Every so often I have the good fortune to connect with musicians who are part of the vibrant Los Angeles music scene. Just last week I published an interview with the talented Martin Lopez-Iu, in which he discussed his debut solo project Zanja Madre and premiered his music video, Mulholland’s Nightmare, on this blog.
Now I’m pleased to introduce another gifted local musician to the Curating LA community. Her name is Mayra Vargas and she is a Peruvian born multi-instrumentalist living in Los Angeles. Vargas also goes by the name inti Wawa, or Baby of the Sun, in Quechua, the ancient language of the Inca civilization.
Her new single “Cantamos Fuerte,” which translates to “we sing out loud,” is the story of finding strength in the midst of chaos and overcoming obstacles through community. This is her first release and music video. You can find an English translation of the lyrics here.
One of the standout elements of the video is the troupe of dancers from Raices Peruanas, a Los Angeles based Peruvian dance group. The performers are beautifully outfitted in traditional clothing and visually link the music to Vargas’ Peruvian roots. I wasn’t familiar with this group, but from what I saw in the video, I hope to see them perform live someday.
Aside from the music and dancers, Vargas’ video is notable because of where it was shot; namely in Chantry Flats, a designated recreation area within the Angeles National Forest. The site is spectacular and served as an inspiration for Vargas. As she explained, “finding this spot reminded me that even though this is a chaotic and busy city, you can still find the calm and beauty that you miss from the homeland. This spot is half forest, half desert and the environment and weather are almost exactly what you would find in the lower elevations of The Andes. It was magical.”