[Editing] The Bone-Rattling Energy of Camila Moreno

ORIGINAL

Combining folk, rock and pop music and a voice so strong and powerful that it gives you the chills; Camila Moreno is an inspiring new sensation in the music world. She first began composing her own music at the age of 17 and since then has been involved with various bands and recently began her solo career. Her first CD, “Al Mismo Tiempo”, came out in June this year and she continues to perform in Santiago, Valparaiso, and Coyaqui (I don’t know if that’s how you spell the city. Sounds like koi-yak-key) with her band Los Disfruto.

Camila is a multi-talented artist; after learning her first guitar chords from her mother, Camila also has learned to play the cuatro, the accordion, and the charango. Her music combines all types of instruments and rhythms. Although her music is influenced by everything in her life, Camila claims that in general female solo artists, such as Violeta Parra and Bjork, inspire her the most.

Recently Camila Moreno performed at Teatro Oriente for Leche para Haiti, an organization created by young volunteers which seeks to contribute to overcoming child malnutrition in Haiti. While performing, she connected with the crowd, incorporating them in to her music by clapping to the beat. “No me gusta la distancia entre las espectadoras y la artista…They are part of the music too.”

Camila also abandoned the microphones and instead sat at the edge of the stage and sang with only instruments to accompany her. She believes that amplification makes a kind of separation between the public and the artists, which is one reason why she likes to play her music in the streets. “You have to shout. You have to make a real effort to be heard. And I like that because you have to really stand up and put a lot of energy. On stage you can control the energy, but in the street you can’t.”

And boy can you feel her energy. Camila’s powerful voice has such intensity and emotion you can feel it shake your bones.  She says that it is due to her hypersensitivity, “Everything I feel is very strong. So when I’m happy, I’m really, really happy. And when I’m sad, I’m really, really sad. Because I feel everything deep. I don’t have superficial emotions. I cannot. I don’t know how to do it.”

Her songs reflect her intensity. Her most recent hit, Milliones, is a song that is “un grito contra la sistema”. Her song has to do with the abuse of power and the injustices of the system. Another one of her songs, “Cae y Calle”, reflects on Camila’s view on death. She has had several near death experiences which in turn have made her have a good relationship with death, “No tengo miedo…no puede controlar las cosas.”

Camila Moreno will be playing in the Quinta Normal metro station on the 21st of August. Don’t miss this chance to experience her unique sound. Her voice will give you the chills as you listen to lyrics filled with depth and passion.

FINAL

She combines folk, rock and pop music with a voice so strong and powerful that it gives you the chills. After learning guitar chords from her mom at an early age, she started composing music when she was just 17. Eight years, two albums and a Grammy nomination later, 25-year-old Camila Moreno has taken Santiago, Valparaíso and Coyhaique by storm with her band Los Disfruto and given the world just a taste of what her ground-shaking musical energy has in store.

At shows around town, the singer-songwriter abandons the amplifiers, microphones and other distortions to get face-to-face with her audience. “I don’t like distance between the spectators and the artist,” Moreno said. “They are part of the music, too.” At a recent show, Moreno sat at the edge of the stage to perform, supported only by instruments and the audience clapping to the beat.

Amplification, she says, develops a separation between the artist and the audience. In fact, that’s part of why she prefers to play her music in the streets. “You have to shout. You have to make a real effort to be heard,” Moreno said. “And I like that, because you have to really stand up and put in a lot of energy. On stage you can control the energy, but in the streets you can’t.”

And whether she’s onstage or on the corner, Moreno’s powerful voice carries such intensity that you can feel it rattle your bones. She says it’s due to the passion and depth of her emotions. “Everything I feel is very strong. So when I’m happy, I’m really, really happy. And when I’m sad, I’m really, really sad, because I feel everything deeply. I don’t have superficial emotions. I cannot. I don’t know how to do it,” she said.

Her songs reflect that intensity. She calls “Milliones,” her Grammy-nominated hit about power abuse and injustices within the government, a “shout against the system.” She uses another song, “Cae y Calle,” to reflect on her several near-death experiences, which she says have given her a good relationship with death. “I am not afraid,” she said. “Things can’t be controlled.”

Since learning the guitar, Moreno has also picked up the cuatro, accordion and charango and has been involved with various bands over the past decade. She attributes her influences to every part of her life, and finds particular inspiration among fellow female artists like Violetta Parra and Bjork.

Following her Latin Grammy nomination in 2009, Moreno released her second album, Opmeitomsimla (the name of her debut album, Almismotiempo, spelled backwards), in November 2010. The best way to hear her, of course, is at one of the many live shows she plays all over Santiago. If you take the opportunity to see her play, her voice and lyrics filled with depth and passion will resonate within you for days.

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