” projects a side of the former child star we’ve never seen before: her experimental side.
Nicole, born Denise Lillian Laval Soza, has been one of the prime marketed faces of Chilean pop since the late ‘80s (starting when she was only 12). Now, with the release of her upcoming sixth album, Panal, the 36-year-old has to find her role not only in the current Chilean nu-pop scene, but the global one as well. With “Baila,” a track that feels temporally fresh and apropos, she seems poised to take up a spot next to Javiera Mena, Francisca Valenzuela, Carla Morrison, and all the other fierce women from today’s rotating cast of pop singers.
What she might lack in the “alt” department she makes up for with experience. Let’s not overlook the fact that Nicole is a veteran—having your album produced by Gustavo Cerati is, after all, no small feat. After all this time in the industry, jumping hurdles and taking blows, it’s nice to see a woman retain her sense of self while engaging with the evolving world around her. “Baila” represents that unsullied dignity and eye toward the future. The Miley Cyruses and Lindsay Lohans of the world could learn a thing or two from Nicole.