By Marisa Torrieri Bloom
Sonia De Los Santos creates music for children and families inspired by the Latin American folk music traditions. And although her songs are primarily in Spanish, the music is universally triumphant, filled with guitar, trumpet, violin, accordion, drums, but also other traditional instruments like the Mexican jarana, leona and the Colombian native flute: gaita.
We recently caught up with Sonia find out what’s next, as the cooler weather starts to taper off.
Rockmommy: It’s been one year since the pandemic became our daily reality. What are the biggest challenges you encountered in the last 12 months?
Sonia De Los Santos: One of the biggest challenges has been learning to perform without a physical audience in sight. To me, singing and playing for the camera feels very different from doing it in a theater. It might seem easy to turn the camera on and start playing but putting on a virtual show seamlessly takes a lot of energy and test runs! On the upside, I’ve learned a couple of tech tricks that have hopefully taught me how to make better videos!
Rockmommy: How did 2020 influence your music and creative process?
Sonia De Los Santos: My creative process got turned upside down in 2020. Inspiration as I knew it, had a different face this year and it was hard to recognize what the “right” moment was to sit down and write. In past years, I would return from a tour or rehearsal with an idea to develop, and sometimes that idea would be fleshed out with words, rhythm and melody within hours! I’ve been writing songs during the pandemic, but at some point I felt like I was going in circles! So, yes, I struggled a lot more to be in a particular creative space all the time, so I tricked myself to get there. On the other hand, I wrote some songs that I would’ve never written had I been living my past life, so it’s all good!
Rockmommy: What are you most hopeful for in 2021?
Sonia De Los Santos: I’m hopeful that we will find a way to go back to our lives in a better fashion. Having learned about what’s truly essential will hopefully present other ways of living, being aware of the impact we have on the planet, in our communities, and in what we choose to fight for.
Rockmommy: Any recent or upcoming projects you’d like to share?
Sonia De Los Santos: I’m currently recording our next studio album Esperanza (Hope) that will be released in 2021, so we’ll have more hopeful songs to share with you in the months to come! Although the writing and production process has been a little bit different with this one, we’ve made it work. It draws inspiration from these challenging times and offers a message of hope and resilience for what’s coming next.
Last October, we put out the first single called ¡Fiesta, Fiesta! and it’s available in my website and all digital platforms. If you haven’t listened, go check it out and let me know what you think!
Marisa Torrieri Bloom is the editor and founder of Rockmommy.