Duality, the second EP from Chicago native Tatiana Hazel, is out today, and the title—and several of its songs—speak intimately to her own identity.
“Summer Girl,” a disco-glazed, snappy but leisurely number, stands as her inaugural go at conspicuously queer lyricism. “It’s my first song I’ve ever written about a woman while actually using pronouns,” she says. “I normally just keep them out of the songs.” Bringing previously released tracks “IN MY ROOM!” and “Don’t Care” into the fold, the EP is as personal as it is danceable, as Duality also speaks to Hazel’s bilinguality.
“It just felt right with me because I’ve been known as a Latinx indie artist, and I’ve had songs in Spanish,” Tatiana Hazel tells Remezcla. “But really, a majority of what I make is in English—this ‘80s synth-pop type of stuff. I feel like not a lot of people know me for that. At the same time, I do love singing in Spanish still.”
From the get go, Hazel allows listeners to hear her own self-doubt: Opening track “Right There” features a freestyle of a conversation she’d previously had with a friend about whether or not she should continue making music. What Hazel expresses is akin to imposter syndrome, with which many creatives identify.
“But it wasn’t ever really an option for me. I never seriously considered not doing music,” she says. “I’ve shaped my life to leave myself no other option but to pursue music.”
While she’s also a talented designer and could most definitely dive right into that career path if she wanted (she creates her own designs, and also rents them out via stylists to artists like Kali Uchis and Girl Ultra), Hazel will press on.
That perpetually swinging pendulum of uncertainty about her music can keep on swinging, and she’ll continue dodging it, and growing as an artist, songwriter and producer. (The EP, as well as previously EP Toxic, was created entirely by Hazel, with the exception this time of a couple of producers on two tracks.)
Hazel’s honesty in Duality sets an important example for anyone who worries they’re not good enough to fulfill their goals (you are!), while also encouraging the embracing of one’s own identity (up the self-love!).
Tonight Hazel will be helping others reach their own potential in very concrete ways: She’s raising funds for Brave Space Alliance, a Black and trans-led LGBTQIA+ Center, via a visual version of Duality debuting on her YouTube channel at 7 p.m. PST/10 p.m. EST. (It’ll be monetized, so turn your ad blocker off.)