Lilian Rey is this week's Latin alternative artist to look out for. The L.A.-born singer/songwriter, who has been a San Diego resident since 1994, is still a little bit of a secret in the local indie music scene. She's been quietly working on her upcoming debut studio album, Venta de Garaje, and the San Diego Latino Film Festival will let the cat out of the bag on Tuesday.
Rey will be paying her dues at the festival with a special acoustic set at Exitos del Cine Latino in Mission Valley.
Two months ago, Rey dropped the music video to the catchy indie-pop lead single "Yo No Busco El Amor." The video is sort of a parody on the YouTube trend of makeup tutorial videos being created by young women. Instead of putting layers of makeup on to become “prettier,” Rey removes her makeup, teaching viewers how to be “una chica normal."
One thing is evident on the single: Rey prefers to work with seasoned musicians: The girl-power anthem was engineered by three-time Grammy nominee Jay Henry and features S.D. Opera guitarist Anthony Mendez.
I talked to the the half-El Salvadorian, half-Mexican singer about how to be “una chica normal.”
Dita Quiñones: Anthony Mendez is an older musician. How did you both bridge the age gaps musically? What sparked the collaboration?
Lilian Rey: We have a great music chemistry. I like that he is older, because he's centered and responsible. He will be part of my entire debut. When I find someone I can work well with, I prefer to stay together.
DQ: How did you connect with the San Diego Latino Film Festival?
LR: I decided to be a volunteer at their big festivals held in March --- been doing it for the past four years. I have made some great friends there, and now I get the chance to share my music with them.
DQ: You chose to do your music en Español. Why is that?
LR: Well, it's my first language. And I really wanted to introduce myself as a Latina artist.
DQ: Being a brand new independent artist is tough. How will you finance your studio album?
LR: I'm planning a Kickstarter in September to be able to finish the recording of my album and also promote my música.
DQ: Who are your favorite Latin singers?
LR: There are so many. I love Paty Cantú: She has so much fun with her lyrics. We have a similar way of writing songs. I also love Jesse & Joy, and so many others in the pop genre.
DQ: Living in SoCal as a Latina -- what does that mean to you musically?
LR: It's access to all types of music, especially in Spanish. I even have some influences of jazz and R&B in my music. Where that comes from? To be honest with you, I'm not sure. I grew up on ranchera and Pedro Infante.
DQ: Will your upcoming debut album be entirely written by you or ...?
LR: The album will be called Venta de Garaje. The entire album will be written by me. It was very difficult choosing the songs because I have so many, but every song will be special.
Dita Quiñones is a multimedia journalist born in Tijuana with a passion for Latin alternative and hip-hop music news. Her main goal is to uplift and inform so that the Latino and Hip-Hop community get knitted into the fabric of American history. In addition to SoundDiego, she contributes to Latina, FOX News Latino, Poder, VidaVibrante, and HipHopDx. She is also the founder of the infamous music and politrix blog GN$F! Follow Dita on Twitter.