The literary recommendations of Julieta Venegas: from Valeria Gerber Bicecci to Carolina Sanín

Julieta Venegas’s concert at Vive Latino was completely dedicated to women and their revolution (Photo: Gustavo Azem / Infobae)

Julieta Venegas was in Bogotá to talk about songs and inspiration, but also about books, she does it stripped of any mystery, she exposes herself, she simply narrates the stories behind her songs, and she presents, with extensive knowledge, the influences that marked the consolidation of his musical style until today. In addition, although she is a little known facet, she is also an accomplished reader and recognizes in literature a trigger for her composition exercise.

This singer-songwriter dominates a particularly deep, fresh and traditional style, she is part of the imaginary of Spanish-speaking popular music, accompanied mainly by piano, accordion and guitar, forming a powerful stage presence that positions her as one of the most popular Latin artists. recognized throughout the world, with seven studio albums, as well as a disconnected for MTV and the soundtrack of the play ‘La Enamorada’.

With 25 million records sold, two awards grammysten latin grammytwo Billboard Music Awardsseven MTV awards, among many other awards, also stands out as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF in Mexico and goodwill ambassador for the Council of Ministers of Women of Central America COMMCA demonstrating his influence as one of the most important figures in the Spanish-speaking arts.

Infobae spoke with her to learn about her views on creativity, her literary tastes, the authors and authors that excite her and also her favorite albums, the same ones that she describes with detail and kindness, recognizing them as a fundamental part of her artistic construction, from its roots. relatives, their Mexico, their views on femininity and the scenarios, both surprising and crude, portrayed by the lyrics of others.

Where do literature and music meet?

— They are found in the fact that both are an expression, for me, personally, I experience literature as a spectator, as a reader, as a spectator of different voices, of different stories and, in turn, literature has encouraged me to write my own songs but the inspiration comes a lot from literature, both literature and music.

Where do you think the inspiration for Latin American creativity comes from?

— I really don’t know where it comes from, but, in my case, it comes from a root, from the music I’ve heard in my house, from Mexican popular music, from John Gabriel, Joseph Alfredo Jimenezthe accordion, northern music and from there it expands to all my tastes that mixes with Anglo-Saxon music with different rhythms, when listening I really like music that tells stories, that is not just replicating a style, a speech, but I find it much more interesting when you are telling something that becomes your own, it has to do with where you are from, what your roots are, what moves you, where your essence comes from and each person individually it is a universe in that sense and we all take from different places to tell that story that tells who we are.

Do you recommend three books and three albums?

— I would recommend ‘Your cross in your desert sky’ from Carolina Sanin that she is a Colombian writer that seems wonderful to me, it is a novel or I could call it performance of a writer named Carolina who meets someone on Twitter who was a writer or a poet and they begin to have a kind of virtual romance that never materializes and what emerges through that is wonderful, because the desire begins to emerge, the sex, there is the literature that lives in this woman’s head and it seems to me like a super original story with many layers and dimensions of dialogue and questioning. It seems to me a very attractive novel that I highly recommend.

Cover of'Your cross in your desert sky' (2020) by Carolina Sanín, Laguna Books
Cover of ‘Your cross in your desert sky’ (2020) by Carolina Sanín, Laguna Books

I also recommend ‘Empty space from Valeria Gerber Bicecci who is a writer Argentina that lives in Mexico many years ago, which is the story of two brothers, a girl who seems to be Veronica, but I really don’t know, I think she has a somewhat autobiographical story and a language that I like a lot, she’s a plastic artist so she’s also he plays with drawing, he plays with language in a very beautiful way that I find interesting.

'Empty Space' by Valeria Gerber Bicecci, Laguna Books
‘Empty Space’ by Valeria Gerber Bicecci, Laguna Books

I always highly recommend Clarice Lispector who is a Brazilian writer who has many story anthologiesbut I would recommend her chronicles, she wrote in a newspaper journalistic chronicles and I would recommend starting to read it from there because it is her recounting her daily life, her questions as a writer, her talks with taxi drivers, her encounters with musicians, her encounters with other writers. She is a super beautiful character of Brazilian literature, her literature is incredible and if you want to delve deeper I would say that the path is through her stories because it is an experience to read her and already the third level is the novels; I think that for me her novels are a journey, reading Clarice is stirring up a lot of things, sensations, it disconcerts you, wakes you up and stimulates you. I really highly recommend it.

Julieta Venegas recommended us to read Clarice Lispector beginning with her chronicles, then continue with her stories and close with her novels.
Julieta Venegas recommended us to read Clarice Lispector beginning with her chronicles, then continue with her stories and close with her novels.

As for the albums, I’ve been listening to a lot lately Stromae’s ‘crowd’ who is a Belgian artist who has always seemed wonderful to me because his voice drives me crazy, he has always played a lot with rhythm, with sounds that could seem folkloric, on this album there is a lot of presence of cumbia, charango, but he also plays a lot with the electronic music and with hip hop also. I don’t speak French and I’m always trying to understand what he says, I have to look for his lyrics in translation, he questions relationships a lot in a very interesting way, he always seems very theatrical to me, I also recommend watching his videos.

The second is a composer, guitarist and singer who lives in Mexico called Augustus Bracho who has a record that just came out a few months ago called ‘Modern music’he plays the cuatro a lot, he has an old-fashioned voice with a lot of expressiveness and definitely what he does with the cuatro is wonderful, it’s a great album that I highly recommend.

The third album is by an artist from New Zealand that it’s called Aldous Hardingsongwriter and singer who I don’t know if it’s folk because she also handles many styles but she reminds me of PJ Harvey because she plays a lot with the characters she gives with her voice, sometimes she sounds like a girl, sometimes she sounds like a woman and I find that very interesting. There is a new album called ‘Warm Chris’ which I like very much.

Do you like Colombian authors or have you recently discovered them?

– I like very much ‘The animal siege’ from Vanessa Londono, who is a young Colombian writer who made me think a lot like the imagery of Clyo Mendoza, that she is a Mexican writer who has many landscapes and much desolation but with a very beautiful language.

Cover of'El asedio animal', by Vanessa Londoño, Almadía Ediciones
Cover of ‘El asedio animal’, by Vanessa Londoño, Almadía Ediciones

It’s not fiction but I like it a lot German Castro CaycedoI read ‘I leave a thousand souls to the devil’ I found it amazing, the story of the book marked me a lot, what happens there seems very strong to me, discovering a world that I would never have crossed paths with and his way of telling it seemed wonderful to me.

Cover of'A thousand soul I leave it to the devil' by Germán Castro Caycedo, Editorial Planeta
Cover of ‘A thousand soul I leave it to the devil’ by Germán Castro Caycedo, Editorial Planeta


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The literary recommendations of Julieta Venegas: from Valeria Gerber Bicecci to Carolina Sanín