The first single for Niña Dioz’s new album Reyna brings Colombian-Canadian artist Lido Pimienta and Mexican singer-songwriter Ceci Bastida together for a collaboration titled “Tambalea,” premiering today on Remezcla. The laid-back but emotionally powerful hip-hop track has a magnetic hook and a message of empowerment and self-love buttressed by vocals from all three artists.
Speaking over the phone, Niña Dioz said the song is about standing up for yourself in the face of rejection, whether that rejection is based on racism, homophobia, gender identity, or anything else. While she says the song is about many different issues, she makes specific reference to gender violence in the lyrics. “There’s a line where I say ‘I’m lucky to be here in the asphalt jungle.’ Just because I am a woman from Latin America, it’s a blessing to be living for another day, because where I’m from in Mexico, woman are getting killed every day, just because we’re women,” the rapper explains.
The Monterrey-bred rapper, who is now based in Los Angeles, wanted to combine strong female vocals on the song and thought of her two collaborators, who, she says, both clicked with the song as soon as they heard it. “They immediately connected their own personal experience to the feeling that I was trying to give with ‘Tambalea’ and wrote their own parts,” she says. The singers went into the studio with Niña Dioz on separate occasions to complete the song, and the result is a passionate glimpse into the MC’s first full-length release since 2013’s Indestructible.
Niña Dioz’s full name is Carla Reyna, but that’s not the only reason her forthcoming album will bear that title. “Reyna is my last name, but at the same time, I feel like Reyna is when you as a woman finally find your own strength that maybe was taken from you without you even noticing. Maybe you didn’t know you had this power, but then one day you awaken to your own truth and decide to embrace who you are and decide to recover your own power,” she reveals, adding that Reyna will be her most personal album. “It’s where I get to show you who Carla Reyna is.”
Stream our premiere of “Tambalea” above.
Niña Dioz’s new album drops on May 11 via Nacional Records.